Nia Vardalos: 'I Tried Everything' to Have a Baby

06/05/2009 at 08:00 AM ET

When Nia Vardalos began trying for a baby, like so many women, infertility caught her off guard. She left no stone unturned in her quest for motherhood, either, including an unsuccessful attempt at surrogacy. “It didn’t work for me,” she tells the Boston Herald. “Can you believe it? Nothing worked. I tried everything.” Even traditional adoption proved problematic; For four long years Nia says she was “on every list, for every country.”

“I was trying to adopt an infant in the States and it fell through. Over and over again.”

After taking a break from her career as an actress and writer to deal with what she calls the end of her “10-year battle with infertility,” Nia found, which helps arrange foster adoptions. “These two women, social workers, came into our lives,” she recalls, and their optimism was infectious. “They just said, ‘This is going to happen. There are 129,000 kids who are legally free for adoption.'”

“That’s when I went, ‘I’m going to be a parent. This is going to happen.'”

Eighteen months ago, her now almost 4-year-old daughter arrived and the family of three has never looked back. Nia declines the opportunity to name her preschooler, explaining that she and husband Ian Gomez are “trying to give her a shot at anonymity.”

“It was just the most amazing process. All of a sudden our daughter walked in our house, and she looked up at me like, ‘What’s for lunch?’

Source: Boston Herald

— Missy

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Lis on

After reading her first article on motherhood on this site, I am a huge fan of her. And everything I’ve read since just reinforces how amazing this woman is. I would’ve never been drawn to see her new movie “My Life in Ruins”, however I really want to see it now just to see her and support her.

mandii on

I am so happy for them. Their story is one that I never tire of hearing!

CTBmom on

She is amazing, and I am so thrilled that she(and her husband)and her daughter have been blessed with each other.

N on

I have loved her since “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” and every word that comes out of her mouth just confirms my adoration for her. I have some SERIOUS respect who has been in public letting her story be heard, yet keeping her child safe and away from all of the media that seems to surround these people. I must admit that I am super curious as to her daughter’s name, but am so happy for them that they have managed to protect her and keep her anonymous. It’s wonderful.

Ann de Lourdes on

good person and a fine talent.

Emily on

What a beautiful story. However motherhood happens, it’s a miracle.

Wendy on

I am so glad to hear a celebrity talk about adoption like it really is..its not an easy process that happens overnight. its heartwrenching and at times the hardest thing ever…aside from the infertility.

as in the US, Canada also has waiting lists of older kids waiting for a family of their own. I am not a fan of international adoption, i believe we should care for the children in our own country before trying to “save” the world.

Stacy on


Have you adopted a child domestically? If not, its really not your business to judge how others form their families. If you have adopted domestically. Kudos. But its still really not your business to judge how others form their families.

MZ on

Wendy, people have all kinds of reasons for choosing where they adopt. I doubt many people are adopting to “save” the child. We’re going to adopt because we want another child. We’re going to adopt internationally, from my mother’s home country, in part because we think it would be nice to adopt a child within my culture. What’s really important and beautiful is when a family and their child are united, wherever they came from. Each family knows what is best for them.

aroundthewaygirl on

I’m glad she is speaking about adoption and I hope it silences these wing-nuts who say “just adopt”. There is no “just” about adoption or the ones who say, “adopt from your own country”. Whenever someone say’s this nonsense to my sister-in-law who is in the process of adopting from China and fostering in Hawaii, I respond and say “why don’t you?” Though I usually end the statement with a word that rhymes with itch.

I have no problem with how anyone grows their family as long as all parties are informed, safe, and happy. American children up for adoption are no more or no less worthy of adoption than a child from another children. I can’t believe people will pit one country’s children against another country’s children. It’s not a contest. I’m thrilled when any child without a family gets a new loving family.

Good for Nia! She’s a talented, funny, and very kind lady and I wish her and her family much happiness.

Di on

Reading Nia’s story about her quest to adopt a child is very revealing. In America, the most sought after child by prospective adoptive parents is a healthy white infant so if you’re seeking to adopt that kind of child there is a long waiting list. Nia said that her quest to adopt an infant fell through over and over again.

There are hundreds of thousands of children in foster care but those children are typically older and non-white. These children oftentimes have special needs and have been mistreated in the past. There is not a long waiting list for those children I found out through research. It appears that Nia adopted her daughter when she was 2.5 years old so by expanding her age range for a child away from infant, Nia was finally able to adopt.

