Denise Richards: I Always Planned On More Children

07/28/2011 at 11:00 AM ET
Michael N. Todaro/Getty

Already mom to Sam, 7, and Lola Rose, 6 — her daughters with ex-husband Charlie SheenDenise Richards knew her family wasn’t quite complete.

However, her single status left The Real Girl Next Door author contemplating whether to add to her brood by herself or hold out hope for the future.

“I’ve always wanted more children and [I] had to make a decision: Do I wait to find the right partner or do it on my own?” Richards, 40, shared during a Tuesday appearance on The View. “So I just did it on my own.”

Now the proud new mom of 6-week-old daughter Eloise Joni, Richards admits the journey to her baby girl wasn’t an easy one. “I was actually open to either gender and I started the process two years ago,” she says.

Fortunately, the transition from a family of three to four has been a smooth one and no one could be more excited than Eloise’s new big sisters.

“The older ones are so great [and] the baby is such a blessing,” Richards reveals. “Sami and Lola help so much and pick out her clothes and feed her.”

Formally introducing the newest addition during a July 23 baby shower, Richards raves the special day was exactly what she had envisioned.

“I thought [Eloise] deserved [a party] and it was a wonderful way for my friends who hadn’t met her yet to meet her,” she explains. “[The theme of the shower] was a take off of Eloise the movie, so it was lovely.”

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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FAB on

Happy for her and her girls!!!!

Janet on

If she really wanted to honor the adoptee, she should have kept her actual name – the name given to her by birth and not let a couple of children pick it out like this baby is their new pet. Often, the birth name is the only thing our birth mothers are allowed to give us.

LM on

Janet – She is the baby’s mother. She should name her whatever she likes and I think it’s great that the other children were part of the process. And what a cute name!

Lori on

Janet, what do you mean, keep her actual name? Denise is Eloise’s mother, and can therefore pick whatever name she chooses to give her. Just because she is adopted doesn’t mean she isn’t allowed to do what most mothers do and choose the name of her new child herself.

I am sure there are many families where the older children help to choose the name of the younger child, adopted or not. Your argument is ridiculous.

Anonymous on

It’s her baby, why let the birth mother pick it out?

Anon on

@Janet, you are assuming the birth mother named the baby. I haven’t read anywhere about what Eloise’s birth name actually is. Maybe the birth mother chose not to name her. Don’t judge until you know the whole story despite what your own personal experience may be.

Nicole on

Sounds like you have regrets, Janet. I am sure this birth mother did the right thing by giving this little girl a better life then what she could have given her! Maybe her birth mom didnt name her?

I am not a fan of Denise Richards but she appears to be a great mother, she has the means to provide and the love too. I wish her all the best.

Teresa on

OK – I just have to respond to Janet’s comment. I am the proud mother of an adopted 3-1/2 year son that we were fortunate enough to receive on the day of his birth. His birth mother was given the option at that time to name him or allow us to name him and she opted for us to provide his name. I agree that changing the name of a child that is old enough to already know their birth name isn’t a great idea but there is nothing wrong with Denise and her family being able to name this child!

Congratulations Denise – I am sure Eloise will be as blessed as she is a blessing!

BabyBoysMom on

Agreed, LM. Janet, you don’t know the circumstances or the facts. We have also adopted and our birthmom was more than understanding and OK with the fact that we named our baby boy what we felt his name should be and to this day, she calls him the name that we as the adoptive parents named him. So wonderful Denise adopted!

Maria on

I am so happy for her! With all the Charlie drama she has kept herself composed and focused on adopting this beautiful little girl.

@Janet, where in this article does it say that the kids picked out the baby name??? Maybe I am missing it…

SarahAubrey on

It’s HER child now. She can name her child anything she wants. It’s not like her daughters chose to name her Minnie Mouse.

Why make the baby keep a name someone else gave her, someone who won’t be raising her or seeing her? Besides, how do you know the birthparents even named her at all? Many birth parents do not name the baby if it’s given up to adoption right after birth.

jamtx on

Am I missing something in the article that says the girls picked out the name? It says they picked out the clothes and help feed her and if my Son would have been old enough when my daughter was born I would have asked him to help me pick out a name…they are the siblings so why not? Why so negative?

BabyBoysMom on

Agree with everyone else. Janet, you don’t know the story. As an adoptive mom, our birthmom was more than receptive to the name that we chose for our baby boy and calls him that name today. Our birthmom did name him something else at birth, but was very understanding and on board with our choice, as well. Sorry your experience sounds like it hasn’t been a positive one, but adoptive parents deserve the right to name a child that comes into their family, as well. Congrats, Denise!

Caroline on

She looks like the girl who plays Ali in “Pretty Little Liars”

LLM on

The birth mother gave her life. What more could you ask for? I did read somewhere that the girls were instrumental in picking the name, but so what? They are old enough to participate, and Denise is including them in a wonderful tribute. We’ve all seen and read just how ridiculous some adults are when it comes to naming children, so kudos to her and her family!

