14 Celebrities Who Gave Up Their Kids for Adoption (PHOTOS)

Michele Marin | Jul 28, 2015 Celebrities
14 Celebrities Who Gave Up Their Kids for Adoption (PHOTOS)

The life-changing decision to give up a baby for adoption is as controversial as it must be heart-wrenching. It's certainly not something anyone ever plans to do, and celebrities are certainly not immune from such fate. Just like the rest of us, they, too, are confronted with situations that affect them for the rest of their lives.  

These celebrities have faced the harrowing decision of placing their babies up for adoption. Many were young, broke, struggling actors and musicians at the time. See which ones, by a twist of fate, have reunited with their child.  


Image via MTV Networks

  • Roseanne Barr


    Image © Xavier Collin/Celebrity Monitor/Corbis

    Just 17 at the time, a broke and unwed Barr gave up her daughter, Brandi Brown, for adoption -- but this story has a happy ending. Barr was reunited with Brown years later, and she went on to work on the set of Roseanne as a production assistant.

  • Kate Mulgrew


    Image © Stephane Cardinale/Corbis

    Kate Mulgrew desperately searched for the daughter she gave up for adoption for 20 years. The Orange Is the New Black star received her joyous moment back in 1999. She opens up about her journey in her memoir, Born With Teeth.

  • Joni Mitchell


    Image © Jon Ragel/Corbis

    "Child with a child pretending, weary of lies you are sending home, so you sign all the papers in the family name." These are the lyrics to Joni Mitchell's "Little Green," from her 1971 album, Blue, and they chronicle her child "born with the moon in cancer." Mitchell gave up her daughter, Kelly, when she was an unknown folksinger trying to make ends meet. She was reunited with her daughter -- renamed Kilauren Gibb -- 20 years later.

  • Catelynn Lowell & Tyler Baltierra


    Image © London Entertainment/Splash

    The stars of the MTV reality show Teen Mom documented their decision to place their child up for adoption for millions of viewers. The couple welcomed a second baby girl, whom they're raising, on New Year's Day and married earlier this year. 

    More from The Stir: 11 Celebs on the Birth Side of Adoption 

  • Mercedes Ruehl


    Image © Press Line Photos/Corbis

    It's an ironic and beautiful story. Mercedes Reuhl has an adopted son, Jake, whose godfather is the child Reuhl gave up for adoption some 40 years ago. Reuhl hired a private investigator to help her find her son, Chris, whom she now shares a "powerful relationship with." 

  • Rod Stewart


    Image © Splash News/Corbis

    Rod Stewart may be known for having seven kids, but the rocker actually has another daughter, Sarah Streeter, whom he and his girlfriend, Suzannah Boffery, put up for adoption back in 1963. Stewart has since rekindled a relationship with Streeter. The song "Brighton Beach" recounts this part of Stewart's Life.

  • Patti Smith


    Image © Henrik Josef Boerger/Corbis

    Just Kids, the award-wining memoir penned by rocker/poet Patti Smith, gives readers a glimpse of a 19-year-old Smith, who gave up her daughter for adoption in 1967 before heading to New York for a fresh start.  

  • Linda Lovelace


    Image © Hulton-Deutsch Collections/Corbis

    Linda Lovelace, one of the first adult film stars of the 1970s, became pregnant at 19. Her mother reportedly made her give the child up for adoption. The 2013 movie Lovelace, starring Peter Sarsgaard and Amanda Seyfried, documents Lovelace's tumultuous life.

    More from The Stir: 11 Creative Baby Shower Ideas for Adoptive Moms (PHOTOS)

  • David Crosby


    Image © Admedia/Corbis

    It wasn't until Crosby was preparing for a liver transplant that he finally searched for the son he and a former girlfriend gave up in 1962. James Raymond, a composer and keyboardist, had been searching for his biological father for some time. Imagine finding out your dad is David Crosby! Raymond and Crosby have not only connected, they have performed together, too.

  • Andy Kaufman


    © Bettmann/CORBIS

    Funny guy Kaufman, who was known for his role in Taxi, had a daughter Maria Bellu in 1969 with his then–high school sweatheart and placed her up for adoption. Sadly when she finally discovered who her biological father was, Kaufman had already passed away.

  • Ted Nugent


    Image © Johnathan Ernst/Corbis

    Living in New York City in 1968, Nugent and his girlfriend had a baby boy. Young and in love, yet unable to care for a child, the baby boy was given to Catholic Charities. Fast forward to a life-changing moment in 2010 when restaurateur Ted Mann answered a phone call only to hear Nugent say, "Hello, son." It was then that the musician and NRA spokesman finally began to foster a relationship with his son.

  • Jay Thomas


    Image © Gregory Pace/Sygma/Corbis

    Comedian Jay Thomas, who appeared on the TV series Cheers, was not prepared when his then-girlfriend unexpectedly became pregnant some 28 years ago. The two made the difficult decision to place the child up for adoption. In 2007, Thomas and his son were reunited.

    More from The Stir: 15 Heart-Melting Images of Dads Meeting Their Babies for the First Time (PHOTOS)

  • Dog the Bounty Hunter


    Image © Jon Ragel/Corbis

    Duane Lee Chapman (aka Dog the Bounty Hunter) had a child that he didn't even know about from his teenage relationship with Debbie White. Christopher Hecht was placed up for adoption when his mother committed suicide. Hecht's grandmother told Hecht who his father was and the two connected.

  • Hank Williams Sr.


    Country music star Hank Williams Sr. suddenly passed away just five days after the birth of his daughter, Jett. Williams was only 29. Jett was placed in the care of several family members until finally being placed in foster care. She pens the story of the many homes where she subsequently lived in her autobiography, Ain't Nothin As Sweet As My Baby.

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