I saw a show on the Discovery Health Channel about Americans adopting children from Siberia. The fee for the international adoption cost close to $30,000. One older woman decided to adopt a baby girl from Siberia because when she went to the social services agency, they wanted to give her older child given her age and marital status but she wanted a baby.

It is important to remember that when it comes to adoption, many people already have a set criteria which can delay the process. While some people may say I just want a child I do not care about age, gender, race or health status, many people do and then these people will complain how the wait to adopt a child is so long.

alice jane on

I don’t know why someone always has to say that people should adopt from their own country when CBB posts stories like this one. I don’t know why people feel the need to keep themselves so separate from other countries. Children without a family in another country are no less deserving of that chance than a child in Canada or America.

I really respect Nia for how open she is about how much she struggled with adoption. Her little girl must be really loved, given how hard and long Nia fought to get her.

jaja on

Yeah, screw those foreign kids! It’s not like they need families…did you even read the article Wendy? Especially the part where she tried to adopt domestically AND internationally and it kept falling through? Many older kids in care have serious health and mental issues that many parents are not comfortable or prepared to take on – does that mean they’re not ‘worthy’ of being parents? Do you also hold this opinion of people who have biological children? Why couldn’t they just adopt?

Me on

How families are formed is a personal decision. But, I can give some insight into why some people choose foreign adoption (not all, just some).
One friend adopted a beautiful baby boy. Three months into the adoption, the birth mother decided she wanted him back. (at that time, in our state, she had up to 6 months… it varies from state to state). My friend and her family were devastated to have to give the child up.
Another friend adopted a baby. After they brought him home, the man the birth mother said was the dad, contested the adoption saying he wasn’t given a say. They had to do blood tests. If it turned out to be his, my friends would have to give the baby to him. It wasn’t. The birth mother said there were 3 other men that could be the father. Luckily, the court said “enough!” and ruled no more testing. But if one of those men had contested this decision, he probably would have won.
I’m not giving an opinion on whether these decisions were right or wrong, just stating why both friends said they would never adopt in the USA again.

pia on

this is great. i was really touched by the last line… not sure why, but it’s a beautiful thing to hear.. a successful adoption story. no publicity involved.

Sarah on

I really like her. I think it’s so commendable and admirable to adopt a child that is not a newborn. I take my hat off for her.

christina on

I have so much respect for her…and happiness that her wish came true!!

AG from NC on

What I’m sooo proud of is that, she is also opening the eyes of people to adopt those children who are in the foster system w/o having to be foster parents.

We adopted our 2 daughters from TX foster care @ 2&3 years old, and they’ve been the best thing that happened to us. We also adopted an infant through private adoption.

I hope more people become aware of the foster adopt program and realize that there are more options out there for them. These kids need homes, too! :0)

I’d love to hear more about her adoption, but I completely understand about wanting to keep it private. Safety of my girlies is a priority, too. Drugs and gang involvement is not a pretty sight… sad, but true.

eternalcanadian on

it is so sad to read stats like 129,000 kids who are legally free for adoption in the USA, but no one wants them because they are not babies and instead go to other countries and spend almost a hundred thousand dollars just for a baby. kudos to nina for looking past such particular criteria and opening her heart and home to a child that happens to not be a baby.

Wendy on

yes i did adopt my son domestic adoption almost 16 years ago. i was also a foster parent to many children through the years.. i was not trying to criticize foreign adoption i just feel that their are so many children in our own areas who need homes. It certainly is none of my concern who or how, people i don’t know or ever will know, decide to adopt. i was just stating my own feelings on something I chose. I see kids all the time who yes are older and may have special needs as my own child does but if we learned nothing from all the romanian adoptions almost 15- 20 years ago children even young ones who are adopted from foreign countries can have invisible special needs, attachment issues most commonly.
As well in groups i have been involved with yes there are parents who have chosen foreign adoptions because they feel they can save a child from the life they have.

Tiff on

Just to clarify a few things. My husband and I have young children in our home. We feel called by God to adopt. We don’t know how or when or even if for sure it will happen. But we are trusting The Lord. Because we have young children we would rather not have older children at this point. This could change in time but we don’t feel comfortable about that right now. We have no preference as to race and feel prepared to take a child up to 2 years old. We contacted DHR and were told thanks but no thanks. They only want foster parents. So please do not judge where and how families adopt. You don’t know the reason behind it. It is really difficult to adopt period. But especially in the US. And domestic private adoptions also cost $30,000.