Celebrity Moms Who Adopted

Serial adopter Angelina Jolie may get most of the press, but she's far from being the only celeb to become a mama through adoption. A slew of stars we love have done the same. Check out our list of fabulous adoptive moms -- and meet their lucky kids.

01 of 25

Hoda Kotb

Hoda Kotb adoption
Debby Wong/Shutterstock

Best known for: Co-anchoring the Today show.

Adopted Child: Haley Joy Kotb

Adoption Details: Born on Valentine's Day, Kotb said her adopted daughter is the love of her life. She announced the adoption through happy tears to her Today show colleagues on air, with Matt Lauer saying "This little girl Haley is the luckiest girl in the world. You are going to be one of the most fantastic moms I can ever imagine."

What you don't know: Kotb has been leaving breadcrumbs on her Instagram account, with signs pointing to the adoption. Posts like "And suddenly you just know it's time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings," and "May the new few months of your life be a period of magnificent transformations," and even "For all the things my hands have held, the best by far is you" gave hints as to her exciting news.

02 of 25

Sara Rue

Sara Rue Adoption
Helga Esteb/Shutterstock

Best known for: Starring in comedy series Impastor, and roles in Mom, Rules of Engagement, and Less Than Perfect.

Adopted Child: Adelaide Rue Price

Adoption Details: The family chose an open adoption with Adelaide's birth mother and Rue says adoption was always something she felt drawn to. She told People, "We just wanted another child to complete our family, and it really didn’t matter where she came from as long we were her mom and dad."

Other kids: Rue also has three-year-old Talulah with husband Kevin Price.

What you don't know: After struggling to conceive a second baby, she says it was a "pretty easy decision" to choose to adopt. Rue was present for the birth of her adopted daughter and was the first person to hold newborn Adelaide. Big sister Talulah also got a special introduction via FaceTime, creating a magical first moment for the whole family.

03 of 25

Cate Blanchett

Cate Blanchett
magicinfoto / Shutterstock

Best known for: Her Oscar-winning Best Actress performance in Woody Allen's Blue Jasmine. Plus, her roles in Cinderella, The Lord of the Rings series, and two Elizabeth movies.

Adopted Child: Daughter Edith Vivian Patricia

Adoption Details: Her rep confirmed the adoption on March 6, 2015

Other kids: Three sons named Dashiell John, Roman Robert, and Ignatius Martin

What you don't know: In a June 2010 interview with W magazine, Blanchett mentioned, "Everyone says, 'Oh, you must have [been trying] to have a girl.' If the next one was a boy, then that's just our lot!"

04 of 25

Jillian Michaels

Jillian Michaels and her adopted children
Pedro Andrade/ Pacific Coast News

Best known for: Training contestants on The Biggest Loser reality show to help them get in shape and lose weight. Michaels has written books, starred in fitness DVDs, and created video games for the Wii and Xbox that all focus on helping people live a healthier life.

Adopted child: Daughter Lukensia

Adoption details: Michaels first announced her plans to adopt in December 2010 when she revealed that she would be leaving The Biggest Loser. After months of searching, she met her child during a trip to Haiti. "I went over to visit orphanages and I ended up falling in love with this little girl," she told Access Hollywood in December 2011. "By the grace of God, I got matched up with her." Michaels was finally able to bring 2-year-old Lukensia home from the Caribbean nation in May 2012.

Other kids: Michaels' partner, Heidi Rhoades, gave birth to a baby boy named Phoenix on May 3, 2012.

What you don't know: Michaels became the mother of a toddler and newborn all at once! Her lengthy adoption culminated during the same week that her partner gave birth to their son. Michaels told People that she may be busy, but she's enjoying every minute of it. "I want to be really present and enjoy all the nuances of their growth and development," she said. "I don't want to rush any of it."

05 of 25

Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron holding adopted daughter

Best known for: Her Oscar-winning performance in the 2003 film Monster. Theron has also starred in Snow White and the Huntsman, The Italian Job, and Hancock.