Linda on

I have seen Denise a couple of times and she doesn’t seem to be capitalizing on Charlie’s problems. I don’t know what I think of her but it really doesn’t matter either.

I hope her book does well although I don’t intend to buy a copy. I don’t read books like this by celebrities. She respects his children’s father enough not to trash talk him unlike so many others in her position.

I wonder why she doesn’t get more movie roles. She is pretty enough and has a nice body so what is the problem.

beesmom on

Janet, what makes you think the biological mom gave the baby a name? There is nothing wrong with them choosing the babies name as a family.

Victoria on

I’m adopted and I value my name greatly. It was chosen by my real parents (not my birth family). The birth family has no rights when they give a child up for adoption.

RG on

As an adoptee, I can tell you that my birth mother never named me. My MOM & DAD had that privilege. But no where in this article do you read anything about Denise changing the name of the child, so you assume much don’t you???? That’s how drama and gossip starts, without knowing the facts…so think about that next time……

K on

I believe there was another article that came out when Denise first announced the adoption that described how Denise’s older girls were involved in the naming process. Joni is for her mom.

Congrats on the new addition!

RG on

Oh, and Congrats Denise. Adoption is such a beautiful and special gift! Thank you for giving this child a loving home to grow in. God Bless.

Diana on

Eloise is now part of Denise´s family, she is a very lucky baby. Congratulations to all of them, I wish I could have the time and the money to adopt a baby boy.

Bella on

-Janet, sounds like you were given up for adoption and haven’t come to terms with it. It is pretty rude to imply that the child is a “pet” b/c her siblings had a hand in naming her. I’ve known plenty of people in my life whose siblings helped name them and they were biological not adopted. It’s a lovely story. Clearly this child was wanted and has been welcomed with lots of love. I wish them all the best.

Anonymous on

Caroline- so true! she does! Janet- maybe the birth parents didnt name her. a lot of birth parents feel more attached to the child if they name them. she is denise’s daughter, even though denise did not physically give birth to her, and she has the right to name her

LucyMarie on

Seems to me that Janet just wanted to see what would happen if she was rude. I believe the best course of action is to ignore something like that.

Thanks Ms Richards for choosing domestic! It would be my first choice too 🙂 So many children in the US (not just infants) need homes (yes, other countries have children in need too) that is great there is one less little girl needing cause of Ms Richards!

PS LOVE the name!

Jennifer on

There are so many families longing for a child and it is almost impossible to adopt one domestically. Celebrities with money are able to forego the beaureaucratic red tape and get what they want.

Although it’s honorable that Denise wanted more children, I also find it somewhat sad that now there is one less child available for a couple that do not yet have any children and are longing for one.

Grey’s Fan on

@Jennifer, intersting comment that you find it somewhat sad. I never really thought about it that way and I do see where you are coming from. On the flip side we struggled with infertility for years before we got pregnant with our second and I got really tired of hearing, “at least you have one child” when my heart was longing to expand our family. So, I see both sides but I found your comment interesting as it is another way of looking at things. 🙂

While I have no experience with adoption, to me saying Denise should’ve let the birth Mom name her almost feels like a divide between adopted children and biological children as if one is any more their “real” child. A parent who adopts is just that, a parent. Why wouldn’t you name the child you adopted just like the one you gave birth to when your child is your child whether born from your heart or from your womb.

Lala on

I think it’s great that Denise involved her older girls, in the naming process. In the first article, announcing the birth/adoption, Denise said her older girls helped come up with her first name, and then Joni is after her mother.

Also, in the first article, people commented saying she got a baby so fast, because she had the money. And now they know, it actually took 2 years! So being a celebrity doesn’t get you ahead of the line. You have to go through the same background checks and steps as any other family.

Lastly, those saying they can’t afford to adopt. It does cost quite a bit to adopt, but you are not expected to pay the full amount up front. You pay slowly as the process goes along. Also, in most cases, it’s free to adopt a child in foster care, and there are young toddlers and kids in foster care.

Diana on

@Janet..what the heck. My kids are both adopted from Korea and we did not keep their Korean names. First of all the foster family/agency names them and 2 (Most important) they are OUR boys and we named them what we wanted to name them. When our second son was adopted we talked about names and my oldest will say he named him but if he said Spot he would not have “named him”..

krystal on

@Jennifer- she stated that it took her 2 years to get her baby through the adoption process. I don’t think she cut through any red tape. I know other celebrities have talked in the past about how difficult the domestic adoption process is no matter who you are.

Best wishes to Denise and her girls and their precious family!

Jacqueline (rhymes with beauty queen) on

i’m an adoptive parent. our daughter’s birthmother gave her the name that we chose for her. her first name means wisdom. and her middle name is derived from her birthmother’s name. i don’t judge janet’s opinion, but she should know that modern open adoption can be very different than the secretive and sometimes disrespectful practices of the closed adoptions many adult adoptees may have experienced.

ej on

can’t help but find it strange that she states she was ‘actually open to either gender’….? why wouldn’t she be? weird.

Donna on

OMG would y’all just leave Janet alone! Bullies.

