We like to think of celebrities as the alpha humans; superior beings that simply have it all. In reality, the lives we see celebrities living in gossip magazines and on late-night talk shows often only tell a small part of the story.
Just like all of us, celebrities have challenges in their lives that they must overcome. Situations like unwanted pregnancies at a young age or the inability to financially support a child are just a few of the scenarios that some famous celebrities have had to deal with in their lives. While it might not always make the front page of the magazines, stars giving up their children for adoption does happen. In fact, some of the biggest stars in Hollywood have had to do just that, but you won’t believe who!
#18 Roseanne Barr
Roseanne Barr has had a long-standing acting career, most of which came from the popularity of her television sitcom “Roseanne.” At 18-years-old, Barr got pregnant. As much as she wanted to keep the child, she was unable to support herself let alone a child as she spent much of her pregnancy living at a Salvation Army. When her daughter, Brandi Brown, turned 17-years-old, the two finally met.
#17 Albert Einstein
Perhaps one of the more surprising appearances on the list, it’s been widely reported that Albert Einstein had a child out of wedlock with the woman he was soon to marry, Mileva Maric. The exact facts are unclear, but the information indicates that either the child was put up for adoption because having an illegitimate child was shameful at the time, or she might have died from scarlet fever.
#16 Ted Nugent
Ted Nugent gave up his son for adoption after having him with his girlfriend at the time in 1968. Perhaps unsurprisingly, that wasn’t the only child that he’s given up for adoption. In 2010, Nugent was reunited with his son his daughter named Louisa that he had previously given up during another relationship.
#15 Kate Mulgrew
Kate Mulgrew’s career officially started to grow when she earned a few roles on some soap opera’s in 1977. That path eventually led her to “Orange Is The New Black,” the Netflix series that she now stars in. Besides her career growing in the 70’s, she also became pregnant. Mulgrew had no desire to marry the child’s father, so she put the baby up for adoption. She eventually met her daughter in 2001.
#14 Joni Mitchell
Joni Mitchell is one of the biggest rock stars of all-time, but in 1965 she was just a 21-year-old kid that had gotten pregnant out of wedlock. With no money and the social consequences of being unmarried and having a child firmly in mind, Mitchell decided to put her daughter up for adoption. She had a desire to meet her daughter in 1977, so Mitchell made a public announcement that she was looking for her, and she was eventually reunited with daughter Kilauren Gibb.
#13 Duane Lee Chapman AKA “Dog the Bounty Hunter”
“Dog the Bounty Hunter,” or Duane Lee Chapman as is his legal name, had a child that he never even knew about. When he was a teenager, he got his girlfriend pregnant and apparently, she never bothered to tell him about it. Shortly after having the child, she committed suicide and the child was put up for adoption. Eventually, Chapman found out about the child’s existence and was reunited with his son.
#12 Clark Gable
In 1935, Clark Gable and Loretta Young were dating. Unexpected and completely unplanned, Young got pregnant. The couple decided to put the child in an orphanage, but Young later felt guilty and returned to legally adopt the child 19-months later. Gable didn’t share Young’s feelings, and he never officially admitted to being the child’s father.
#11 Linda Lovelace
Star of numerous adult films, Linda Lovelace also got pregnant by accident when she was only 19-years-old. Although she wanted to keep the child and raise it on her own, her mother had other ideas and pressured her to put her son up for adoption. To this day, Lovelace has never met the son she gave up.
#10 Patti Smith
Patti Smith accidentally got pregnant when she was merely a 19-year-old kid herself. Because she was so young with no money to speak of and no husband, her parents sent her to a foster home during her pregnancy so that the neighbours would never know. After Smith gave birth to her child, she immediately put it up for adoption and they’ve never been reunited.
#9 Hank Williams, Sr.
Sadly, Hank Williams Sr. never got to meet his daughter Jett Williams. He died from heart failure at 29-years-old only five days before she was born. After his death, Jett was adopted by Hank’s mother Lillian Stone, but then she died when Jett was only 2-years-old. Jett was then adopted by another family in Alabama.
#8 David Crosby
David Crosby of and his son now play together in Crosby’s new band, “CPR.” That’s quite a miracle, though, seeing as Crosby fathered him back in 1962 and didn’t see him for another 32 years. Fortunately, his son got must of inherited some musical talent because he’s also an incredible musician.
#7 Rod Stewart
When Rod Stewart was a teenager, 17-years-old to be exact, he fathered his first of eight children. That child was put up for adoption by the mother, but eventually, Stewart and his daughter Sarah were reunited. They first met in 1980 but only really started to connect when they met again in 2007.
#6 Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton is now a successful celebrity chef, but in the 1980’s, he and his wife’s finances were nowhere near as secure. They had no idea that Muriel was even pregnant until she went into labor, and because of their situation, they decided to put their son up for adoption. The Thornton’s immediately got in touch with him as soon as he turned 18-years-old.
#5 Andy Kaufman
The story of Andy Kaufman and his daughter, Maria Colonna, is a sad one. While Kaufman was still in high school, he got his girlfriend pregnant. They subsequently decided they were too young for such a responsibility and put the child up for adoption. Kaufman was never reunited with his daughter because by the time she found out that she was his daughter, he had already died in 1984.
#4 Mercedes Ruehl
Mercedes Ruehl has accomplished a lot in her life, even winning an Oscar. Before all that, though, she made the tough decision to put her son up for adoption in 1976. She felt she was too young to raise a child at 28-years-old, and she knew that she wasn’t mature enough or as financially secure as she felt she should be to raise a child. Ruehl eventually adopted a child of her own in 1995, and she met her first son Christopher when he turned 21-years-old.
#3 Dirk Benedict
Dirk Benedict of “Battlestar Galactica” had no say in putting his son up for adoption because he didn’t even know he existed. His girlfriend got pregnant in 1968 but didn’t tell Benedict. He finally found out 30-years-later that he had a son named John Talbot, and the two were reunited. You’ll never believe this next star gave their child up for adoption…
#2 Jack Wagner
As many actors can likely admit to doing at one point or another, Jack Wagner had a one-night stand with a woman. Apparently, that same woman got pregnant and forgot to tell him until having their daughter. Wagner was initially uncertain of whether or not he was actually the father, and the mother decided to put their child up for adoption. Wagner and his daughter reconnected 23-years later.
#1 Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra
Catelynn Lowell and Tyler Baltierra got their first taste of marginal fame while they were on the MTV reality show “16 And Pregnant.” The show followed them through the entire process of putting their daughter Carly up for adoption, and it even followed them during the post-adoption process. With everything they shared publicly, the couple now feels like representatives for biological parents everywhere as they go through the process of adoption.
Clearly, celebrities have some complicated lives just like everyday people. As much as they might seem perfect in magazines and interviews, they’re often very imperfect with their own flawed stories to tell.
Putting a child up for adoption is a very personal decision, and each situation is different. These stars obviously felt like it was the right decision at the time, and it’s nice to see that many of them were reconnected with their kids at some point.
Which of these celebrity adoption stories were you most blown away by? Let us know in the comments, and make sure to share the story with your family and friends!