Getting pregnant unexpectedly can be tough to deal with, especially if a woman is young, unwed, and struggling in their career. Giving up a child is one of the hardest decisions one has to take.
The intense public scrutiny, an inconsistent schedule and long periods of time spent away from home on the set, can often push someone over the edge and upset all their plans. Several celebrities have decided to give up children for adoption early in their lives. Sometimes, it's because they didn't have the money to afford a child at that point in time, or it could be the lack of willingness to raise a child by both parents. Maybe they were underage and had no support or they were simply not interested.
The reasons could be plenty and even bizarre. Some celebrities have had to give up children, and in a few cases, they adopted another one years later. Many of these women who had to give up their children did love them, but they realized that they are not ready to be the kind of parent they need to be at that time in their life.
Here are 15 celebs who gave up their children and another 5 who went looking for them later:
20 Roseanne Barr Hired A Detective To Find Her Daughter
Born on November 3, 1952, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Roseanne Cherrie Barr is an Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress, comedian, writer and television producer known for her hit sitcom, 'Roseanne.' According to the Wikipedia, She started her acting career in 1985 with 'The tonight show starring Johnny Carson' and has not looked back ever since. Roseanne's political stint was an unsuccessful attempt on the 2012 US Presidential elections on a Green Party nomination but finished second in the primaries. Not bad for a person who started her career as a dishwasher, cook and a waitress for Bennigan's restaurant.
Roseanne Barr's biography, at 16 years, she met with a horrific accident which left her with a traumatic brain injury. This resulted in a behavioral change and she had to be institutionalized. She gave birth to her 1st child born out of wedlock when she was 18, a daughter named Brandi whose father was unknown to the public. She was later adopted by the Brown family.
Seventeen years later, with the help of a private detective Roseanne traced the Brown family and reunited with her daughter, the details of which were discussed in an interview 'Roseanne unchained' in the People magazine in 1989. She has 5 children from 3 marriages and currently lives with her partner Johnny Argent in a 50-acre macadamia nut farm in Hawaii.
19 Catelynn Lowell
Catelynn Lowell was born on 12 March 1992 to April Brockmiller and David Lowell in Port Huron, Michigan. She became famous when she was cast in MTV's documentary on pregnant teens - 16 and Pregnant. The show focused on the controversial topic of teen pregnancy and the problems of dealing with adolescence.
The high school sweethearts had been dating for three years, since the seventh grade, when 16-year-old Catelynn found out she was pregnant with her first child with then-boyfriend, Tyler Baltierra, and gave birth to their daughter on May 18, 2009. The dailymail.co.uk reported that they were the only couple in the entire season who chose they adoption way for their child in spite of all the tough resistance from their own families. At the time they took the decision to put up their daughter for adoption, they had no clue about the procedures and emotional implications involved. They did a lot of research themselves and sought professional help too- all because they wanted their child to have a good life.
Throughout the season, Catelynn and Tyler stood out for this very decision of theirs. Brandon and Teresa Davis, who stood out to them right away, ended up being the right fit for Carolyn Elizabeth, whom they call Carly. They allowed to visit their daughter once a year and get to see her pictures too. Catelynn and Tyler got married and had one more daughter called Novalee.
18 Dog The Bounty Hunter Reunited With His Son
Duane Lee Chapman was born in Denver on February 2, 1953 to Wesley and Barbara Chapman. He had a Native American heritage of which he was extremely proud of. He was called "Dog-Dog The Bounty Hunter" by his friends. For more than twenty-seven years, he made a living hunting down more than seven thousand fugitives and he wears that honour as proudly as his shiny silver fugitive recovery badge that hangs around his neck.
According to the Wikipedia, he spent his first twenty-three years of his life on the wrong side of the law and it took a murder-one conviction to change his life from committing crime to fighting it. He has tried to spend the next phase of his life loving his family and career with a wish to live an inspirational life as God wanted us to lead. He has also starred in reality TV shows 'Dog, The Bounty Hunter' and 'Dog and Beth: On The Hunt', which collectively ran for more than 12 seasons.
