15 Celebrities Who Put Their Children Up For Adoption

Celebs December 20, 2017 By Hugo

Having children is often considered the pinnacle of the human experience, and if you raise a family with your loved one, it can sometimes be even more rewarding, but unfortunately, not every pregnancy is planned, and even celebrities have sometimes had to give their children up for adoption. 

Here are 15 examples. 

1. Clark Gable

Clark Gable was one of the biggest movie stars of his time and is still referred to as "The King of Hollywood" after starring in a string of well-received movies, including Margaret Mitchell's epic love saga, Gone with the Wind.


However, Gable made news for more than just his movie roles when it transpired that Gable's girlfriend at the time, Loretta Young, had given their baby up for adoption in 1935. Having a change of heart, Young then got the baby back 19 months later, but Gable never acknowledged that he was the father.

2. Kevin Thornton 

The celebrity chef and his wife Murial were faced with the odd dilemma of whether to keep a child they didn't know they had until the pregnancy.

YouTube/ GreatChefs

Oddly, Thronton's wife didn't believe she was pregnant until going into labor, and because they were unprepared for a child, they decided to give it up for adoption. When the child turned 18, he reached out to them.

3. Patti Smith

Patti Smith was working at a factory in New Jersey when she unexpectedly fell pregnant, so her parents decided to send her away to a foster home, so the neighbors didn't find out about the pregnancy.

Shutterstock/ miqu77

In the end, Smith decided to put her baby up for adoption and was sadly never reunited with her child.

4. Rod Stewart

The lead singer of The Faces would go on to find global fame as a solo artist, but Stewart's personal life has often been a source of contention due to the number of women he's slept with, and it appeared he started early as by 17 he had already fathered a child.

Shutterstock/ Debby Wong

Sadly, that child, who was the first of 8, would be put up for adoption by the biological mom, Samantha Boffey but Stewart reconnected with the girl in the 1980s, though it wasn't until 2007 that the two became close.

5. Andy Kaufman

The legendary comedian Andy Kaufman, who Jim Carey famously portrayed in the movie Man on the Moon, was faced with a moral dilemma after getting his then-girlfriend pregnant while still in high school. 

YouTube/ Saturday Night Live

Eventually, Kaufman's girlfriend decided to have the child adopted, and it wasn't until the comedian's death in 1984 that Maria Colonna discovered who her birth father was.

6. Mercedes Ruehl

The Academy Award-winning actress decided to give her son Christopher up for adoption at the more mature age of 28, yet claimed that she lacked the "emotional development or the economic capability" to raise him.

Shutterstock/ Everett Collection

But in a nice turn of events, Christopher met up with his biological mother when he turned 21, and she then decided to adopt son Jake, in 1995.

7. Jay Thomas

The American actor Jay Thomas gave his son up for adoption when his acting career was taking off.

Shutterstock/ Terry Straehley

Along with his girlfriend, they came to the consensus that they didn't have the financial capabilities to raise a child, but in 2007, Thomas was reunited with his son.

8. Jack Wagner

The General Hospital star Jack Wagner woke up one day in 1988 with the news that he had a newborn daughter! 

Shutterstock/ Featureflash Photo Agency

As it was the result of a one-night stand, he had known nothing of the pregnancy, and it wasn't until the mother had a change of heart and told him that he soon learned she was placing the child up for adoption. It would be 23 years before Wagner was reunited with his child.

9. Peter Michael Escovedo

The musician is perhaps most famous for asking Lionel Richie to adopt his daughter, Nicole when she was just 3-years-old.

Everett Collection/ Shutterstock

Both Escovedo and his wife admitted they could no longer afford to raise their daughter and in the hopes of her having a better life, gave her to Richie and his then-wife Brenda, who officially adopted her at 9.

10. Flavio Briatore

The famous Formula One constructor and Italian businessman had a reputation for being a bit of a playboy, and as well as mingling with the likes of Michael Schumacher, he also wooed famous supermodels, one of whom was Heidi Klum, whom he had a child with.


However, due to a breakdown in the relationship, Briatore agreed to let Klum's then-new lover Seal adopt her. Asked by one journalist if he ever misses her, he said it wasn't that hard as he "never sees her."

11. President Grover Cleveland

Even presidents have histories they probably wish were concealed from the public, especially President Grover Cleveland, who had an illegitimate child with Mary Halpin.


After giving birth, Halpin and Cleveland, who remains the only president in American political history to serve two non-consecutive terms as president, agreed to hand the baby over to the mental asylum where the child was born,

By age 5, the child was officially adopted by a doctor working at the asylum called James King. Halpin then swore under oath that Cleveland had raped her and Cleveland eventually agreed to pay child support after initially denying the child was his.

12. Queen Elizabeth I

If you're a fan of the British monarchy, you might already know that the woman dubbed The Virgin Queen was anything but. According to an age-old myth, she had a child with her boyfriend, Robert Dudley. 


However, because the child was born before marriage, it is thought they secretly gave the child up, though due to Elizabeth's public outings, it is unlikely she would have been able to conceal the bump.

13. Lord Byron

The esteemed poet and wordsmith had a remarkable, insatiable appetite for women, and he is often heralded as one of history's foremost lotharios, so it's not that shocking that Lord Byron has been involved in the adoption of one of his children.

Shutterstock/Georgios Kollidas

According to the history books, Byron had an out of wedlock daughter with Claire Clairmont, who was Mary Shelley's stepsister. Clairmont was thought to be incredibly starstruck by Byron and raised the baby on her own for 15 months before she gave her up to Byron, who changed her name from Alba to Allegra and took her to Italy. 

Sadly, only a few years later, Byron gave her up for adoption, and Allegra died a year later in a local convent.

14. Strom Thurmond

A staunch racist Senator during the segregation era, Strom Thurmond was keen to keep it that way, so it surprised many when the mother of his illegitimate child was a black woman.


Indeed, after Thurmond passed, it was confirmed that he had sexual relations with a 16-year-old black maid, Carrie Butler, who worked in his home. In the end, Thurmon and Carrie's child was adopted by her older sister and her husband. 

Essie Mae was told about her biological parents but kept Thurmond's secret until after his death for reasons that are still unknown. Thurmond's family have since welcomed Essie into their lives'. 

15. Gavin Rossdale

The frontman of the British rock outfit Bush and ex-husband of pop star Gwen Stefani is the father to the model Daisy Lowe after an affair with her mother, Pearl Lowe, who was, at that point, married to a doctor called Bronner Handwerger.

Shutterstock/ Tinseltown

Unbeknown to the father, Handwerger raised Daisy believing she was his biological daughter until the age of 14 when DNA tests confirmed suspicions that Rossdale, who acted as her Godfather, was instead Daisy's biological father.

What drama!

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