Maurice Benard adopts 15-year-old sister-in-law

05/30/2008 at 08:21 AM ET

General Hospital actor Maurice Benard, 45, and his wife Paula recently added a fourth child to their family when they adopted Paula’s 15-year-old younger sister.  Heather Ann Smith Benard is "very, very sweet" Maurice said, and is already "like best friends" with the couple’s eldest daughter, 13-year-old Cailey Sofia.  Maurice made the decision to adopt Heather after his mother-in-law unexpectedly passed away; He told ABC Soaps In-Depth that he and his wife "can now give [Heather] everything that she couldn’t have had before."  At home, in addition to Cailey, Heather joins the couple’s two other children — Cassidy Rose, 9, and Joshua James, 3. 

Speaking of the latter, Maurice said his toddler son "controls the house," and apparently the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.  Said Maurice,

That little boy, he’s a comedian.  He’s intense.  He’s me as a kid!

Cassidy, Maurice said, is particularly protective of Joshua and during a recent family outing to view Iron Man she even did her best to shield her brother from watching a fight scene. Maurice, for his part, said that being with his family is the only place he’d like to be.

It’s great.  I love being home with them.  I don’t want to come to work!  I just want to be there with the family and take the sun in.  It’s what life’s about.

Sources:  The Skateboard GalleryABC Soaps In-Depth

Thanks to CBB reader Jennifer


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gigi on

darn! no pic??? that man is HOT!!!!

cathy lee on

How extremely nice for them. It has to be a hard time for Heather, it’s good she has such a supportive family. My feeling go out to Paula and the hole family as well.

Erica Ann on

Just when i thought it was not possible…I now love Maurice so much more!!! I love him as Sonny Corinthos on General Hospital! He is amazing on and off screen and was ROBBED of an Emmy nom this year!!!!!

MB on

I’m confused about why they legally adopted her. Why not just take custody (or did they and are using the term adopt loosely)? Isn’t it odd to legally adopt your own sister, so that she’s both sister and daughter?

Molly on

Oh this is totally awesome. Heather sounds like she has a great support system. And kudos for Maurice, he has gained more respect from me now. 🙂

Scherriea on

i love me some sonny..he’s hands down the most gorgeous guy in hollywood..him being a good father is also extremely sexy..i am happy he and his wife finally had a boy!

cathy lee on

I agree MB, It’s weird if her sister is her mother too. Maybe Just Maurica adopted her and Paula became a guardian. But again, that wouldn’t work, because maybe he’d have more custody rights that Paula?? I’m confused, Is it confirmed that they actually adopted her?

sil on

MB, you said exactly what I was thinking…She’s already Paula’s sister, so she IS part of the family anyway, no need to “legally” adopt her, imo.

Kat on

They may have not actually adopted her as much as became her legal guardians, which can be the same thing without changing the child’s name.

On the other hand, if they adopted her, it was likely due to planning before her mom died, when they made out wills and such.

sarah on

according to the post, heather has taken the bernard family name, so i’m guessing that maurice and paula have formally adopted her. i don’t think its too weird considering heather is close in age to cailey. given their ages, i’m sure heather is more like a daughter to paula than a sister anyways. maybe heather wanted to be adopted and take on the family name (15 is definitely old enough to choose). i think the whole thing is very sweet!

Jennifer on

gigi – If you open ‘The SKateboard’ link at the bottom of the post, there’s such a sweet picture of Maurice with Heather, Cailey, Cassidy, and Joshua.

The article says that, “the couple decided to adopt the 15-year-old”, and Heather has taken the Benard name, so I’m guessing that it is formal.

Love Maurice on GH! 🙂 He’s such a talented actor and seems like a great dad, too.

It’s wonderful that Heather has such a strong support system and that the girls are so close.

Cailey is beautiful, Cassidy is so sweet, and Joshua is such a handsome little guy…gorgeous family! 🙂

Lyndsey on

I love Maurice Benard. He’s such an amazing and loving person. I saw him at a fan event once and he couldn’t talk enough about his children and wife!

Ans on

So, her sister is her mom? They couldn’t have just asked her to live with them?

brooke on

How wonderful, heather is a lucky girl.

Michelle on

I’m not sure why everyone is making such a big deal about them adopting her. She’s still only a teen ager. Maybe it’s what she wanted. I have a much younger sister and brother and I don’t find it odd at all.

Lola Bella on

Thats really really great. I always thought highly of Maurice.

Marie on

Good for him! Heather couldn have gotten a better family!

heather on

that heather girl is soooo cool i wish i could be like her

Cailey on

OMG that heather girl is like soooo lucky
I LOVE SONNY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

a.j on

When they adopted her did her sister become her momster.I think that is a very nice thing to do.