While Chapman was in his teens and leading a wild life, he had a relationship with Debbie White who bore his first child Christopher Michael Hecht. But Chapman was not aware he had a child. She committed suicide following which Christopher was adopted by his grandmother.
The boy wasn't reunited with Chapman until he was an adult. Chapman married 5 times in his life and fathered 12 children.
17 Rod Stewart
Roderick David Stewart the legendary British singer-songwriter was born on 10th January 1945 in London, England the youngest of 5 children of Robert Stewart and Elsie Gilbart. While the family was mainly focused on football, young Stewart's hobby was railway modeling. His introduction to Rock and roll was when his father bought him a guitar in 1959. Over the course of time, he developed an interest in rhythm and blues and to soul music.
Fifteen years of exposure to different types of bands, equipped with a signature raspy voice, embarking on a solo career, with the huge success of 'Maggie May' and a calculated move to the US in 1975, Rod Steward became noticeable in the music world.
As his success grew, he also developed a reputation for his partying lifestyle and for dating numerous actresses and models. As per the Hello Magazine, Rod Stewart's paternal exploits began while he was 17 years. He had three wives, one long-term girlfriend and a teenage fling. He had a total of eight offsprings. By his own admission, he was not the best dad in the world during his early days.
Susannah Boffey was an art student and girlfriend of Rod’s and he was only 17 when she got pregnant. Susannah delivered a baby girl Sarah who was put up for adoption and she learned about Rod only when she was 18. Rod and Sarah were reconciled in the early eighties but fell out of touch again until about six years ago.
16 Michelle Money
Michelle Money was born on 28th September, 1980 in Utah to Scott Edward and Marjorie Abegg. After discovering her passion for making women feel beautiful, Michelle Money became a professional hair and makeup stylist by trade. Besides being a licensed professional cosmetologist, she is also a successful and talented actress and model with brands such as Reebok, Sports Illustrated, MasterCard and films like Midway to Heaven and Inhumane.
According to usmagazine.com, Michelle became pregnant at 15 and had to make the difficult and emotional decision to place her child for adoption.
The identity of the birth father who himself was adopted wasn't disclosed, but she admits that he was an amazing boyfriend and very supportive. She used to be in touch with her now nineteen-year-old son's adoptive parents initially but discontinued doing so after a while as she wants him to have the option of deciding whether to choose to get in touch with her.
She is hopeful of being able to have some sort of a relationship with him but only if and when he is ready for it. Money also has a daughter Brielle, 11, whom she shares with her ex husband. Money has disclosed to Brielle about her big brother but was also careful not to give her false hopes about meeting him.
15 Albert Einstein
The greatest physicist of all time who developed 'The Theory of Relativity', Albert Einstein, was born on 14 March 1879 in Germany to Hermann Einstein and Pauline Koch. Because of his decorated status, he was granted citizenship in Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Austria (Present day Czech Republic) Belgium and the US. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1921 and had published more than 300 scientific papers and more than 150 non scientific works. Deeply passionate about music, his intellectual achievements and originality have made the word 'Einstein' synonymous with 'genius'.
Despite warnings from his mother, Einstein continued to have a relationship with fellow physics student who would later be his wife Mileva Maric. She eventually became pregnant and gave birth to a baby girl Lieserl. Not much is known of that child, one popular theory is that she was given up for adoption and that this illegitimate child might have been a hindrance to his illustrious career. According to the National Geographic, another theory was that Lieserl was born with Down's syndrome and she was left with Mileva's parents where she died young after a bout of Scarlet fever.
This theory was based on one cryptic line between Einstein's and Mileva's letter that read "I AM VERY SORRY ABOUT WHAT HAS HAPPENED TO LIESERL. SCARLET FEVER OFTEN LEAVES SOME LASTING TRACE BEHIND."
14 Joni Mitchell Found Her Daughter Years Later
More famously known as Joni Mitchell, Roberta was born on 7th November 1943. She is one of the greatest among Canadian singers and songwriters. The winner of nine Grammy awards, her genre was Folk, Rock, Jazz, and Pop. Her songs often reflect social and environmental ideas as well as her feelings about romance, confusion, disillusionment, and joy.
