15 White Celebrities Who Are Raising Black Children (PHOTOS)

Celia San Miguel | Feb 14, 2016 Celebrities

Interracial, multi-ethnic, and blended families are becoming increasingly common in Hollywood, thanks in part to celebrities such as Sandra Bullock who have adopted black or mixed-race children. Some stars, like Hugh Jackman, turned to adoption after years of conception challenges and considered race a non-issue when contemplating fatherhood. Others, like Angelina and Madonna, hoped to give orphaned children in Africa a loving and secure home. 

Each celebrity's journey has been unique, but the common thread tying their stories together is love. A parent's love, after all, knows no color — and has no bounds.



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  • Ty Burrell


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    In March 2010, Modern Family star Ty Burrell and his wife, Holly, adopted a daughter named Frances. Of his experience with fatherhood, Burrell told Elle magazine, "I didn’t realize that you actually fall in love with children, that like with any other relationship, as time goes on you actually love them more." He now has even more love to give after the adoption of his second daughter in 2012.




  • Sandra Bullock


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    In 2010, Sandra Bullock's name was making headlines left and right — either due to her Oscar-winning performance in The Blind Side or her pending divorce from Jesse James. Unbeknownst to the public, however, Bullock had adopted a newborn African-American boy, Louis, from New Orleans in January. She kept the adoption under wraps for months, finally sharing the news with the world in April, when she posed with her bundle of joy on the cover of People. In December 2015, she adopted a second black child — 3 1/2-year-old Laila — from a foster care facility in Louisiana.

  • Charlize Theron


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    Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron quietly endured a two-year-long adoption process before finally bringing home her son, Jackson, in May 2012, when he was just nine days old. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show that very month, Theron remembered the tender words her mom uttered about the experience. "She said, 'It took me nine months to fall in love with you while you were growing in my stomach, and it took you two years to fall in love with this little baby,'" Theron recalled. "It took two years of waiting, and then one day, it's finally there, and it feels exactly how it's supposed to feel."

  • Connie Britton


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    At the age of 44, Nashville star Connie Britton decided to fulfill her parenting dreams, adopting her son, Yoby, from Ethiopia in 2011. "I didn't think I'd have a baby on my own," Britton said in Ladies Home Journal's September 2013 issue, alluding to her decision to become a single parent. "If you hold hard and fast to the plan regardless of where you're at, then you go against the flow of your life. Even after a long, difficult day, coming home and being with Yoby just washes any stress away." That's something to sing about!

    More from The Stir: 14 Celebrities Who Gave Up Their Kids for Adoption (PHOTOS)

  • Mariska Hargitay


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    After giving birth to her son August in June 2006, at the age of 42, Law & Order: SVU star Mariska Hargitay and husband Peter Hermann began working on expanding their family. After several failed adoption attempts, the couple met a pregnant African-American woman who planned on putting her child up for adoption and saw them as ideal parents. Hargitay even had the opportunity to be in the delivery room and welcome her adopted daughter to the world. "We were excited to have a multiracial family because that's what the world is, and we want our family to reflect a realistic microcosm of the world," Hargitay said in Good Housekeeping's April 2012 issue of adopting Amaya, now 4.

  • Angelina Jolie


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    In 2005, three years after adopting her Cambodian son Maddox, Angelina Jolie traveled  to Ethiopia and fell in love with a baby girl, Zahara, who had been orphaned by AIDS. Soon thereafter, she began the process of adopting Zahara. Now 11 years old, Zahara is one of six Jolie-Pitt children, three of them adopted (herself, along with Maddox, 14, and Pax, 12) and three of them biological (Shiloh, 9, and twins Vivienne and Knox, 7).

  • Tom Cruise


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    Suri may dominate the media's attention, but she's by no means Tom Cruise's only child. When Nicole Kidman and Tom Cruise were Hollywood's power couple, they adopted two children: a white daughter, Isabella, adopted as a newborn in December 1992; and an African-American son, Connor, adopted at four months in May 1995. After they divorce in 2001, Kidman and Cruise agreed to joint custody of their adopted children. When she moved to Australia, however, they chose to stay in Los Angeles with their father.

  • Joely Fisher


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    In September 2008 actress Joely Fisher and husband Christopher Duddy decided to expand their family, agreeing upon domestic adoption as the best course of action. Weeks after submitting their paperwork, they received a call that a local, African-American teen mom had given birth the day before and wanted to meet with Fisher to assess if she could provide a loving home for her baby girl. The meeting went swimmingly and, days later, Fisher brought home her third daughter, Olivia Luna.  

