Maurice Benard adopts 15-year-old sister-in-law
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.
Thanks to CBB reader Jennifer