According to the Wikipedia, she began her career singing in small nightclubs in her hometown before moving to the US in 1965. She is a harsh critic of the music industry with roots in visual arts and describes herself as a 'Painter derailed by circumstance'.
While she was in college she became pregnant because of a casual fling and gave birth to her daughter, Kelly Dale Anderson. She decided to give up the child for adoption as the biological father was not prepared to start a family. The adoptive parents renamed the child Kilauren Gibb. This pregnancy and adoption were kept a secret for 32 years. But the story has a happy ending according to Joni's biography, as the mother and daughter were reunited in 1997 following a dramatic sequence of events.
Both of them were on the lookout for each other, mostly on the internet. Gibb found 14 points for comparison that suggested there was more than a causal link between the two. Their meeting was truly magical.
13 Lucille Ball And The Questionable Claims
Born in New York in 1911, Lucille Ball, a model and dancer who loved to perform, moved to Hollywood to become a movie star. Her true gift was comedy and through CBS, she found a way to showcase her gift. In 1951, she starred in a sitcom 'I Love Lucy', a show based on her life. Sixty years later, it is still one of the most loved television shows of all time.
According to the Wikipedia, she was also the first woman to run a major television studio, DESILU. Her famous list of laurels includes winning Primetime Emmy awards on 4 occasions, recipient of the Golden Globe award in 1979, inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 1984, The Lifetime Achievement Award in 1986 and many more. On April 26, 1989, Lucille Ball died from a ruptured aorta.
Her 1st marriage was to Cuban born band leader Desi Arnaz in 1940 lasted for about 20 years. They had 2 children, a daughter named Lucie and a son Desi Arnaz Jr. Ball's second marriage was to Gary Morton, 13 years her junior. Fox News, reported that, in September 2008, Cassandria Carlson, 38, came forward with the claim that she is the granddaughter of Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz and that her mother Madeline 'Linda' Jane Dee was adopted in 1947 as Ball feared that a baby would derail her plans for stardom.
As per Carlson, Linda was born in 1947, four years before the debut of 'I Love Lucy' and immediately given up for adoption to Californian nurse Ruth Smith. This claim has never been proved as both Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz are not alive.
12 Jack Wagner
In 2011, Singer and two times Daytime Emmy Award nominee Jack Wagner got a knock on his door just as he was about to get on to the stage for a cruise concert. A hysterical young lady rushed into the room and hugged him and announced that she was his daughter.
Although he was shocked and taken aback, Jack was unaware of her existence.
Way back in 1988, he had got a call from Kerry's birth mother who was one of the dancers on Wagner's show, with whom he had hooked up just once, saying that she just delivered a baby girl and he was the father; since she was not in a position to take care of her, she was putting the baby up for adoption. Jack contacted his attorney to see what best he could do, but the situation was out of his control.
In 1990, Jack married Kristina, his co-star in General Hospital. They had two sons and life went on as usual. They got divorced in 2006. Meanwhile Kerry grew up in Queens, in a wonderful family who took really good care of her. When she was about 22, she hired investigators to search for her birth parents.
She met her birth mother soon after her 23rd birthday. She then told Kerry about her biological father. Jack's two sons were not very excited about Kerry in the beginning and wanted a DNA test. Kerry did turn out to be Jack's daughter. According to Jack, the kids have since hit it off very well. (Source-Oprah Winfrey network)
11 Ted Nugent - A Reconciliation Years Later
Born on 13th December, 1948 Theodore Anthony Nugent is an American singer-songwriter, guitarist and activist. He initially rose to fame as the lead guitarist of the psychedelic and hard rock band 'The Amboy Dukes'. Later on, after embarking on a solo career, Nugent has released more than 35 albums which has sold over 30 million records. He is more noted for his conservative political views notably his take on hunting and gun ownership rights which took a toll on his success.
Nugent has been married twice and has six children from four women. His first marriage was to Sandra Jezowski who gave him a son and a daughter before she was killed in a car crash. His second marriage was to Shemane Deziel in January 1989 and they have one son from this union.
