“I always tell her she was born from my heart, not my belly,” Viola Davis said about her adopted daughter.
Families come in all shapes and sizes — and from all around the world! Some parents even travel across the globe to find the missing piece that completes their families. And of course, it’s always worth the journey.
Plenty of famous families have welcomed children into their lives through adoption, whether it’s due to infertility, the hope of helping someone in need, or simply the desire to expand their brood. Celebs including Sia, Denise Richards and Viola Davis have all chosen to adopt and their children seem to be thriving in their new homes!
Check out these famous fams who have chosen to adopt!
1. Thomas Rhett & Lauren Akins
Thomas Rhett and his wife Lauren adopted their daughter Willa from Uganda in 2017. They began the adoption process after struggling to get pregnant for a “good chunk of time.” The couple had always been interested in adoption, thanks to Lauren’s work with non-profit 147 Million Orphans, so they took their struggle as a sign. But just months after starting the adoption process, they found out they were also expecting! The couple were able to take Willa home just a few months before welcoming her sister Ada.
“It’s funny to me how we tried so hard and then we didn’t try at all and it happened! We feel like it’s all part of the plan…We feel more than blessed,” Lauren told People.
Sia recently revealed that she adopted two boys in 2019, who were about to leave the foster care system. “I actually adopted two sons last year. They were both 18—they’re both 19 years old now. They were ageing out of the foster care system. Yeah, and I love them,” she shared on SiriusXM’s Hits 1.
She later noted that she didn’t plan on sharing any more about her son’s lives, telling the Kyle & Jackie O Show, “I’ve only had them for a year. I’m such an open book that I forget not everybody is…I instantly realised I can’t talk about my children’s private life. That’s not my news to share and I’m just learning because I’m just learning to be a mum.”
Hoda Kotb decided to adopt her little girls after her fight with breast cancer left her unable to have children. In 2017, Hoda announced the arrival of her daughter Haley and then in 2019, she welcomed daughter Hope.
“When you’re a mom late in life, you realize the gift it is. I’m not saying I wouldn’t have realized it when I was younger but trust me, when you’re a new mom for the first time at 52, you get on your knees and say thank you. Because you get to do something you didn’t think you had a shot at,” Hoda told People.
4. Luke Bryan & Caroline Boyer
Luke Bryan and his wife Caroline have two biological children but in 2014, the couple also took in their nieces and nephew after their parents passed away. Luke’s sister Kelly had unexpectedly passed in 2007 and her husband Ben died seven years later. The couple said that welcoming the young adults into their family was never even a question.
“We never thought twice about it. You know, it was never something that he and I had to sit down and talk about. ‘Should we take this on?’ We just did that,” Caroline said in an interview with Robin Roberts.
Angelina Jolie is perhaps one of the most well known celebrities to have expanded her family through adoption. She adopted her first son, Maddox, from Cambodia in 2002. Even though she was still married to Billy Bob Thornton, she filed for adoption as a single parent and the couple later split.
In 2005, she adopted daughter Zahara from Ethiopia and in 2007, she welcomed son Pax from Vietnam alongside her then-partner Brad Pitt.
“All adopted children come with a beautiful mystery of a world that is meeting yours. When they are from another race and foreign land, that mystery, that gift, is so full…They are not entering your world, you are entering each other’s worlds. I am very blessed to have been allowed to be their mom. I am grateful every day,” Angelina told Vogue India.
6. Katherine Heigl & Josh Kelley
In 2009, Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh adopted their little girl Naleigh from South Korea and three years later, domestically adopted her sister Adelaide.
“Josh and I started talking about it before we were even engaged. My sister Meg is Korean, and my parents adopted her three years before I was born. I wanted my own family to resemble the one I came from, so I always knew I wanted to adopt from Korea,” Katherine told Scholastic.
Katherine and Josh also share a biological son, Joshua Jr., who they welcomed in 2017.
Madonna adopted her first child David from Malawi in 2006 with her then-husband Guy Ritchie. After their split, Madonna returned to Malawi in 2009 to adopt her daughter Mercy. Eight years later, she adopted twins Stella and Estere from the same country.
“Sometimes I would just close my eyes and just think, ‘Why isn’t my kitchen filled with dancing children?’ There’s so many children that need a home. I thought, ‘What am I waiting for? Just do it,'” Madonna told People.
Madonna is also mom to daughter Lourdes from her relationship with Carlos Leon and son Rocoo from her relationship with Guy.
In 2011, Denise Richards adopted her little girl Eloise, named after her late mother, as a single parent.
“I felt like I wasn’t done having children, and I’ve always wanted to have a large family. And so after my divorce I felt like, ‘Oh well, I’m sure I’ll soon enough get remarried and have my family [grow],’ and that wasn’t in the cards at the time, so I decided to expand my family on my own,” she told People.
The “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star also shares daughters Lola and Sam with ex Charlie Sheen.
Sandra Bullock adopted her son Louis in January of 2010, amid her divorce from ex Jesse James. Two years later, she adopted a little girl named Laila, but kept the whole process very personal.
“I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time…My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding. That’s a family,” Sandra told People.