Meems on

I would like to know what kind of bonehead judge allowed this “woman” to adopt a child… She’s already owned up to having the poor baby around Charlie, now she has no choice with his daughters but you would think she would try to keep this child safe, but no dice.

Also who in TF throws themselves a baby shower? That is tacky, tacky, tacky… I’m not saying don’t have one but throwing it for yourself is like begging for people to buy you stuff… Good luck to this poor kid.

Jillian on

ej, because many people who adopt are not open to either gender. Some only want a female and some only want a male.

M on

I’m sorry, but I can’t find anything positive about adoption stories like this. Denise Richards says she waited over 2 years to find a birth mother willing to give her baby up. Really?! She didn’t have to wait over 2 years, she could have become a foster parent and had a child placed in her home in less than 6 months.

Everybody wants a perfect infant, but that’s NOT what parenthood is about! If someone so desperately wants a child, they should take whoever is available at the time. It disgusts me that there are waiting lists for infants. Is the baby a sold out item, or what?! There should be no waiting lists. There are plenty of children out there that are desperate for a family and are not being given a chance. Guess what? There’s no waiting list you have to get on to foster them!

The adoption industry (aka steal a baby from a young, naive, uninformed birth mother and sell it for profit) is sickening. That’s why adoptions are so expensive, because its all for profit. There’s no excuse for an adoption to cost $20,000 or $30,000. The legal processing fees do NOT cost that much! Children’s lives should not be used as a way to make money!

Shannon on

Angelina Jolie changed her adopted children’s names and no one ever complains about that. And they were much older, especially Pax!

ecl on


I actually do complain about that. She changed a 4 year old’s name to make it sound trendier. She took a little boy out of his home country, he didn’t know English, and then, on top of that, she changed his name. Now, the first two, I don’t have a problem with.

I’m glad he was given a good home. But when you take a kid so far outside of his comfort zone and uplift his life, you should at least let him keep the name that he has known for 4 years.

This thing with Denise doesn’t bother me in the slightest. She’s an infant. She doesn’t know her name yet.

Corrie on

M, you really don’t know anything about adoption or else you’ve been so caught up in the anti-adoption propaganda that you can’t see the forest for the trees.

Dave Herrington on

When we adopted our daughter at 5 years old we gave her the chance to change her name if she wanted and she did, she shortened her first name and changed her middle name to match her new sisters. I don’t see how keeping the same name for a 6 week old is honoring anyone, besides why do we want to honor the biological parents? How do we know what the parents are like? Is it a single young mother that is giving up their child so it could have a better life or is it the 4th child taken away from a drug addled set of parents by CPS?

Jamee @ A New Kind of Normal on

I usually don’t respond to these things but I have to.

M- the adoption industry is not out to STEAL babies. Of course there are a handful of slimeballs out there who create a bad wrap for them all but you are so stereotyping adoption as a whole. We adopted our beautiful girl two years ago. Our costs were $25000 which went towards legal fees as well as birthmother expenses, including care and counseling/support – not for profit.

We were open to many health/medical issues as adoptive parents and weren’t expecting a “perfect” child. There are waiting lists because agencies actually take the time to screen adoptive parents to match better & healthier matches for all parties involved. I’m not sure where you get your information but its sounds like you’ve watched one to many Lifetime movies. You need to get your facts straight.

Kerry on

For lots of people looking to adopt a child, there are plenty in the state social services system. I adopted six children from NJ dyfs and believe me there are plenty more, babies of all nationalities and older children looking for loving homes. I have three biological children as well, adoption is a wonderful thing, but I do not understand why everyone goes abroad to search for a child, when there are so many in our own backyards, so to speak.

Good luck to Denise, if someone has the heart and love to do this, it is a wonderful thing.

Mary on

I believe Joni was actually after Denise’s deceased mother.

Katie on

What has she done wrong Janet? Nothing in my eyes. So the girls helped pick a name for their baby sister. I think that is so sweet and its really getting them involved. My daughter named our son Michael. Nothing wrong with that. If we didn’t like it, we wouldnt of agreed just like Denise I’m sure. Leave them alone, she’s been through enough let her have some happiness.

Big Fan on

My God, all the crap on here. It’s a child given a better life, let it go. Denise is great to adopt her and give her love.

momma803 on

There are literally thousands of children waiting to be adopted in the US foster care system. Those who truly desire to be parents can adopt without a long wait and there is almost no cost.

Suzanne on

@Janet – You must know that the baby is named after Denise’s mother who passed away about 3 years ago. She was adopted at birth so she didn’t have a name! Please! Don’t be so jealous! Be happy that this child will have a wonderful life!!

M on

Actually I DO know about adoption. I have known plenty of adopted people in my life, and I’ve researched the subject greatly. The adoption industry is a million dollar industry. Do a little research, you’ll see for yourself. There is a LOT of profit made. Many young mothers are tricked into giving their children away. There is proof that in the 70’s young mothers would have their children taken away from them without their consent! Just look it up and read all the horror stories.