Adopted child: Son Jackson

Adoption details: This is the first child for Theron, but so far she is keeping quiet on the adoption details. In a statement to the Associated Press, her publicist simply said, "She is the proud mom of a healthy baby boy named Jackson."

What you don't know: Last summer, Theron told Germany's In Touch, "I want a baby. If it would happen tomorrow I would still be very happy about it." She has been single since her nine-year relationship with fellow actor Stuart Townsend ended in 2010.

06 of 25

Viola Davis

Viola Davis and Julius Tennon
Amanda Leddy / Splash News

Best known for: Playing Aibileen Clark in the film adaptation of the popular novel The Help. Although the role has made her a household name, Davis has been an acclaimed actress for years. She has won multiple Tony awards and received an Oscar nomination for her work in the film Doubt.

Adopted child: Daughter Genesis Tennon

Other kids: Davis's husband, actor Julius Tennon, has two children from previous relationships.

Adoption details: Genesis is the first child for the couple, who were wed in June 2003. They adopted their daughter through domestic adoption in October 2011.

What you don't know: About being a mother, Davis told CNN, "It's just given me purpose, you know? After a while your life can't be about hair and make-up and what film you're doing next and if you're good or not and reviews."

07 of 25

Kristin Davis

Kristin Davis holding adopted daughter

Best known for: Playing Charlotte York Goldenblatt on the popular TV show Sex and the City. Charlotte dreamed of a traditional marriage and family, but got her happy ending when she married a short, bald Jewish man and adopted a baby girl from China.

Adopted child: Daughter Gemma Rose Davis

Adoption details: Life imitated art for the celeb when she announced on October 7, 2011, that she had adopted Gemma Rose through domestic adoption.

What you don't know: Unlike the marriage-obsessed Charlotte, Davis is happy to raise her daughter as a single mother.

08 of 25

Denise Richards

Denise Richards with daughters
Jackson Lee / Splash News

Best known for: Richards first found fame in the '90s with films such as Starship Troopers, Wild Things, and The World Is Not Enough. She's stayed in the spotlight since then with a messy marriage and an even messier divorce from actor Charlie Sheen.

Adopted child: Daughter Eloise Joni Richards

Adoption details: Richards chose domestic adoption and said she was with Eloise since she was born in May 2011. She named her third daughter after her mother, Joni, who died in 2007 from kidney cancer.

Other kids: Daughters Sam, born March 9, 2004, and Lola, born June 1, 2005, from her marriage with Charlie Sheen.

What you don't know: "Some people think if a celebrity wants a baby, they get one the next day, " Richards told US Weekly " The adoption took two years, and there were times I felt discouraged, times when I got close to adopting a baby and it fell through. But I knew the right baby would find us."

09 of 25

Mariska Hargitay

Mariska Hargitay with daughter
Splash News

Best known for: Playing butt-kicking sex-crimes detective Olivia Benson on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit. The role has earned her numerous accolades, including an Emmy and a Golden Globe.

Adopted children: Daughter Amaya Josephine and son Andrew Nicolas

Adoption details: Hargitay and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, adopted Amaya in April 2011 through domestic adoption. She told People, "We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multiracial family." Six months after adopting Amaya, Hargitay and her husband adopted a son, Andrew. About adopting again so quickly, Hargitay told People, "We never in a million years thought it would happen this quickly, but something inside of us knew that this was right, and we said, 'Yes, yes, yes!'"

Other kids: Hargitay and her husband welcomed son August on June 28, 2006.

What you don't know: Although the couple kept Amaya's adoption quiet from the press until it was official, Hargitay's onscreen partner, Chris Meloni, knew what was going on. "Uh, yeah [I knew she was adopting!] I'm her partner," he told UsMagazine.com. "You didn't know; I knew. I had to keep my mouth shut."

