November is National Adoption Month, recognizing the urgent need for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. Celebrities have taken this approach for years, utilizing their platform and resources to help children in need. Check out a gallery of celebrities who chose adoption inside.
Some of the more notable celebrities, who have chosen adoption include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Madonna and Viola Davis. Some of these A-listers landed on adoption as a choice. While others realized it might be their only option due to fertility issues. Despite how these celebrities may have come to their decisions, it ultimately saved many children from the overcrowded and underfunded foster care system.
National Adoption Month celebrated throughout the month of November is set aside to raise awareness about the necessity for adoptive families for children and youth in foster care. The history of National Adoption Month dates back to 1976 when Massachusetts Governor Mike Dukakis announced the first Adoption Week. Governor Dukakis’ vision expanded quickly throughout the nation. So much that in 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed the first National Adoption Week. In 1995, under President Bill Clinton, the week expanded to the entire month of November.
The month is meant to encourage others to learn about adoption, to hold adoption related events, and to acknowledge the people in this country whose lives have been impacted by adoption. The mission of National Adoption Month is to celebrate the families who have grown through adoption, and to recognize the many children who are still waiting for forever families.
Each year, the Children’s Bureau leads this initiative by way of a collaborative partnership between Child Welfare Information Gateway and AdoptUSKids, which supports activities that promote the adoption of children and youth from foster care into permanent, loving families.
Across the nation, events and observances such as volunteer recruitment, recognition dinners, fundraising drives, community activities, and other special occurrences take place.
Aside from traditional foster care people are most familiar with, there are several types of adoption options like immediate adoption situations, same-sex adoption, transracial adoption, open, semi-open or closed adoption. Learn more about these options through the Adoption Network here.
Check out a list of celebrities who have chosen adoption throughout the years below:
1. Angelina Jolie and Brad PittSource:_phophoh
The now split couple share biological children Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne. Pitt and Jolie also adopted Maddox, Pax, and Zahara from Cambodia, Vietnam, and Ethiopia, respectively.
2. Viola DavisSource:women_direct
When Davis was on the cover of InStyle Magazine in 2015, she shared that she “always tell(s) Genesis she was born from my heart, not my belly.”
3. Lionel RichieSource:Nicole Richie
Lionel took Nicole in when she was 4, because her parents, friends of his, were experiencing personal and financial difficulties.
He shared in a September 2015 interview with Piers Morgan that it didn’t take long for him to consider Nicole part of the family, saying, “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.'”
Madonna’s four adopted kids were all born in Malawi, Africa
She told People in 2017, “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.'”
5. Josephine BakerSource:fashionastro
Baker and her husband adopted twelve children from multiple countries. Baker said that having survived poverty and segregation in America, she wanted to assemble a “rainbow tribe” to serve as a living demonstration of unity.
6. Kristin DavisSource:MovienewsUsa
Kristin Davis teared up during an episode of Red Table Talk while describing the racism her African-American, adopted son and daughter have experienced.
“It’s one thing to watch it happening to other people, but another to watch it happening to your child,” the “Sex and the City”alum told Jada Pinkett Smith and Adrienne Banfield-Norris on the show. “It’s a big issue and I think about it every day and every night.”
7. Mariska HartigaySource:Mariska Hartigay
“Adoption is not for the faint of heart,” Hargitay shared in Good Housekeeping. She revealed that they had been chosen to adopt a baby, and even witnessed the child’s birth, before the birth mother changed her mind.
Fortunately, Hargitay and Hermann were chosen to adopt their daughter Amaya, soon after. Then, six months later, they adopted their son Andrew.
8. Patti LaBelleSource:Patti LaBelle
Out of Patti LaBelle’s five children, two of them are adopted. The two boys were adopted after their biological mom died.
9. Jenifer LewisSource:Jenifer Lewis
Jenifer Lewis adopted her daughter Charmaine when she was 12 and she says it changed her life.
“When I joined the Big Sister/Big Brother program, it was me taking care of me. But when I met Charmaine, my whole life changed,” the actress reveals in her book, The Black Mother of Hollywood.
10. Magic JohnsonSource:Magic Johnson
Magic Johnson and his wife Cookie adopted a daughter named Elisa in 1995.
11. Wyclef JeanSource:LunionSuite
Wyclef and his wife Maria adopted a daughter named Angelina in 2005.
12. Alfre WoodardSource:MixedDem
Alfre Woodard and her husband adopted a daughter named Mavis and a son named Duncan.
13. Rev Run & Justine SimmonsSource:Rev Run
Rev Run and his wife Justine Simmons adopted a little girl named Miley in 2007.