Also, its not true that there are waiting lists because the parents are being screened! There are waiting lists because everyone wants a perfect, healthy newborn infant. Caucasian babies are also preferred. ‘

That is sickening. I know a couple in real life that has waited 6 years to adopt, and 3 birth mothers changed their minds at the very last minute. They are still waiting! Why would someone go through so much trouble when they can fairly easily get a foster child in less than 6 months?

Socalibaby on

Janet….Eloise’s birth mother gave her up. While we don’t know the reasons for her decision…..I’m sure they were very well thought out and her decision wasn’t an easy one. Denise is Eloise’s mother, plain and simple. As her mother she has every right to name her new daughter whatever she wants. I’m quite sure this precious little girl IS (and will always be) VERY well loved, and taken care of. I think the story has a very happy ending……….a child that need a loving family and a loving family with plenty of love to give. : )

R on

Most of you posting comments here are missing the MAIN POINT. The issue is that she chose to adopt herself and NOT wait on a partner “husband”. This very scenario is another vivid reminder that Hollywood should not be idolized or looked up.

I’m sure Denise is a great mom and her girls are adorable, I just feel like we need to be better role models for our children and God intended on a family being a mom and dad. Denise shouldn’t have pointed out that she chose not to wait on a partner and just said I adopted a baby.

Melanie on

Um, her other kids’ father is CHARLIE SHEEN. I’d venture to say little Eloise would be better off with no dad at all rather than one like that.

Momof4 on

My mouth hangs open as I read all these posts!

We have adopted 4 children domestically through our foster care system. And yes, you can have a child placed with you quickly and sometimes you wait and wait. Adopting through the foster care system is not easy and it is not for the faint of heart. You can adopt often with little cost. We experienced that. We also experienced a 2 year roller coaster ride in which we had to have our own legal counsel and it was costly. We also had to say goodbye to a darling boy after he lived with us for 1 year. 12 years later he continues a relationship with us, vacations with us and recently asked, “why didn’t they just let you adopt me?”

As perspective adoptive parents in the foster care system, you have to be ready to love unconditionally with no known outcome. It is the hugest emotional sacrifice one could ever make. I describe our situation as parenting times 10. I wouldn’t have it any other way–I would not trade my children for ANYTHING. We would love to expand our family but can not ask our children to make that emotional sacrifice at the age they are now. So our family is complete.

I have mentored many adoptive parents, maybe 60+ families, and not ONE was a family with a child from a young mother. I am sure they are out there but this is not the population you see in foster care. People, please educate yourselves about our very flawed system–and change it. Children languish in foster care because of societies bias towards blood and the rights of the parents. I hope someday adoptive families are treated with the same respect as biological familes. And the needs of the children are put FIRST.

I see from both sides of the issue. I was raised by my birth mother and was adopted by my father. He is my REAL father–the only father I have ever known. I changed my name at 10 years old and I continue to carry his name in addition to my married name because I am proud of that tie. We named all 4 of our children–even our 2 year old. His older brothers and sister actually picked it and it has great meaning and it makes them all proud. Out of respect for his birthmom, we kept his birthname as a middle name. It was a very creative spelling but we loved its meaning–saved by God. He is 8 now and is asking us why it is spelled differently. We told him, as we always have, that his birthmom liked the name but must have wanted an extra special spelling just for him. He has asked us to change it. If he continues to stick to that…we will–out of respect for his wishes.

I haven’t even touched on all the issues and expenses we have because of what was allowed to happen to our children before birth and/or before they were taken from their birthfamilies. Unless you are living it…you haven’t a clue.

As a parent, I don’t know how I could love my children any more than I do. Maybe some of us just have a heart for loving. We all have people in our lives whom we love so very much who are not blood. I don’t understand the resistance towards adoption. I hope children of adoption and their families continue to shine a light to the world–that shows we are not second class families.

Please be open to the beauty that can come from loving adoptions.

Molly on

R, just deal with the fact that there are great single others everywhere. People like you embarrass women everywhere with you screwed up ideas. Deal with the reality that most people don’t respect offensive opinions like yours. Can’t stand it? Move to Iran. The USA needs to progress, not move backwards

Molly on

R ,I suspect is a troll. No one can be that stupid in real life afterall

Lane on

Criticism abounds! With celebrities, you are damned if you do, damned if you don’t. Everyone and their uncle has got an opinion on the right way to lead your life- how to adopt and where, what to name your child, whether it is okay to be a single mother…etc. In this case, I would reserve criticism unless you know Denise personally or the intimate details of her adoption, which the people commenting here do not.

People who go around judging every little thing that a person does really irk me. The intimate details of this case are not known. None of these critics are judges or God, so they should pipe down.

Lane on

R is ridiculous. She would rather a woman rush into a potentially disastrous marriage than raise a child on her own. All for the sake of maintaining values that she is imposing on another individual. Lead your life the way you want and leave others out of it.

Nicole on

Adopting older children involves massive challenges most people are not up for. Many have psychological issues from their pasts that make it especially difficult. It’s not remotely comparable to raising a child, whether biological or adopted, from infancy.

Jillian on

Why did the people you know not do foster care? You should have gave them your advice and they would have had a child 5 1/2 years ago.