10 of 25

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow with Wyatt and Levi

Best known for: Writing and performing music that has earned her nine Grammy Awards; beating breast cancer; dating and splitting from Tour de France-winning cyclist Lance Armstrong; choosing to become a single mom.

Adopted children: Sons Wyatt Steven and Levi James Crow

Adoption details: Born on April 29, 2007, Wyatt went home with Crow the following day. It was a closed domestic adoption through an agency, although Crow has said she will help him find his birth family, should he ever want to. Wyatt is Sheryl's father's middle name, and Steven was chosen to honor her brother and her manager (both named Steven). Crow adopted another son, Levi, who was born on April 30, 2010. She has said that she wanted to adopt another child when Wyatt was 2 years old, but the process took longer than expected because many adoption plans fell through.

What you don't know: Talk about celebrity connections -- single-mama Crow used the same baby nurse that tended to Julia Roberts' twins, as well as famous tots Deacon Phillippe (son of Reese Witherspoon and Ryan Phillippe) and Coco Arquette (daughter of Courtney Cox and David Arquette) when they were babes. Celeb friend Laura Dern threw Crow a baby shower.

11 of 25

Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock with son Louis
Splash News

Best known for: Acting in movies such as The Proposal, Speed, and Miss Congeniality; winning an Oscar for Best Actress for her role in The Blind Side; and a very public split from husband and Monster Garage host Jesse James.

Adopted child: Son Louis Bardo Bullock

Adoption details: Bullock and James began the adoption process together and brought Louis, born in December 2009 in New Orleans, home in January. When the couple separated in March 2010 amidst allegations that James had cheated multiple times, Bullock announced that she would finalize the adoption as a single parent.

What you don't know: After Bullock filed for divorce, James told People, "The decision to let my wife end our marriage, and continue the adoption of Louis on her own, has been the hardest. The love I have for Louis cannot be put to words. Not having him around to love and to hold has left a huge hole in my heart."

12 of 25

Katherine Heigl

Katherine Heigl with daughter Naleigh
Jackson Lee / Splash News

Best known for: Her Emmy-winning role as Dr. Izzie Stevens on Grey's Anatomy. Heigl has also starred in many popular romantic comedies, such as Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth, and Life As We Know It.

Adopted children: Daughter Nancy Leigh ("Naleigh") and Adalaide Marie Hope

Adoption details: Naleigh, born November 23, 2008, in South Korea, was adopted by Heigl and her husband, musician Josh Kelley, in September 2009. The adoption process took nearly a year, and it included a 40-page questionnaire, but it would have taken even longer if it hadn't been for Naleigh's congenital heart defect. Before she left South Korea, Naleigh had open-heart surgery. "Her heart is 100 percent fine now," Heigl told Harper's Bazaar in June 2010. "She has a scar, so she won't be wearing bikinis, which is fine by us." In April 2012, the couple adopted a second daughter, Adalaide, through domestic adoption.

What you don't know: Heigl always knew she wanted to adopt; her sister, Margaret Leigh ("Meg"), was adopted from Korea. Naleigh is named after Heigl's mother, Nancy, and her sister, Margaret Leigh.

13 of 25


Madonna, Rocco Ritchie, David Banda and Mercy James
A Bregg / J Lee / Splash News

Best known for: Being the Material Girl, a music mega-star, a world-famous fashion icon, and a reinvention artist extraordinaire.

Adopted children: Son David Banda Mwale Ciccone Ritchie and daughter Mercy James

Adoption details: David was born September 24, 2005, in Malawi, Africa; Madonna and soon-to-be-ex-hubby Guy Ritchie brought him to their home in England on October 16, 2006, when he was a little over a year old. Madonna and Ritchie were required to serve as foster parents for 18 months before legally adopting David in 2008. Mercy was born January 22, 2006, also in Malawi. In April 2009, Madonna's initial adoption request was rejected because of a residency requirement in Malawi. Madonna filed an appeal and the requirement was waived on June 12, 2009.

