21 Celebrities Who've Adopted Kids

Judy Dutton | Nov 10, 2014 Baby
21 Celebrities Who've Adopted Kids

Charlize Theron and adopted son Jackson

November is National Adoption Awareness Month -- a great time to applaud the many noteworthy stars who've chosen this path to parenthood. Sure, you may have heard plenty about Angelina Jolie's international brood, but she's by far not the only famous mom (or dad) to go the adoption route.

As proof, check out this list of celebrities who've adopted kids. Some may surprise you, while still others will prove that the process is not always easy -- even with mega-watt star power in your corner -- but that the rewards are well worth it.

The backstory for celeb #7 is so sweet!


Image via JLM / Splash News

  • Kristin Davis


    Image via Splash News

    She adopted on screen in Sex and the City; so it seems fitting she'd adopt in real life. Kristin Davis adopted baby Gemma Rose domestically in 2011, saying, "This is something I have wanted for a very long time. Having this wish come true is even more gratifying than I ever had imagined. I feel so blessed."

  • Sandra Bullock


    Image via JosiahW /TK/Splash News

    After winning an Oscar then getting a divorce from husband Jesse James for cheating on her, Sandra Bullock threw us another curveball in 2010: Louis, a 3-month-old baby adopted from New Orleans. "He's just perfect, I can't even describe him any other way," Bullock told the press about her adoption. "It's like he's always been a part of our lives."

    More from The Stir: Sandra Bullock Learns Important Lesson After Googling Herself

  • Charlize Theron


    Image JLM / Splash News

    At the age of 36 and single, Charlize Theron announced that she'd adopted a baby boy named Jackson. He is a "little Republican," according to Theron, because he's always saying "no."

  • Mary-Louise Parker


    Image via Justin Steffman / Splash News

    In 2007, three years after giving birth to her son, William Atticus Parker, Mary-Louise Parker decided to adopt a girl, Caroline "Ash" Aberash, from Ethiopia. While she'd always wanted to do it, at first, "I thought, I'm single, it's too hard," she admits. "But then I thought, I don’t want to be on my deathbed not having done something because it was too hard. I’m so glad I did—she is magical.”

  • Denise Richards


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    Denise Richards already had two kids from her previous marriage to Charlie Sheen, when she decided on adopting a third, Eloise Joni, in 2011. And she admits that the adoption process wasn't easy.

    "Some people think if a celebrity wants a baby, they get one the next day," she says. "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."

    More from The Stir: Woman Pulls Cruel Adoption Scam on Couple Desperate for a Baby

  • Nicole Kidman


    Image via Toby Canham / Splash News

    In 1993, Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise adopted a girl named Isabella, followed two years later by a son, Connor. And while she rarely speaks publically about them, when she does, she glows: "They are generous, kind, and hardworking," Kidman once said. "And these are traits that I love to see in my children."

  • Katherine Heigl


    Image via Splash News

    Katherine Heigl has adopted not just one, but two girls named Nancy and Adelaide! While she hasn't ruled out having kids of her own with husband Josh Kelley, they decided to adopt first because that's how she grew up. "My sister Meg is Korean, and my parents adopted her three years before I was born," she explains. "I wanted my own family to resemble the one I came from, so I always knew I wanted to adopt from Korea."

  • Nia Vardalos


    Image © BORISIO, Pacific Coast News

    The My Big Fat Greek Wedding star is an open book, literally, about her struggles with fertility, followed by her struggles to adopt, culminating in her struggles to win her adopted daughter's heart. At first, "she was withdrawn," Nia Vardalos admits about Ilaria. "She got very angry the next day. She bit my finger to the point I was like, ‘Medic!’ She wouldn’t let us hold her or kiss her." Thankfully things improved. In 2013, Vardalos published a memoir, Instant Mom, about adopting her daughter, now 8.

    More from The Stir: Parents Give Adopted Kids Away When They Decide They Don't Like Them

  • Hugh Jackman


    Image via DLM Press/Pacific Coast News

    Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness, are upfront about their adoptions of Oscar and Ava. As the Wolverine star put it, "Mixed-race babies have such a hard time being adopted that Deb and I checked off that box specifically when we were filling out our forms. Our lawyer brought the form back to us and said, 'This is not the time to be politically correct. Are you sure this is what you want?' We were definite about it. Adoption is about taking a baby into your home -- and your heart. It's the best thing we've ever done."