Prior to his 1st marriage, in the late 60s, Ted fathered a boy named Ted (Mann) and a daughter Louisa whom he gave up for adoption while they were infants. The siblings were adopted separately and did not learn about each other until 2010 when Louisa wanted to make contact with her brother and her birth father. Nugent had already discussed the existence of this son and daughter with his other children and after their meeting. They have since reconciled.
10 Dirk Benedict
Film, television actor and writer, Dirk Benedict was born Dirk Niewoehner on 1st March, 1945 in Montana to Priscilla and George Niewoehner. He is best known for playing characters in 'The A-Team Television Series' and 'Battlestar Galactica'. According to the Wikipedia, Dirk was diagnosed with Prostate cancer at an early age.
Prior to cancer, he had permanently lost 50% of his hearing in the left ear due to a gunshot accident. These medical setbacks was not a deterrent for Dirk's success. Over the years, he became a successful actor bagging notable roles in numerous shows and movies. He had successfully tried his hand in direction also. This American actor has a net worth of 1.5 million.
By his own admission, Dirk is proud of only two things in life - The first one is his children and the second is his first book 'Confessions of a Kamikaze Cowboy'. Benedict married Toni Hudson in 1986, they are now divorced and the couple has two sons, George and Roland.
Moreover, he also has a son John Talbert, born in 1968, from a previous relationship while he was in college which he was unaware of. With the help of his adoptive parents, Talbert discovered and contacted his birth parents. They have since reconciled are in constant touch now.
9 Mercedes Ruehl Searched For Her Son
This Oscar Award winner was born on 28th February, 1948 to Mercedes J. Ruehl, a schoolteacher, and Vincent Ruehl, an FBI agent. Her father was of German and Irish descent and her mother was of Cuban and Irish ancestry. Ruehl attended College of New Rochelle and graduated in 1969. Ruehl began her career in regional theatre with the Denver Center Theatre Company. She took up odd jobs between engagements to support herself.
According to the Wikipedia, at the age of 28, Ruehl gave birth to Christopher, whom she had to give up for adoption as she herself was a struggling actress and was trying to climb her way up the ranks. Nothing much was known about the child and Ruehl herself got busy with her acting career. Later, she got married to longtime partner David Geiser. In 1997, Ruehl and Geiser decided to adopt a child of their own and ended up adopting 11 year old Jake Xavier.
Ruehl however, had not forgotten her estranged child and hired private investigators to look for him. According to People.com, through the investigator, she came to learn that Christopher has been renamed Chris by his foster parents and a meeting was fixed in a Boston hotel room.
Remembering the heart-melting reunion of the estranged mother-son, Mercedes recalled, "We just looked at each other and we laughed and we hugged each other. I thought I was going to cry. We just felt so shy, we just giggled."
After the reunion, Mercedes and Christopher now share a "powerful relationship." Christoper is also the godfather to Mercedes' adopted son Jake, and Mercedes' family is complete again.
8 Patti Smith
One of the pioneers of punk rock music, a trailblazer who redefined the role of female rock stars, a poet who unleashed her lyrical talent over powerful guitars, Patti Smith stands out as one of the greatest figures in the history of rock 'n' roll. Called as the 'punk poet laureate', Patricia Lee 'Patti' Smith was born on 30th December, 1946 in Chicago, US to Beverly and Grant Smith. According to the Wikipedia, Patti Smith released more than 10 albums including her famous ones 'Horses' and 'Because The Night'. She was tall, gangly and sickly child with a lazy left eye, her outward appearance had a shy demeanor and was very sure she would be destined for greatness.
Exclaim.ca revealed that she became pregnant for the first time at 20 with the unnamed father who was only 17, after realizing that both of them were incapable of raising the child because of their age and be broke, it was decided to give up the child for adoption.
Described Tomboy as a child, Smith experienced gender confusion, shunned 'girly' activities and instead preferred to be around with her predominantly male friends. She choose performance poetry as her favourite artistic medium giving her first public reading in the early 70s. Over the years she published her poetry books like Seventh Heaven, Early Morning Dream, Witt all of which received high praises.
