While most people recognize Mariska Hargitay for her long-running role as Detective Olivia Benson on Law and Order: SVU, not as many people know about her incredible personal life. The actress and her husband, Peter Hermann, are parents-of-three and have navigated the adoption process twice in order to expand their family. Hargitay recently opened up about their experience while speaking to People magazine.
Hargitay and her husband met while filming for Law and Order back in 2004. Hermann played the recurring role of Defense Lawyer Trevor Langan. The two eventually married in 2006, the same year Hargitay gave birth to their first child, August Miklos.
When they wanted to expand their family again, the couple turned to adoption. Their daughter, Amaya Josephine, was adopted in April of 2011, while their second son, Andrew, was adopted in October of the same year. “We adopted Amaya, and Andrew, I always describe it as this angel that fell out of the sky, because he was a little unexpected,” she said.
The actress explained that her own blended family was one of the main reasons she knew she wanted to adopt. “Having lost my mom at a young age, I then grew up with my stepmom, and I have half siblings, and so I know that families can be built in all sorts of different ways,” she explained. “There isn’t just one way to create a family and that it isn’t just about biology.” She added, “I think there is such beauty in the divine architecture of how this family was built.”
The celebrity’s mother was famed actress Jayne Mansfield, who tragically passed away in a car accident in 1967. Hargitay was only 3-years old at the time, and she and her two brothers were in the car at the time of the accident, though they all escaped with minor injuries. Afterwards, the siblings went to live with their father, Mickey Hargitay, and his third wife, Ellen Siano. Hargitay has three half-siblings.
Hargitay says one of the most incredible things about their adoption journey is that it made her marriage stronger, though she acknowledges it could’ve been much more challenging. “It’s something that happened very quickly, when adoption can take a long time,” the mom-of-three said. “We were so beautifully and surprisingly [touched by it] … not because we’re not in sync, but surprisingly in sync about something so huge. So momentous.”
Hargitay went on to say that she loves having a big family, and considering how highly she’s spoken of the adoption process, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Law and Order star adds to her family one day.