Aaron Judge, the right fielder for the New York Yankees, is one of the most recognized players in the Major League Baseball (MLB). Now in his seventh season with the Yankees, this star player has already earned titles like Rookie of the Year, Silver Slugger, and MLB All-Star. He broke records in his rookie year, and at just 30 years old, Aaron Judge is already a household name in the sports arena. If you follow the major leagues, you have undoubtedly heard of Aaron Judge before.
But did you know that Aaron Judge was adopted?
Talented and respectful, the Yankees’ VP of scouting calls Judge the “super package.” And Aaron Judge truly is, giving most of the credit to his parents, Wayne and Patty Judge, two retired physical education teachers from California. While they did not exactly give him his 6-foot-7, 275-lb stature, they did teach Aaron how to be a devoted, hardworking, respectful man from day one.
Judge professed to the New York Post, “My parents are amazing, they’ve taught me so many lessons. I honestly can’t thank them enough for what they’ve done for me.” Of his bond with his mom and dad, he proudly stated, “I’m blessed.”
Aaron’s mother Patty says that it is actually her and her husband who are truly blessed, having adopted two wonderful sons and having been able to watch them grow into such successful individuals.
Aaron Judge’s Adoption Story
Aaron Judge was born on April 26, 1992. Patty and Wayne Judge adopted Aaron as a newborn, on the second day of his life, April 27, 1992. Judge’s parents call that day a miracle, and this baseball star agrees. He told The Post, “I feel they kind of picked me… that God was the one that matched us together.”
Aaron Judge has a closed adoption, meaning he does not (and never has) had any contact with his biological parents. He claims that he has never wanted to, either. In a Newsday interview, Judge simply stated, “I have one set of parents, the ones that raised me. That’s how it is.”
His feelings towards his adoption have always been to this degree—he did not feel the need to learn all the details about his family history or search for his birth parents. He had some questions about his adoption when he was around ten years old.
He told the New York Post, “I was about 10 or 11 and we really didn’t look alike, so I started asking questions and they told me I was adopted and answered all my questions, and that was that. I was fine with it. It really didn’t bother me because that the only parents I’ve known.”
Judge further explained in an interview with MLB.com, “They just kind of told me I was adopted. I was like, ‘OK, that’s fine with me.’ You’re still my mom, the only mom I know. You’re still my dad, the only dad I know.”
As soon as the conversation was opened about Aaron Judge’s adoption story, he was comfortable with it. He was able to find peace knowing that adoption was part of his story, but did not define him. He was – and remains to be – grateful for the set of parents he was “blessed” with, explaining:
“I know I wouldn’t be a New York Yankee if it wasn’t for my mom. The guidance she gave me as a kid growing up, knowing the difference from right and wrong, how to treat people and how to go the extra mile and put in extra work, all that kind of stuff. She’s molded me into the person that I am today.”
Aaron Judge on Talking About Adoption
Of course, not all children who were adopted feel this way about their adoption story. In order to develop a sense of identity, find meaning in their lives, or fill in some missing pieces, many adoptees seek out information regarding their biology. This is completely normal.
If you are an adoptive parent, welcome your child to ask questions. Give them the answers you can, in an age-appropriate fashion. Be open and flexible to your child’s needs as he or she grows. Remember that, in the end, you are his or her parents. Your child knows this, and will always love you for it.
Aaron Judge put it perfectly when he told Newsday, “Some kids grow in their mom’s stomach; I grew in my mom’s heart… She’s always showed me love and compassion ever since I was a little baby.” For this reason, he explains, “I’ve never needed to think differently or wonder about anything.”
Still, Aaron Judge feels for the thousands of adoptees out there who may feel alone or incomplete; those who have lingering, unanswered questions; those who are afraid to offend their adoptive parents. For them, he advises, “Be open, talk to their [adoptive] parents about the situation, [learn] what happened, maybe get some answers about it.”
As an open adoption agency, Adoptions With Love could not agree more. Even if the adoption is closed, talking about adoption is an extremely important step for a child. Not only does it help the child’s sense of identity, it also makes way for an open, trusting relationship between the child and their parents. Having adoption conversions can also help a child accept and grow proud of his or her adoption story, which is very central for a positive adoption experience.
Whether you are an adoptive parent, birth parent, or an adoptee, know that you are not alone. Millions of people have been touched by adoption in some way – including famous athletes like Aaron Judge. If you would ever like to talk about adoption in a safe and confidential space, or simply learn more about the positive act of adoption, you can always call Adoptions With Love toll-free at 1-800-722-7731 or text us at 617-777-0072.
You can also learn more about the experience of adopted persons by downloading our free eBook here.