Other kids: Daughter Lourdes (aka Lola) born in 1996 (dad is trainer Carlos Leon); son Rocco born in 2000. Rocco's dad is Brit film director Ritchie (Snatch; Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels; and Swept Away, starring the missus.)

What you don't know: Because of the lack of adoption laws in Malawi, Madonna was advised against adopting there, but did so anyway after seeing footage of David as part of a documentary that she was producing about Malawian orphans. "This adoption was the beginning of adoption laws in Malawi," she's said. "I'm happy to be the guinea pig."

14 of 25

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie, Maddox, Pax, Zahara and Shiloh Jolie Pitt
Scott Larson / Splash News

Best known for: Her gorgeous looks (those lips!), her humanitarian efforts on behalf of refugees around the globe, and -- oh, yeah -- being half of the most genetically blessed couples in the world, along with Brad Pitt. Add to that long list that she's a mommy many times over.

Adopted children: Sons Maddox Chivan and Pax Thien; daughter Zahara Marley

Adoption details: Maddox was born in August 2001 in Cambodia and adopted in March 2002; Pax was born in November 2003 in Vietnam and adopted in March 2007 (his name was suggested by Jolie's late mother, Marcheline Bertrand, before she passed away); Zahara was born in January 2005 in Ethiopia and adopted in July 2005.

Other kids: Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, born to Jolie and Pitt on May 27, 2006, in Namibia, and twins Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, born July 12, 2008 in France.

What you don't know: Jolie has admitted that when she brought Maddox home, she had never babysat and had no idea how to take care of a child -- she even had to call her mom to find out how many bottles he needed each day. We're guessing she's got the hang of things now.

15 of 25

Nicole Kidman

Nicole Kidman with Isabella and Connor Cruise

Best known for: Her gorgeous looks, award-winning performances in films such as To Die For, Moulin Rouge!, and The Hours (for which she took home the Oscar); being the ex-Mrs. Tom Cruise.

Adopted children: Isabella Jane and Connor Antony, both adopted with ex-husband, mega-star Tom Cruise

Adoption details: Isabella, born on December 22, 1992, and Connor, born on January 17, 1995. Both were adopted the month after they were born.

Other kids: Kidman delivered daughter Sunday Rose on July 7, 2008. Dad is Kidman's husband, country star Keith Urban. The couple welcomed a second daughter, Faith Margaret, on December 28, 2010 via a gestational carrier.

What you don't know: You think you've got sassy kids: Kidman's daughter Isabella sometimes refers to her as "Nicole" instead of "Mom." She also served as a bridesmaid at Nicole and Keith's 2006 nuptials. Son Connor is following in his father's footsteps with a small role on Will Smith's Seven Pounds. Despite a divorce that rocked the tabloids, Kidman and Cruise seem to co-parent in relative harmony.

16 of 25

Calista Flockhart

Calista Flockhart and son Liam

Best known for: Her portrayal of neurotic, super-skinny attorney Ally McBeal (which won her three Emmy nominations and a Golden Globe Award); starring as politically conservative sis Kitty Walker in TV's Brothers & Sisters; dating Indiana Jones -- she and Harrison Ford reportedly met and started dating shortly after Flockhart spilled a drink on Ford at the 2002 Golden Globes. They were married on June 15, 2010.

Adopted child: Son Liam

Adoption details: Born January 1, 2001, to a medical technician and mother of four; adopted 10 days later.

What you don't know: Although Flockhart adopted Liam before they met, Ford has become Liam's de facto daddy, and has been photographed cheering him on at Little League.

17 of 25

Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer and family
London Entertainment/Splash News

Best known for: Head-turning roles in films like Scarface, The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Witches of Eastwick, What Lies Beneath, and Hairspray; that fabulous bone structure.