  • Calista Flockhart


    Image via Splash News

    This former Ally McBeal star was 36 and single when she adopted her son Liam; she was present when the babe was born. "It's the best thing that I have done in my life and it really changes who you are," she says.

  • Meg Ryan


    Image via GSNY/Splash News

    In 2006, with a teenage son at home, Meg Ryan adopted a girl named Daisy from China. "I always thought I'd do it," she explains. "It's such a deliberate act, this adoption, as opposed to getting pregnant ... I just saw that face and I knew we were just related. It taught me a lot about any expectations you have in life. Just toss them away. Throw them out."

  • Madonna


    Image via A Bregg / J Lee / Splash News

    After adopting a boy named David from Malawi in 2008, Madonna returned to the country a year later to adopt a girl named Mercy. At first the local courts resisted since Madonna hadn't been in the country long enough to adopt, but eventually it all worked out. The singer founded a charity called Raising Malawi to help feed and educate the country's one-million-plus orphans, many of whom lost their parents to AIDS.

  • Sheryl Crow


    Image via JosiahW / Splash News

    In 2010, three years after adopting her son Wyatt (pictured above), Sheryl Crow adopted Levi -- and admitted it was no easy feat. "We've been going through this for a year -- getting ready for a baby; it falling apart; getting ready for a baby; the mom changing her mind," she admits. "So [now] we were excited but conservatively excited."

  • Angelina Jolie


    Angelina Jolie is famed for adopting three kids: Maddox from Cambodia, Zahara from Ethiopia, and Pax Thien from Vietnam. She and husband Brad Pitt also have three biological kids -- Shiloh, and twins Vivienne and Knox -- for a total of six  in their brood. It's like a globe-trotting version of The Brady Bunch!

    More from The Stir: Angelina Jolie's Ex Billy Bob Thornton Reveals What She's Really Like

  • Michelle Pfeiffer


    Image via Ronald Asadorian

    Michelle Pfeiffer had just started dating David Kelly when she adopted her daughter Claudia Rose in 1993. "So we had this child with us right away, and most people don’t have that," she recalls. "But I really got to see him in a situation that certainly would separate the boys from the men. Obviously, he really rose to the occasion."

  • Rosie O'Donnell


    Image via Peter Kramer/Getty Images

    Rosie O'Donnell has adopted four kids: sons Parker and Blake, daughters Chelsea and Dakota. She also has a biological daughter, Vivienne Rose, conceived by artificial insemination and birthed by her wife Kelli Carpenter. Oh, and the talk show host is also a certified foster parent.

  • Sharon Stone


    Image via Maurizio La Pira / Splash News

    Sharon Stone must have a LOT of energy, since she's adopted three boys -- Roan, Laird, and Quinn (latter two pictured above) -- over the past 11 years. And she now thinks she's too old to adopt another infant, she says she's open to adopting an older child.

  • Jamie Lee Curtis


    Image via David Livingston/Getty Images

    Jamie Lee Curtis and husband Christopher Guest have two adopted kids -- Annie and Thomas -- who no doubt inspired the actress to write her children's book celebrating adoption, Tell Me Again About the Night I Was Born. Nonetheless, she admits that adoption can be hard on kids, explaining, "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."

  • Kirstie Alley


    Image via Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images

    After suffering a miscarriage in 1990, Kirstie Alley and her husband, actor Parker Stevenson, adopted their son William, followed by their daughter Lillie.

  • Diane Keaton


    Image via Sonia Moskowitz/Getty Images

    Diane Keaton was in her 50s when she adopted both her kids -- daughter Dexter and son Duke. “When I adopted, I immediately had to change as a person and become more giving,” she recalled. “It made me realize that I was completely self-involved. I’m an actress after all."

    More from The Stir: 'I Gave My Baby Up for Adoption': A Birth Mom on Making the Toughest Decision of Her Life

  • Edie Falco


    Image Matthew Peyton/Getty Images for QVC

    Edie Falco was single and in her late 40s when she adopted two kids. In 2005, she adopted her infant son Anderson, followed by her infant daughter Macy in 2008. Although they're still young, she has candid conversations with them about their family dynamic: "I don't know if they know that not every one of their friends is adopted ... I'm thinking I'm going to wait [to tell them] the fact that some ladies keep their babies for their own ... We will get to that."


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