Every person choses differently in what they want to do. Some are open to adoption and some are not. Some are open to dossier care and some are not. Some are open to fertility and some are not. Same with surrogacy. Some don’t even want children. You can’t make someone do something because you feel it’s right. What is right for you and your family may not be right for another family.

Bekki on

Waiting two years to adopt an infant is not long. Celebrities do get special treatment when it comes to just about everything, including adoption. If she would have used the social agency we did when we adopted our children, she would have never made it through the initial screening process. Her relationship with Charlie Sheen would have most likely would have been reason for not going forward with the process. (Seems like I remember her having some kind of issues at the time too).

When my husband and I adopted, we had to have a psychological exam individually and together with a therapist. We were fingerprinted and our prints ran through the FBI. We had to take “parenting classes.” We had to have a home study.

It seems that celebrities somehow get to by-pass all this, and have a child placed with them in a very quick time frame.

Yes, money will buy anything. Including a child.

Anonymous on

Ok, I have to admit my 3 year old son helped pick out his baby sisters name. We were between a couple of names and he really liked this one name. The way he would say it was so cute that when he said her name I would just melt. So, we did choose the name he wanted. We did not choose the middle name he wanted as the middle name was after a relative. I really wanted him to be apart of the whole process and feel like it was his baby too.

I have to say I am so happy Denise Richards was able to adopt her baby. She deserves to be happy.

MrsKiwi on

@M–you are obviously spreading the viral anti-adoption garbage that so many try to encourage these days. That’s exactly what it is–GARBAGE! We have two adopted children. Both are bi-racial, both were the 3rd or 4th child to be placed for adoption by drug addicted birth mothers who had lost their other children to the state systems. We paid $20,000 in fees each (through a non-profit agency) so that these birth mothers had opportunities for education, counselling, a place to live, and all of their needs met. We waited over 2 years for our first child. Both of our kids were born with drug exposure and some special health concerns. And we would do it all AGAIN!

My husband and his sister are also adopted. We have excellent relationships with his birth family. And our children’s birth families. Both birth mothers say that placing their children with us was the best thing they ever did. No one coerced them. Our children were not bought. And there was nothing harmful about the process. What we did was give two birth mothers who would have lost their children to a state system the option to choose thier children’s adoptive parents.

There will be the odd negative story out there. But your generalization that the whole adoption system is flawed and that birth mothers are being cheated out of their children is ABSOLUTELY wrong!!! Get over it. And please stop spreading vicious lies.

Marky on

Congratulations to Denise Richards and her family on the arrival of Eloise! She appears to make every effort to be the best mom she can be, and I think it’s great her child has a name with great meaning.

I believe I can speak to the issue of adoption, as others have. I have adopted internationally, was a foster parent for nearly 15 years, and adopted one of our foster children. I, too mentored foster parents, and taught foster parenting classes and helped license them, and Momof4 is correct–many of you have no real concept of what going through the foster system can entail.

We had one child for more than 5 years (who even had a legal name change to one he chose because he hated his original name) and because of the inability of the system to get around to finally severing the parental rights of drug-addicted alcoholics who served time in prison for attempted murder, he completely cracked from the pain of “never truly belonging because he didn’t have a piece of paper”. Oh, yes, and I forgot to say he was 14 years old and had to be placed in residential treatment for molesting another child. We had had him in therapy for years and truly loved him so much, but it wasn’t enough to overcome all that had happened to him before we got him and the grief that finally took over his life.

We adopted our son who came to us at 2 mo. and after going back and forth between us and his biological family, he was released for adoption at age 3 yrs, 10 mo. Wow, the system just always works like a charm and quick as lightning. I can’t even tell you how many people I know who have adopted through what is called fos-adopt, and most of them have gone through stories a lot like ours with our youngest son. We know someone right now who has been going through the same ordeal for a year. Bio mom even requested they receive the baby, but the grandparents have gone to court multiple times, so baby is back and forth, but still no adoption. None of these mothers were younger than 29years old.

So when you freak out on people for not wanting to take a chance on the heartache of 50/50 chance of losing the child placed with them, ostensibly for adoption, you need to realize how painful the loss of that child can be. I know I may never really recover from the loss of a child I had loved as my own for years, and imagine how hard it was to not live in fear that our other son would end up the same way, because the system is not as concerned about meeting the child’s needs as they are the ones of dysfunctional parents. While I say that, I assure you I believe in reuniting the family, if the circumstances are right for the child and the parent(s) are making every effort. Otherwise, it shouldn’t drag on for years as the child languishes in the system.

As for changing the name, the fact is it really depends on the child and how old they are, their personality, and how much it means to you to name your child yourself. For us, it was important, be their names of origin are their middle names and they know why and how we made that decision. It is important to be as informed as possible about all the aspects of adoption and always remember, it is not your right to criticize how someone else chooses to expand their family. what works for you may not be right for them.

Hea on

I’m happy for them, it must be wonderful! This pic of Denise is, however, not the best one I’ve seen of her. Yikes.