Adopted child: Daughter Claudia Rose

Adoption details: Pfeiffer adopted Claudia at birth in 1993, and married writer-producer David E. Kelley (of TV hits such as The Practice, Ally McBeal and Boston Public) later that year. Claudia was christened immediately following the wedding, and Kelley later adopted her.

Other kids: John Henry, born on August 5, 1994, with dad Kelley

What you don't know: Pfeiffer has been vocal about her decision to adopt a mixed-race child: "I was shocked at the prejudice, voiced in some quarters, over my decision to adopt a mixed-race baby. It's really surprising that people still put so much emphasis on it," she's said. "None of us are pure anything. We're all a mixture."

18 of 25

Meg Ryan

Meg Ryan and Daisy True Ryan
893 / Splash News

Best known for: Starring in wildly popular girls-night-in classics, including When Harry Met Sally, Sleepless in Seattle and You've Got Mail.

Adopted child: Daughter Daisy True

Adopted details: Adopted from China in January 2006 as an infant; Daisy was originally named Charlotte, but Ryan changed it after deciding the name just didn't fit her bambino's personality.

Other kids: Jack Henry born April 24, 1992 (with ex-hubby Dennis Quaid)

What you don't know: Although Daisy was assigned to her through a lottery system in China, Ryan has said that she feels there was nothing random about and is convinced that they were meant to be mother and daughter.

19 of 25

Edie Falco

Edie Falco and her kids
Hector Vallenilla, PacificCoastNews.com

Best known for: Playing Carmela, the wife of mob boss Tony Soprano on HBO's hit show, The Sopranos, a role that's earned her two Golden Globes and three Emmy Awards.

Adopted children: Son Anderson and daughter Macy

Adoption details: Adopted in December 2004 and brought home within days of his birth, Anderson's name comes from Falco's mother's maiden name. Macy was adopted from Florida in February 2008.

What you don't know: Falco adopted Anderson shortly after beating breast cancer. She's regularly spotted out with her family in New York City's hip downtown nabe of Greenwich Village, where they live.

20 of 25

Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone, Laird and Quinn
Splash News

Best known for: Starring in films like Casino (for which she scored an Oscar nom) and Broken Flowers; that infamous bare-it-all leg-crossing scene in Basic Instinct.

Adopted children: Sons Roan Joseph, Laird Vonne, and Quinn Kelly

Adoption details: Roan, born May 22, 2000, and adopted one week later with ex-husband Phil Bronstein; Laird Vonne, born May 7, 2005,and adopted immediately; Quinn, born and adopted on June 28, 2006. All three boys have family names: Joseph is the name of Stone's father; Vonne is Stone's aunt's name as well as her own middle name; and Kelly is the name of Stone's sister.

What you don't know: In addition to adopting her three boys, Stone has also "adopted" a set of parents: Eileen and Neil Mitzman, whom she met through philanthropic work and who lost their two adult daughters (who also happened to be adopted) to tragic circumstances.

21 of 25

Mary-Louise Parker

Mary-Louise Parker with daughter Ash

Best known for: Starring in Showtime's Weeds; her graceful handling of the break-up of her relationship with actor Billy Crudup (Almost Famous) who left Parker for Claire Danes two months before Parker gave birth to their son Will.

Adopted child: Daughter Caroline "Ash" Aberash Parker

Adoption details: Adopted from Africa in September 2007 as an infant. Caroline is Parker's mother's name (Caroline-Louise), and Aberash is an Ethiopian name meaning "giving off light" in Amharic.

Other kids: Son William Atticus ("Will"), born on January 7, 2004

What you don't know: Although she didn't expect to be a single mother, Parker lives in the present: "I don't think in terms of 'oh if my life were...' That's not good for them" she's said. "Your children suffer when you have one foot in the past."

22 of 25

Jamie Lee Curtis

Jamie Lee Curtis with daughter Annie
JLM / Splash News

Best known for: Curtis became known as the "scream queen" early in her career for roles in horror films such as Halloween and Prom Night. Today she's known for more lighthearted roles like Freaky Friday, being a New York Times best-selling children's book author, and her continued endorsement of the yogurt Activia.