10. Hugh Jackman & Deborra-Lee Furness
Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborra-Lee Furness decided to adopt after dealing with several miscarriages and IVF.
“It was not easy. It was difficult, obviously particularly on Deb. I remember saying to her, ‘We were always going to adopt — let’s just adopt now,'” Hugh told Jess Cagle.
This led to the couple welcoming their children – Oscar in 2000 and Ava in 2005.
Meg Ryan adopted her daughter Daisy from China in 2006, just after separating from her ex Dennis Quaid.
“I am convinced, completely convinced that there was nothing random about [the adoption]. She is the daughter I should have,” she told Redbook, adding, “I never felt like I was on a rescue mission or anything like that. I just really wanted a baby; I was on a mission to connect with somebody, and Daisy and I got to meet each other in this way at this time. We are so compatible.”
Meg also has a son named Jack that she shares with Dennis.
12. Viola Davis & Julius Tennon
In 2011, Viola Davis and her husband Julius Tennon adopted their daughter Genesis, which she revealed during an acceptance speech at Elle’s Women in Hollywood gala.
“There are so many ways to mother rather than to carry a child in your body. So many children need parents, and so many of us want to mother. Know that you will experience motherhood to the full extent…I always tell Genesis she was born from my heart, not my belly,” Viola later told InStyle.
Connie Britton adopted her son Yoby from Ethiopia after a three year process. She made the decision after the passing of her father, which pushed her to move forward with her application, and her involvement with the African Children’s Choir and Worldwide Orphans.
“It was such a wonderful moment of completion. I was just grinning from ear to ear…He’s charming and charismatic, and his laugh is pure joy,” Connie said of bringing him home.
14. Emma Thompson & Greg Wise
Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise informally adopted a 16-year-old Rwandan refugee and former child soldier named Tindyebwa in 2003 after meeting him at a refugee council event. The family invited him to join them for Christmas and he slowly became a part of the family.
“He’s a remarkable boy. He’s had more misery than hopefully any of us will have to put up with. That’s given him an incredible drive for trying to make people’s lives better,” Greg told Daily Mail’s Weekend magazine.
Emma and Greg also have a biological daughter named Gaia.
In 2014, Rosario Dawson adopted her daughter Isabella when she was 11-years-old and credits the lack of technology between the duo to their close bond.
“She was a very whole person. We’re building up trust even still…I think it would have been difficult to bond so late in her life, and in our lives together, if we’d had technology between us. My daughter looks me in the eye, and we talk to each other. I think that’s important,” she told Women’s Health magazine.
Sharon Stone adopted her son Roan with her then-husband Phil Bronstein back in 2000. Five years later, Sharon decided to expand her family as a single parent by adopting her son Laird and then in 2006, adopting her son Quinn.
“Motherhood didn’t come easily, but it came lovingly to me by angels. We’re a happy and lucky family. That is the credo we stand for,” she said while accepting the Mother of the Year Award from the Associates For Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies.
After dealing with breast cancer and fearing she wouldn’t be able to have children naturally, Sheryl Crow adopted her son Wyatt. Three years later, she also welcomed her son Levi via adoption.
“Adopting my boys — that’s just been the biggest everlasting event that has informed everything and really for the better,” Sheryl told People.
Nicole Kidman and her then-husband Tom Cruise decided to adopt after Nicole suffered an ectopic pregnancy shortly after the couple married. The duo welcomed their daughter Isabella in 1992 and three years later, welcomed their son Connor.
“My mother has an adopted sister, so it’s been part of our family and I knew it would probably play out somewhere in mine. I didn’t think it would happen so early but it did,” Nicole told Vanity Fair.
Michelle Pfeiffer adopted her daughter Claudia in 1993, around the time that she met her now-husband David E. Kelly.
“The adoption process was already in motion when he and I met. So when she came, he and I had only been together for about two months….But I really got to see him in a situation that certainly would separate the boys from the men. Obviously, he really rose to the occasion,” Michelle told Good Housekeeping.
Michelle and David are also parents to a biological son named John.
Lionel Richie and his then-wife Brenda Harvey-Richie welcomed their daughter Nicole into their home at age three when her biological family was experiencing hardships. The couple fell in love with the little girl and officially adopted her when she was nine.
“I knew the mother and I knew the father and, of course, they were having difficulties with their relationship. I said, ‘While you are having the difficulty, the kid is sitting out here in limbo so I’ll tell you what I’ll do, just put the kid in my house until the tour is over with and then we will sort this out later,'” Lionel told Piers Morgan.
He added, “So it took about maybe a year for me to just fall in love and she was a little button. And of course by that time I was Dad…and that’s when I said, ‘Let’s adopt her.'”
Ty Burrell and his wife Holly adopted their daughter Frances in 2010, and in 2012, they added her sister Greta to the family.
“In a weird way, it wasn’t planned, it’s a weird thing how adoptions can sometimes be as irrational as regular birth…My wife Holly and I were on an airplane on a flight from LA to New York and when we got on the flight we had intended to never have kids. When we got off in New York, we were crying that we were going to have a kid, so it was unplanned. And then, when we did it again, it was similarly irrational,” Ty told Stuff.