Sarah K. on

“besides why do we want to honor the biological parents?”

I’m sorry but that’s horrifying. I’m ok with Denise’s choice to name Eloise because the baby is an infant and we don’t know if the birth mother even wanted to name her. But, adopting a child without at least respecting the birth parents is a disaster in the making. Placing your child up for adoption cannot be an easy choice and if adoptive parents don’t respect that, how can they successfully raise an adopted child?

Birth parents DO matter, especially to many adopted children. Like it or not, your adopted child came from this person that you don’t think deserves your respect. That will affect your child.

Sarah K. on

M, I agree with you that there are some very horrifying things that can go on in private adoptions (please note everyone that I said “can” and not “always”).

Unfortunately, not enough adoptive parents look into the procedures their agency takes in getting the necessary consents in a non-coercive manner. I’ve heard about way too many birth fathers having to fight to get their children back or birth mothers who were coerced into giving their consent. But, the fact is that many people adopt because they want a baby and not out of the “goodness of their hearts.” And, you can’t force people to adopt a truly needy child if they don’t want to.

Kate on

M: I work in the Foster Care world and Denise would probably not be chosen as a suitable Foster Parent even if she tried. When she goes out her picture is taken same with her children. There would be so many legal issues with a foster child and their Confidentiality Rights. Plus Denise wanted a permanent child in her home forever. For some it might be too hard on her to have a foster child and to start that bond only to have them placed back with their family. Most children in Foster Care do not stay with their Foster Parent.

I think people need to stop judging and assuming on these sites (cough, cough Janet). We only know the story told and that’s pretty much it.

Congrats on the new addition; looks like Eloise fits in perfectly 🙂

Amy on

I disagree with the idea that many birthmoms don’t name their babies. I haven’t done quantitative research, but I know enough birthmoms and most of them did have a name picked out for their babies. They love their babies! They don’t just give them away, and they aren’t mostly young women. Two years is a pretty average wait time to adopt domestically. Foster-to-adopt tends to be quicker but not always.

As an adoptive mom of a newborn son (who is now almost 5), his birthmom, who is now my friend and visits with our son as often as we can manage it, named him before he was born. We discussed names with her, and changed his first name and kept her first name she gave him as a middle name. We wanted to honor her. We also wanted to feel entitled to raise her baby as our own and part of that was choosing a name for him ourselves.

I sure am reading a lot of uninformed stereotypes about what adoption is about! Yes some birthmothers later feel that they were coerced into placing their child for adoption, and unfortunately some were. My heart goes out to them. I have a great respect for birth parents. Denise Richards? Eh. But who am I to judge her motives for adopting? We did.

Anonymous on

The girls did help choose the baby name, it appears in a People article from last week.

M! on

I didn’t read all the comments didn’t want to. I saw the other M’s anti adoption shizz and skipped over everything else. I did see where some people complained about Denise letting her girls pick the new babies name. Eloise Joni compared to Sam & Lola? She should let her girls pick the names for any future children that come in as well. Because they did a good job!

JG on

I was shocked that a snide comment was made after such a nice article. Must there always be conflict? It is none of Janet’s business what the baby is named or how she got the name. I believe the child was named after her late grandmother. This is a lovely story of someone giving a child a home. Period. If you have something nasty to say, take it to the political discussion blogs.

Glenda on

To all of you: Aren’t you all being a little bit harsh on what Janet said?! She was merely speaking her opinion, just like the rest of you. A name is only a name..what’s the big deal. Who are any of us to say who should name an adopted child. Each adoption is personal and carried out by both parties. IT IS NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS so stay out of it. Character is more important, and all of you who are badgering Janet are not showing quality character.

My sister has just been diagnosed with breast cancer; there are much needed prayers for her. Will you stop this nonsense and pray for my sister? Please? Thank you. Seriously, let’s be thankful that the baby girl has a loving home, regardless of what name she has. She is a blessing to all.

Laurel on

Why is it assumed that people that can’t have biological children should adopt a special needs, older child from the foster system? If having children was all about doing the best thing for all needy children then EVERYONE would adopt a child from the foster system BEFORE having any children biological or adopted. I don’t see society condeming biological parents for deciding to have biological children rather than adopting.

Shannon on

As a mother to an adopted baby girl I am just stunned reading all these comments. First off if celebs adpot out of the country then they are told they are wrong because we have so many kids in the US that needs homes, then you have a celeb who comes out and talks about her domestic adoption of an infant and you people still have crap to say about it.

It took us about 10 months to get all the paperwork done and get our homestudy approved, then we were lucky- we were matched within a month. Within 4 months of being approved we had brought our baby girl home. We chose our daughters name- we are her parents- we should get to choose the name.

I respect my daughters birthmother- she gave my daughter life, but we have a closed adoption and have no contact with the birth mother (this was decided by the birthmother) I will not allow my daughter’s adoption to define her life. It’s a part of her life- it’s how she became a part of our family, but that’s it.