She fell deeply in love with Guitarist Fred Smith whom she married in 1980. Devoting herself to domestic life and raising her two children, Smith largely disappeared from the public scene for the next 17 years till Fred's death in 1994.
7 Kate Mulgrew Never Gave Up
Katherine Kiernan Maria Mulgrew was born on April 29, 1955 in Dubuque, Iowa and is the oldest daughter of Joan and Thomas Mulgrew. Kate has enjoyed tremendous success on television, from the classic soap 'Ryan's Hope', sci-fi series 'Star Trek: Voyager' to 'Orange Is The New Black'. Mulgrew's accolades include an Obie award, Golden Globe award and a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
By age 20 she moved to New York, and quickly landed a starring role in a new soap opera called 'Ryan’s Hope' where she got pregnant with an assistant director. Marriage was definitely not the way out, she was too young and immature and struggling in her career and as urged by her mother it was decided to put the baby up for adoption. The producers of Ryan's hope toyed along and wrote her pregnancy into the plot line. Three days after her delivery she gave up the baby for adoption. Expectedly, that was the hardest moment of her life and regretted the decision instantly.
She went on with her life, marriage happened, moved to Seattle, had two children, but part of her never gave up looking for her daughter.
Twenty years later, with the help of a few private investigators her daughter Danielle Gaudette found her mother. They have remained in touch ever since their first meeting.
6 Jay Thomas
When Jay Thomas got a phone call from his ex-girlfriend, he was very sure that he did not want to do anything with either her or the guy John Thomas Harding, who claimed to be his biological son, whom he had given up for adoption twenty eight years ago. According to people.com, Jay thought that the young man was trying to scam him and was not interested in furthering a relationship. He didn't want the boy he gave up for adoption to blame him for the miserable life he may have lived or his misfortunes. Jay did not want to take up any responsibility for the mistake he committed in his youth.
His career was just about to take off when he found out that one of his girlfriends was pregnant. They considered every option including getting married for the baby and then getting divorced or even termination of that pregnancy. Eventually, they put up the child for adoption. He was adopted by the Hardings and grew up in a very happy and content family in Michigan.
People.com revealed that finally when they met up over burgers, Jay realized that he and his biological son had a lot in common, including their sense of humor. He was glad that his son was able to trace his biological parents and they could finally meet up.
5 Clark Gable's Secret Love Child
Dubbed 'King of Hollywood' and one of Hollywood's biggest stars, actor Clark Gable was born on February 1, 1901 in Ohio to Will and Adeline Gable. He hit box-office gold with such films as 'Boomtown, San Francisco, Mutiny on the Bounty, It Happened One Night, and Gone with the Wind'. He was a symbol of masculinity, admired by men and adored by women. According to the Wikipedia, Gable had a short stint in the US Army Air Forces from 1942-44 where he served as a Major.
Gable was a ladies’ man both on and off screen, and he was married five times. His list of wives included his first theater director Josephine Dillon, socialite Rhea Langham, actress Carole Lombard, Lady Sylvia Ashley and actress Kay Williams Spreckels. Gable and Spreckels had one son John Clark Gable who was born after Gable's death. Gable also had a “secret” daughter, Judy Lewis (born on Nov. 6, 1935), from an affair with actress Loretta Young while he was still married to Langham. Young went to great lengths to cover up the pregnancy to protect both their careers and Clark's marriage.
Nineteen months after Judy was born, Loretta, who was a devout Catholic adopted her. This was disclosed only in her authorized biography, “Forever Young,” published after her death in 2000. Sadly, Gable and Lewis didn’t have any father-daughter relationship over the course of their lives.
4 David Crosby
David Van Cortlandt Crosby was born August 14, 1941 to Aliph Van Cortlandt Whitehead and Floyd Crosby, an Academy Award-winning cinematographer. He is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. In addition to his solo career, he was a founding member of both the Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash.
According to a report by cbsnew.com staff correspondent, in the early 1960s Celia Crawford Ferguson still a teenager, met David Crosby in Hollywood. It was a different time. The '60s were about to explode. And the young man she was traveling with ended up playing a big part in that era. But for the young couple, there was no future - at least together. Celia discovered she was pregnant."He was perhaps even more shocked than I was," Celia Crawford Ferguson recalls.
