Race relations may be doing better than any of us think. We bet you’d be surprised to find out just how many of your favorite white celebrities are raising black babies. A few stars have made their adoptions part of their publicity. But some have been raising multicultural families on the down-low for years.
The former Desperate Housewives and ‘Til Death seemed to be on a mission to find a black baby. First she went to Africa looking to adopt but told People that she found that people there needed more help sustaining their lives in their own country, not help from Americans taking their children away. So she went back to the United States and adopted an African-American daughter in 2008 named Olivia Luna.
Way back in 1993, Michelle adopted her daughter Claudia Rose. Claudia Rose has stayed out of the limelight since then. She’s now 20 and rarely shows up at red carpet events with her mother.
Sometimes life imitates fiction. Right after Sandra Bullock starred in The Blind Side, she went out and adopted her son Louis from Louisiana and became a single mother due to her split from the adulterous Jesse James.
When Mariska Hargitay set out to expand her family, she told people that she wanted to do it with black children:
“We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multi-racial family. We were considering both international and domestic adoption and we’re thrilled that this is the way our prayers were answered.”
In 2011, shortly before that interview, Mariska adopted two black children: Amaya Josephine and Andrew Nicolas Hargitay.
Mary Louise Parker & Billy Crudup
The former Weeds star and her boyfriend Billy Crudup adopted Caroline “Ash” Aberash, from Ethiopia in 2007. This was right in the middle of the African and Asian adoption trend that touched a lot of celebrities.
Remember this icon from the exercise videos? Jane Fonda’s not only a great actress, she’s a political activist. In the ’70s, she adopted Mary Luana Williams the 14-year-old daughter of Black Panthers she knew from East Oakland.
Back in the day, Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman adopted an African-American boy named Connor Cruise (they also adopted his older sister, Isabella Cruise). Connor is 17 years old now and an aspiring DJ. If you’re into Celebrity drama, Connor is definitely one to watch. Here’s what a friend of the family told In Touch Weekly about Connor:
“Connor has always had a difficult relationship with his parents, and it has definitely affected him. He has broken down crying about it…When he was young, Tom was always off doing his thing, working like a madman. He traveled all the time, and was totally focused on his career. When he came home, he didn’t always have much left to give.
“Tom is a very difficult man to get to know on a deep level. It’s almost like he treats Connor like a business associate rather than a son.”
“He’s starting to rebel against his father and the other components in their life, maybe even Scientology. He wants to be independent, but Tom doesn’t want to give up control over his son.”
On Sex and the City, Kristin Davis played a woman who adopted an Asian girl when she found out she couldn’t have children. After her experience with that role, Kristin Davis decided to bring fiction into reality. In 2011, she adopted a black baby girl named Gemma.
Charlize made it clear to the world that she was clueless about black folks’ struggle in the US when she tried to backdoor Viola Davis’ comment about struggling as a black actress with “You have to stop saying that, because you’re hot as sh-t.” So it was a surprise to learn that Charlize actually has a black child named Jackson. The South African native adopted him around the time of her statement.
The Biggest Loser fitness star has adopted two black children with her partner Heidi Rhoades. Here she is at the pool with her youngest daughter Lukensia while Pheonix is somewhere poolside staying out of the sun.
When Wolverine isn’t cutting up the X-Men’s enemies, he’s adopting babies. When he discovered that his wife Deborra-Lee Furness was infertile, he looked for other ways to expand his family. Both his son Oscar Maximillian and Oscar’s sister Ava Eliot are half black. And adopting “mixed race” children was a conscious decision on Hugh and Ava’s part. When they found out that kids of mixed racial parentage are adopted the least, they wanted to be sure that they were the ones to help fill that gap.
Madonna adopted Mercy James and David Banda from Malawi. That’s not news to most who follow Madonna’s career. What is surprising is the way she got the kids. Apparently, Mercy James’ biological family say that Madonna tricked them into thinking that they weren’t giving their daughter up permanently. Hopefully that’s not true.
The director of The Color Purple has two black children. His son, Theo Spielberg, is 20 and attending Yale University. His daughter, Mikaela, is 17. They may not show up on the red carpet much but they seem to be doing well.
It’s not news to anyone that Angelina and Brad adopted Zahara and Pax and Maddox. But she started this whole trend back in 2005 and no list would be complete without Angelina’s mixed brood. If you’re Jonesing for a family update, you can check all the kids out in Angelina’s new movie Maleficent.
The dad from Modern Family is also a father in real life. He and Holly, his wife of 15 years, have adopted two black children. They adopted their first daughter Frances back in 2010. Two years later, in March 2012, they adopted another little black girl to add to their growing family.