Honestly until you have been through the adoption process please stop talking, you don’t have a clue.

tess on

Janet, why are you so upset that denise named her little girl? did you give birth to this child and name her something different? i think its great that her 2 other girls got to help choose a name for there baby sister, congrats Denise and family

Stephanie on

Sighs…thank you for trying to bring a new perspective and deeper thought to the subject, Janet. I completely agree with you.

There is a lot of corruption, wholly unethical,& I dare say, illegal activity in the adoption industry. Couples desperate to adopt an infant are $ signs for the adoption industry. Those same couples are not counseled in dealing with their infertility (etc) but encouraged to live an unhealthy (at best) lie that this child is born to them. Well, you can’t very well do that without changing names, amending birth certificates & keeping the natural family out of the picture. Any anonymity or confidentiality is to protect the adoptive parents’ fantasy that this child is their genetic offspring. Many would be adopters would go to another agency or refuse to pay so much for a child if efforts weren’t made to block out the child’s natural history/family. “Confidentiality” also protects the big business of what amounts to legalized baby selling (& legal kidnapping in most cases). The less often natural families are reunited with the adopted person the less chance the truth is discovered & the adoption industry exposed for what it is=the money keeps rolling in.

I also want to add:

In the event that an adoption absolutely HAS to take place I do not think the child’s name should be changed, nor should the child’s birth certificate be altered & most certainly no files should be sealed from the child once he/she is an adult. Adoption should be outlawed completely & a kind of guardianship or permanent custody used in the cases that are absolutely 100% unavoidable. There is zero reason for secrecy. The secrecy hurts in so many ways on so many levels.

All people should know their roots, their history, their heritage, their ancestry. All people should be able to wear that natural history proudly in the form of their given name/surname.

Shawna on

For all the people saying adopt through the foster care system – are you willing to parent a disabled or emotionally scarred child? Are you willing to take on a child that has autism or attachment disorders or FAS? There are not many healthy children under the age of 2 in the foster care system. That is a myth. The majority have major, major issues. So you are saying that parents who can’t have children should give up the dream of knowing what it’s like to raise an infant or give up the dream of a healthy child? Until you tell me that YOU are raising a child adopted from the foster care system then nothing you say is worth anything. It took my sister 2 years to adopt through the foster care system and even then their son has autism, apraxia, and epilepsy. They were open to multiple types of special needs but it still took a long time. You obviously have no clue what you are talking about.

Shannon on

@ Shawna- I have many friends who have adopted through the foster care system, and yes it can be a long process, because many of the children are not “legally free” to be adopted when they come into care, they are a lot of very healthy children that need homes.

None of the 6 couples who I know that have adopted from foster care have children with a lot of special needs. All of them got their children pretty much either from the hospital or within the first month of thier life. All of these children are meeting or exceeding their developmental milestones and have not any major medical issues.

To say all foster kids have problems is not the case.

Janet on

Shannon – Adoption does define our life. You can change our name and believe that you had a “closed” adoption, but we go the rest of our lives wondering who our birth parents are and where we came from. We move mountains to find out this information as you see in so many of the reunion shows. This does not mean we are not grateful to our adopted parents, it just means we are human and want to know where we come from. We must be honest about our birth – our DNA is obviously that of others and we are the products of FOUR parents.

LM – I am an adoptee and we are the only ones that can speak to our experience. I am not saying that an adopted mother isn’t a mother. You should have read my comment more carefully.

Janet on

Bella – Seems like you’re doing the assuming in that I’ve absolutely come to terms with my adoption and am so comfortable with it I can give voice to my experience. Perhaps its the raw honesty of someone’s feelings that is difficult for you. In fact, I have found my birth parents and showed the way for ALL four of my parents to deal with the trauma of the situation – my birth mother who was forced to surrender a child and an adopted mother who could not have children.

Janet on

As an adoptee, I have researched the subject heavily and lived it all of my life. Many adoptees are given names by their birth parents (hence, an original, often-times sealed birth certificate) but that name is then wiped out and replaced when we are adopted.

I realize that many people think a name is nothing important, but it does contain a lot of history – sometimes our ethnic/geographical makeup, other times, an old family name and thus a history – this is one of the only connections we then have with our birth family. I realize that last names may have to be changed to legally become a part of a new adopted family, but it would be a wonderful gesture to be able keep our original first name.

I love that Amy allowed the birth mom to participate in her child’s naming. I think that is the best scenario to have the parents working together. Kudos to you!

I am not attempting to criticize families who adopt – I am the last person who would want to do that, I just want to create greater understanding and empathy about the adoptee’s experience because it is not an easy one.

I wouldn’t bring it up if I didn’t think adoptive families were capable of it. Adoptive families have already opened up their hearts and homes to us, why wouldn’t they want to make our transition and experience the best it could be?

Thank you all for caring enough about the subject to post.

Glenda – I hope your sister gets better and will say a prayer for her. It is scary when you first find out, but my (adopted) mother has been in remission for three years.

Janet on

Dave – Have to address your comment: “I don’t see how keeping the same name for a 6 week old is honoring anyone, besides why do we want to honor the biological parents?”

