11 Celebs on the Birth Side of Adoption


Teen Mom Catelynn and TylerIt's one act that's rife with controversy. It's selfless, some say. Selfish, say the others. And nine times out of 10, the decision to give your child up for adoption is made when you're just a kid.

So what happens next? The biological parents have lives to live too. As the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reminds birth parents, "Moving forward does not mean that you will ever forget your baby, just that you are ready to accept the adoption and move on to a new part of your life."

As National Adoption Awareness Month kicks off, here are some amazing people who didn't let a harrowing ordeal in their past stop them:

Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra. They're known because they gave up their daughter in the groundbreaking MTV reality show Teen Mom, but it's their story that has changed perceptions about biological parents drastically in recent months. Shown going through the grief process post-adoption, the teens have proven that often the adoption choice isn't just good for the baby -- it's good for the parents too.

Rod Stewart. He was "17 or 18" and completely broke when daughter Sarah Streeter was adopted. Now the "Forever Young" singer has a second chance and re-connected with Streeter in the wake of her parents' death.

Kate Mulgrew. Before she was on Star Trek The X-Files, she was on Ryan's Hope, where a storyline followed her character's pregnancy. In real life, Mulgrew was pregnant too -- a baby she gave up for adoption. The two were reunited in 2001.

David Crosby. Before he donated sperm to help Melissa Etheridge become a mom and before he sang at Woodstock, the Mighty Cros and a girlfriend gave up a little boy in the early '60s. The boy grew up to be James Raymond, a musician who has since performed with his dad.

Roseanne Barr. She was a high school dropout and fresh out of a mental institution when she gave birth to Brandi Brown at age 17. The baby girl was adopted by another family, but they reunited in 1989, and Brown even worked on her mom's TV show in the '90s.

Mercedes Ruehl. The Tony Award winning actress gave up a little boy, Christopher, in her youth, then years later adopted a child herself. Today Christopher is godfather to her younger child.

Andy Kaufman. The quirky comedian and subject of Jim Carrey flick Man on the Moon had a child with his high school girlfriend who they gave up for adoption. Kaufman rocketed to stardom on Taxi, but he died in 1984, and little is known about the child today.

Patti Smith. The rocker was just 16 and a high school dropout when she gave up her child for adoption, well before her album Horses took the punk rock scene by storm.

Joni Mitchell. She sang a song about a child "born with the moon in cancer," and that was hers, a little girl named Kilauren Gibb who she gave up for adoption. The Grammy Award winning singer/song-writer met her in 2001.

Linda Lovelace. She may be the most famous porn star to have lived, but when she gave birth to a son out of wedlock at 20, it was her mother who made the decision to give the child up for adoption.


Image via MTV



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Carol A LaPlante

Kate Mulgrew was never on the X-Files. She was the first female captain (Kathryn Janeway) helming a series (Star Trek Voyager).

jeann... jeannesager

Thanks Carol, some resources said she was on the X-Files, but other sites differ!

Amyin... AmyinMotown

What a cool story! I had NO IDEA.

AngiDas AngiDas

Kate Mulgrew is just pretty awesome all around.

Anyways, adoption is such a wonderful,fearless and hard choice for a birth mother to make.

Luke Erickson

You're actually not doing adoptees any favors with this story. In fact, you're perpetuating a dangerous stereotypical fantasy -- "My 'real' Mom/Dad is someone famous" -- that can cause real psychological damage when the reality is revealed to them later on in life.

Diane Aguilar

It's also not good to use the phrase "birth mom/dad/parents" because it perpetuates the myth that being a parent is biological in nature. Who your parents are -- the REAL ones -- are the ones who raise you and nurture you throughout life. These people are simply the people who gave up children (not their own) for adoption. If they later reunite with them, they probably have more of a friendship-based relationship, but parenthood is much more about nurturing during those formative years.

By the way, I commend Catelynn and Tyler for doing what has become rare these days amongst teens and giving up the child Catelynn gave birth to for adoption. That child will have so much better a life thanks to their wise actions, and when Catelynn and Tyler are ready to become parents I'm sure they'll do an infinitely better job than the selfish brats who keep the babies they conceived/gave birth to but leave all the raising up to their parents or simply abandon "their" kids but refuse to give them up until real psychological damage has been done and they're taken away by CPS, all because they want "their" kids, but in the same way that a little child wants his/her favorite toy.

nonmember avatar Tulasi-Priya

Giving a person life, and sheltering them in your body for nine months, and making the difficult decision to override all one's natural feelings of motherhood and fatherhood so that the child can be properly cared for, I would say qualifies one to be called "birth mom" or "birth dad." In most cases, there would be no one for the adoptive parents to parent if not for the biological parents who give them a child. We're not bio-machines cranking out mini-machines, we're human beings having children, and giving them up. To use those terms is to give credit where credit is due. Let's not get hung up on labels. And being adopted does not automatically mean the child will have a better life than if he or she had stayed with the birth parents. There are plenty of unhappy adopted children.

kuwel... kuwelsdestiny

I love this post. I AM A BIRTHMOM! And guess what Ms. Aguilar? My twins parents (not ADOPTIVE parents, just parents) call me their Birthmom. And guess what else? It is a tremendous comfort to see that there are other people, regardless of their circumstance, who know what we (not I) went through. In no way should Birth~Motherhood EVER be simplified and turned into something less than what it is.

I spent 3 months in the hospital while I was pregnant with those babies. Read it - THEY WOULD NOT BE ALIVE if I had not made the choices that I did so that they would be born healthy. You dont know what it is like, you dont know how it feels, therefore you have NO RIGHT to say what label is right and what is not.

For the record, some Bmoms prefer the term natural mother, some prefer Birthmom, but the unselfish act of carrying a baby (or two in my case) for 9 months and then presenting that baby as a gift to a couple who will love and cherish it in ways that the birthmother KNOWS she cannot, is a true act of motherhood.

nonmember avatar birthmom

We birthmothers never "gave up" our child for anything. We placed them in a position to be raised by a loving family with advantages we couldn't provide but wanted for them. Increasingly we are placing our children in families we chose for them ourselves, and maintaining contact in open adoption relationships. This is not always easy, but adoption research shows it's better for our kids to know us. If you are a birthmother and you have never met another birthmother, call On Your Feet Foundation or On Your Feet Foundation Northern California.

nonmember avatar JBM2009

I'm a proud birthmother. The article says that 9 times out of 10 the birthparents are in their youth but I know birthparents who placed in their teens and 40's. These kind of blanketing statement perpetuate a very negative stereotype about birthparents that somehow all of us were too young to parent. I got pregnant in my 20's, not in high school. I did not give up my child but placed my child in arms of her adoptive parents. I made my decision to place out of love and selflessness. I did what any parent would do...I did what was best for my child not what was best for myself. And please stop using the term "give up" because none of us ever gave up on our children. Thank you.

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