Adoptions With Love Blog

Famous Birth Parents You May Not Know About

When confronted with an unplanned pregnancy, considering making an adoption plan for your baby, is the most difficult and emotional decision a woman can contemplate.  The decision to place a child for adoption is incredibly difficult. It takes a lot of strength and courage to make this selfless and loving decision. Making an adoption plan is an act of love—it requires putting your child’s needs before your own, in order to give him a life beyond what you can provide at the time.

Adoption can be emotional, lonely, and – in some families – undiscussed or misunderstood. There are, however, many celebrities who are speaking up about their own adoption experiences, and helping others to see that adoption is nothing to hide. Choosing to make an adoption plan means choosing to make a plan for your baby’s life. It requires great strength and consideration. Making an adoption plan can bring wonderful outcomes for everyone involved.

These 10 famous birth parents are just a few examples of the many celebrities who chose adoption for their children – and who are open about it.

Roseanne Barr

Long before this comedian and television star worked in Hollywood, Roseanne Barr gave birth as a teenager. She had just spent some time in a psychiatric  institution the previous year, and was not prepared to raise a baby at that time in her life. She placed her daughter, Brandi, for adoption. Roseanne reunited with her daughter many years later, and the two even worked together when Brandi became a Production Assistant on the set of “Roseanne.”

David Crosby

Back in the early 1960s, musician David Crosby and his girlfriend welcomed a baby boy. Together, the two decided to place the child for adoption. Many years later, while preparing for an operation, Crosby learned that his son had been looking for him. The two reunited, and have even gone on to perform on stage and record an album together.

Clark Gable

The story of Clark Gable’s daughter is a lesson in how much the times have changed since the 1930s. Back then, the legendary actor had an affair with Loretta Young. When Young learned she was pregnant, out of wedlock, and with a married man’s child, she decided to keep the “scandal” under wraps. After giving birth, she brought the baby girl to various orphanages before claiming to have “adopted” her when she was a toddler. Young never revealed who the father was, and so her daughter did not know it was Gable until five years after his death. She had only met him once when she was 15 years old.

Andy Kaufman

The story of Andy Kaufman’s birth daughter is another cautionary tale relating to closed adoptions. The radical comedian had a child with his high school sweetheart, who was placed for adoption at birth. Once his daughter, Maria Bellu-Colonna, grew up she filed (and won) a petition with the state of New York to find her biological mother’s surname. She reunited with her birth mother and other family members, but the year was 1992. Kaufman died in 1984.

Joni Mitchell

When the iconic folk singer was just a struggling musician at the young age of 20, she gave birth to a daughter. At the time, she wanted to find a way to stay with her daughter, but did not want her own parents to find out. She was also financially unstable and, as a result, made the selfless decision to place her baby for adoption. Mitchell reunited with her daughter many years later and has been quoted, “I’ve felt pain and joy in my life, but nothing like this.” The mother and daughter enjoy a close relationship to this day.

Kate Mulgrew

The “Orange is the New Black” star has openly discussed placing her daughter for adoption back in the 1970s, when Mulgrew was a blossoming actress at 21 years old. She was young, lacking a stable career, and unprepared to become a parent as she was pursuing her dreams. In an interview about the adoption, Mulgrew once said, “I wouldn’t trade the experience. I also wouldn’t repeat it. It’s a lingering pain, a pain that will always be there.” Mulgrew and her biological daughter were reunited in 2001.  Mulgrew wrote a book about this experience, Born with Teeth.

Mercedes Ruehl

The Oscar-winning actress – best known for her roles in “The Fisher King,” “Big,” and 2019’s “Hustlers” – is also a birth mom and an adoptive mom. When she was 28 years old, she gave birth to a son named Christopher. She and Christopher were reunited when he was 21, and Christopher is now the godfather to Mercedes Ruehl’s adopted son, Jake. Talk about a full circle moment!

Patti Smith

The Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famer – often referred to as the “Godmother of Punk” – gave birth to a child when she was just 19 years old. At the time, she lived with her parents and three siblings in a small house where there was not room for another addition to the family. Her mother was a hard-working waitress who was already burnt out. With little support and financial stability, her parents sent her to live in a foster home until she gave birth. She placed her child for adoption immediately after giving birth, and has never reunited with the child.

Rod Stewart

The Grammy-winning Australian rocker was a teenager when he found out that his girlfriend was pregnant. The two decided to place their daughter, Sarah Streeter, for adoption. He once told CNN that he has been trying to build a relationship with his now grown-up birth daughter since her adoptive parents have passed.

Jay Thomas

The “Murphy Brown” star was just rising to fame when he and his girlfriend found out she was expecting a child. The two discussed what to do and finally decided that adoption was the best path. He once told People Magazine, “It was painful. We talked about getting married, but I realized that we would have the kid and then get divorced, and I didn’t want that. I didn’t want him to be mixed up in a bad situation that was not of his making.” Thomas’s biological son tracked him down at age 28, and the two became fast friends. They enjoyed a close relationship for many years before Thomas’ death.

These stars are just a few of the many birth parents who have braved the adoption journey. Though not always an easy experience, these famous birth parents can serve as examples for those considering placing a child for adoption – that, through adoption, a happy life (full of opportunity) is in reach, for both you and your child.

If you are pregnant and are considering making an adoption plan, please reach out to Adoptions With Love. Our caring staff can talk to you during this difficult time and help you find adoptive parents for your baby. We never place any pressure on expectant/birth mothers. We are here to help. Contact us, anytime, at 1-800-722-7731, or text us confidentially at 617-777-0072.