    More from The Stir: 15 Hollywood Celebrities You Didn't Know Were Adopted (PHOTOS)

  • Kristin Davis


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    Sex and the City fans remember the sheer joy Kristin Davis's character Charlotte York felt when she found out that her plans to adopt a baby girl from China has come to fruition. In an instance of life imitating art, Davis herself adopted a baby girl, Gemma Rose, in 2011. Davis, who is raising Gemma as a single parent, told Haute Living in December 2013 that she wasn't necessarily looking for a husband. "It has to be someone so awesome that I would bring him in and potentially share time with Gemma," she said. "I have a baby and I have to put her first and think about what she needs, and stability is a huge, huge part of that." 


  • Hugh Jackman


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    After Hugh Jackman's wife Deborra Lee-Furness endured several devastating miscarriages and years of IVF treatments, the couple decided to stop their attempts at conception and instead focus on becoming parents through adoption. In 2000, the couple adopted their mixed-race son Oscar. In a sit-down with Barbara Walters in 2009, the X-Men star said that adopting mixed-race children (Oscar and younger sister Ava) had been a deliberate choice since mixed-race children often wait three times as long as their white peers to be adopted. "It was like, where's the need? The need was obviously mixed-race children," Jackman said.

  • Madonna


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    In addition to her two biological children, Lourdes Leon, 19, and Rocco Ritchie, 15, pop icon Madonna has two adopted Malawian children: son David Banda, 10, whose biological mother died shortly after childbirth and who the singer met and subsequently adopted in 2006, when he was just 1 year old; and daughter Mercy James, 9, whom she adopted in 2009 at the age of 3. While some media outlets categorized her decision to adopt as a publicity stunt, Madonna said during an October 2006 appearance on The Oprah Winfrey Show that she was surprised and saddened by the negative press. "The media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa — not just Malawi — by turning it into such a negative thing,”she said.

  • Joey Mazzarino


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    Head Sesame Street writer Joey Mazzarino was inspired by Segi, the little girl he adopted from Ethiopia, to create a viral video in 2010 featuring a brown puppet singing about loving her hair. Mazzarino's video was meant to inspire self-love among black and brown girls like his own daughter, then 5. "I just want kids to know their hair is beautiful," Mazzarino said, noting he was inspired to write the piece after watching Segi go through a period of playing with Barbies and criticizing herself for not having the doll's long, straight, blond mane. "I just hope little girls see this and really feel positive and great about themselves."

    More from The Stir: 21 Celebrity Daughters Who Look Just Like Their Moms (PHOTOS)

  • Katherine Heigl


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    "Adoption has been a part of my life, so it was how I wanted to start," former Grey's Anatomy star Katherine Heigl told Redbook magazine in November 2010 of why she and husband Josh Kelley opted to adopt their first daughter Naleigh the previous year. In 2012, the couple decided to give Naleigh a sibling and again investigated the possibility of adopting from South Korea (Naleigh's homeland and also that of Heigl's adopted older sister Meg), only to find out adoptions had become increasingly difficult in the region. After opting to pursue a domestic adoption, the couple brought home a beautiful black newborn baby from Louisiana in April 2012, naming her Adalaide Maire Hope.

  • Steven Spielberg


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    Legendary film director Steven Spielberg and his wife, actress Kate Capshaw, have a modern, blended family that includes seven children: Jessica, 39, Capshaw's daughter with ex-husband Robert Capshaw; Max, 30, Spielberg's son with ex-wife Amy Irving; Sasha, 25, Sawyer, 23, and Destry, 19, whom the couple conceived together; and their two adopted black children Theo, 27, and Mikaela, 19. These days, siblings Sasha and Theo are in-demand DJs and musicians, comprising the band Wardell, which is signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation.


  • Jillian Michaels


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    Blessings came in pairs for fitness expert Jillian Michaels and her longtime partner Heidi Rhoades. In 2012, after an extensive and often frustrating 2-year-long process, Michaels brought home a 2-year-old daughter she'd adopted from Haiti: Lukensia. The crazy part? Seventy-two-hours before Michaels journeyed to Port-Au-Prince to pick up Lu, Rhodes gave birth to their son Phoenix. As it turns out, the couple had been so disheartened by the challenges of the adoption process that they decided to get pregnant and, in a serendipitous twist, both routes to parenting came to fruition at the exact same time!

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