Adopted children: Daughter Annie and son Tom

Adoption details: Curtis and her husband, actor Christopher Guest, have two adopted children. Annie was born in 1986 and Thomas in 1996.

What you don't know: Curtis's children's book Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born celebrates adoption and has been helpful for many adoptive families. She speaks openly about her experiences with adoption. Curtis told Parents.com, "Birthdays, for instance, are very hard for adopted children. For everyone else it's a celebration of the moment of birth, but for adopted children, it's the remembrance of a birth family that they don't have."

23 of 25

Rosie O'Donnell

Parker O'Donnell, Rosie O'Donnell and Chelsea O'Donnell
Mandatory Credit: Joseph Marzullo/WENN.com

Best known for: Her Emmy-winning talk show, The Rosie O'Donnell Show; her roles in movies such as A League of Their Own and Sleepless in Seattle; her short-lived Rosie magazine; speaking her mind as a moderator on The View; and her strong support of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights.

Adopted children: Sons Parker Jaren and Blake Christopher, daughters Chelsea Belle and Dakota.

Adoption details: O'Donnell adopted son Parker, born May 25, 1995, and daughter Chelsea, born September 20, 1997, before her relationship with wife Kelli Carpenter began. O'Donnell and Carpenter later adopted son Blake, born December 5, 1999, together. Although the couple has since separated, they still co-parent their four children. O'Donnell adopted her latest child, Dakota, with her second wife, Michelle Rounds. Dakota was born on January 5, 2013.

Other kids: Daughter Vivienne Rose, born November 29, 2002, was conceived by artificial insemination with sperm from an anonymous donor and was carried and birthed by Kelli.

What you don't know: In 2000, O'Donnell and Carpenter took in a foster child, Mia, born in 1997, with hopes to adopt her. A year later, Mia was removed from O'Donnell's care and enrolled at a treatment center for emotional problems from past abuse.

24 of 25

Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton with son Duke
Splash News

Best known for: Her Oscar-winning performance in Woody Allen's film Annie Hall; roles in popular movies such as Father of the Bride, The First Wives Club, and Something's Gotta Give; and romances with director Woody Allen, actor Warren Beatty, and actor Al Pacino.

Adopted children: Daughter Dexter and son Duke

Adoption details: Keaton adopted both Dexter, born in 1995, and Duke, born in 2000, when they were infants. She adopted them as a single mother and has never been married.

What you don't know: Keaton's first public photo with her children was in the November 2009 issue of More magazine when Dexter was 13 and Duke was 8. In the interview, Keaton said, "With Dexter, it's [all about] boys right now. Could she be more different from me? She goes to them, talks to them. She makes the dates. It's refreshing, not waiting for someone to pick you. Which seems to be the story of my life regarding men and being an actress."

25 of 25

Kirstie Alley

Kirstie Alley with her daughter Lillie and son William
Pacific Coast News

Best known for: Replacing Shelley Long on the hit sitcom Cheers; the role of Rebecca Howe would win her an Emmy and a Golden Globe. Alley has also appeared in movies, such as Look Who's Talking, but is now most known for her ongoing battle with her weight and a recent stint on the reality show Dancing With the Stars.

Adopted children: Son William True and daughter Lillie Price

Adoption details: Alley and her second husband, actor Parker Stevenson, adopted William, born October 5, 1992, and Lillie, born June 15, 1994, when they were infants. The couple divorced in 1997.

What you don't know: Alley and Stevenson decided to adopt after Alley suffered a miscarriage in 1990. Later that year she told People magazine, "I wasn't far enough along to feel the baby kick, so the loss I felt was more mental than physical. In those few weeks you mock up an entire life -- who the baby is going to look like, where it's going to go to college. That's the loss we suffered."

Copyright © 2012 Meredith Corporation.

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