He didn't want to be a parent. She didn't want to be a single teenage mother. Crawford Ferguson decided to give up her child for adoption.
In 1996, when David Crosby was preparing to undergo the highly publicized liver transplant, little did he know that the son he had abandoned 31 years ago, would walk in to give him a new lease of life. He met the young man, James Raymond, and discovered that his abandoned child had grown up to be a successful keyboardist and composer. Three months after three months after the surgery, father and son got together and formed a new band.
3 Andy Kaufman
American entertainer, actor, writer, performance artist and professional wrestler, Andy Kaufman, the oldest of the three children to Janice and Stanley Kaufman was born on 17th January, 1949 in New York City. He started performing at a very young age at children's birthday parties, playing records and showing cartoons. He used to win a large number of fans and critics alike by performing in a very unorthodox style of comedy, often confronting his confused audience with an array of bizarre foreign accents, dead-on impersonations of Elvis Presley, and a strange obsession with professional wrestling. His rise to fame was through Saturday Night Live, a show in which he was infamously banned.
His highly unpredictable reputation had been established by the time hit sitcom Taxi which ran from 1978-1983. In January 1984, Kaufman was diagnosed with a rare form of lung cancer which was in its most advanced stages and he eventually succumbed to the illness on May 16th, 1984 in Los Angeles at the young age of 35.
Although Kaufman never married, the Wikipedia reveals that during his late teens he and 17-year-old high school sweetheart had a daughter Maria Collona Kaufman, who was born in 1969 and placed for adoption. In 1992, Maria learned that she was Kaufman's daughter when she traced her biological roots. She soon reunited with her birth relatives and Maria's daughter Brittany, briefly appeared on 'Man on the Moon', a film on Andy, playing Kaufman's sister Carol as a young child.
2 Linda Lovelace
Linda Lovelace, the most famous porn star of all time was born on 10th January, 1949 as Linda Susan Boreman. She was raised in an unhappy family as the daughter of police officer John Boreman who was seldom home and an arrogant and domineering mother Dorothy. Surprisingly, Linda was nicknamed "Miss Holy Holy' in school as she kept her dates at a safe distance.
Linda's life was lined with tragedies, an unexpected pregnancy initially, an automobile accident followed by medical negligence which caused her to undergo a liver transplant 18 years later, a traumatic marriage with Chuck Traynor who forced her into acting in porn and a second automobile accident that led to her untimely death at a young age of 53.
Traynor entered Linda's life and became her manager, and husband. She was the most sought after porn star with a line of movies achieving huge commercial success. It was later known that Chuck, had forced Linda into adult movies at gunpoint and she had to act as he pleased, against her will, to avoid being killed. After these shocking revelations, it was easy for Linda to break up with Chuck. Later, in 1976, Linda married Larry Marchiano and they had two children. According to dailymail.co.uk, her 1st pregnancy happened when she was 19, the details of the birth father was not disclosed, Linda's mother took charge and gave up the child for adoption. In a dramatic turn of events, she became a 'born again' Christian and a spokeswoman for the anti-pornography movement.
1 Kevin Thornton
Kevin Thornton is an Irish celebrity chef, radio and television personality and author. Thornton's restaurant, Thornton's Restaurant in Dublin's city centre, has received two Michelin stars and he is the first Irish Chef to receive two Michelin Stars. Thornton authored and published the book Food for Life in 2005.
Way back in 1981, when he was 21 and his then-girlfriend Muriel was just 18, she delivered a baby boy, Edward. They were not aware of the pregnancy and the birth came as a huge shock. They young bewildered and frightened parents had absolutely no idea how to handle this situation. The independent.ie reported that Muriel's mother, however, took charge and put up the baby up for adoption and forbade them from speaking to anyone about it, as Ireland was a very conservative country ruled by the Catholic church. Kevin could not even tell his parents about it as they too were very orthodox Catholics.
This traumatic event of giving up their child brought the couple together and strengthened their relationship. They later got married and had one more child. When Edward turned 18, they made contact and reached out to him. That meeting went off well and they reunited with their first born.