The reason you would honor the biological parents is because they are the ones who gave you the chance to be adoptive parents in the first place, they give the child LIFE, DNA (hair color, eye color, personal characteristics, talents, interests), a history (ethnicity, familial, medical), I could go on and on. The point is that they are our parents and we cannot deny that – it would be denying our own DNA. We may have our names denied and take on the adoptive parents likes, work, etc. but truthfully, we are the product of all four of you and to not be honest about that is harmful to adoptees.

Shannon on

@ Janet-
My sister and my best friend are adopted neither ever wanted to find their birth parents. They both feel their adopted parents are their parents, they both have successful and fulfilling lives and don’t feel the need look elsewhere for information.

We are not the ones who chose a “closed” adoption for our daughter- that was her birth mothers choice. We will be open and honest with her and tell her as much info as we have to give her, but I will not spend every day telling her she’s adopted, I will not tell her stories of her birth mother every night. I feel that is more damaging to a child then to just be loved and welcomed into their family.

I am grateful to her birthmother because she gave her life, but at the end of the day I am mom.

adpoted adult on

What baby would trade their natural mother for material things? Adoption is profoundly painful for the birth mother and child. Why are people so ignorant.

also adopted on

@adopted adult

I’m sorry that your experience sounds like it has been difficult. As another adopted adult I can say that my experience has not been profoundly painful in anyway. I cannot speak to the feelings of the woman who gave birth to me, nor for the man who got her pregnant. I have met her and she claims to be at peace with her decision. She has had a very happy and successful life, and keeping me would have caused her life to go in a very different direction. Yes, it was hard at first for her, but she made peace with it and moved on. I have a very limited relationship with her – she is more of an acquaintance for me.

My MOTHER is the woman who raised me, who held me when I was scared, who nursed me when I was sick, who showed me love and raised me. While the woman who gave birth to me gave me life, my MOTHER gave me A life.

Being adopted has not been profoundly painful for me in anyway. My parents were open with me from a very early age about the adoption. They answered questions when I wanted to know, and didn’t keep anything from me.

@ Janet

You mention keeping her birth name. I was adopted at three days and my parents changed my name. It doesn’t bother me at all. The woman who gave birth to me gave me DNA yes, but she did not give me a sense of who I am… that came from my parents. They provided me with the ability to discover my personality and interests, to develop my talents, and become the person I am today. I don’t feel that keeping my original name would have made a difference to the person that I am today in anyway.

I think it’s great the Denise has adopted this little girl. I wish them the best. By all appearances she appears to really love her girls, so I’m sure that Eloise would be well taken care of.

Molly on

adopted adult, just shut up and leave. You’re a troll.

Jillian on

You need to change WE and OUR to I and MINE. Stop speaking on behalf of ALL adopted children. Not everyone has the same experience as you. You really sound like you had a rough journey and maybe should talk to a counselor or someone about it. I know several people who were adopted that have had positive experiences and NO ill feelings, so again, speak about YOURSELF!

Janet on

Also adopted – My adoptive parents were open about the fact that I was adopted from before I could speak. Don’t make assumptions about my experience.

Jillian – I am speaking based on the fact that so many adoptees have gone back to find their birth parents. So much so, that is the content of many a TV show like Oprah and Troy the Locator. It is undeniable that there is a large portion of us who want to know where we came from, what our DNA is, and that this is a perfectly healthy human need and psychological state. You, too, are making assumptions that I have “had it rough.” Why do you even think that? I actually am very lucky to know all of my parents – birth and adopted – and they are wonderful people. I feel so blessed to have two mothers.

Perhaps you should go see a counselor since you see the need to insult me just because I am giving voice to this. If you were so okay with it, I am sure you wouldn’t see the need to insult me.

Janet on

Molly – How rude of you to tell an adoptee to “shut up” about their feelings and to insult the trauma of the birth mothers who must surrender their children that he/she is trying to give voice to. You obviously don’t know much about the subject or have very much empathy for people or you wouldn’t have said something so hurtful. I am sure if you were expressing your feelings, you wouldn’t want someone to treat you in that manner so why don’t you try and exercise the Golden Rule and a little civility!

Janet on

Shannon – At the end of the day, we have two mothers – one who gave us life and one who raised us. To demean the birth mother’s sacrifice is to demean pregnancy and birth itself and as women, I thought we were more empathetic and reverential of this fact. It is a prestigious role we are given in the creation of life. Birth others are not surrogate robots who pop out a baby and then go out for beer.

It is not an either/or. Adoptees do not have to choose between one mother and the other and if you cared about us, you wouldn’t make us choose. Yes, at some points in our lives, we may be more concerned about one mother than the other. When we are young, we often want to focus solely on our adoptive family to fit in and make sense of the world. We also do not ever want to appear disloyal to the families that have given us so much so I’m not surprised if the adoptees you know tell you that they have no wish to find out about their birth families. As I’ve said numerous times, though, all of the TV shows, books and private investigators about it point to the fact that adoptees and even people separated from their birth parents because of other circumstances, want to know who they are.

I see that you are an adoptive mom and maybe this hits a nerve, but if you are honest, you will realize that honesty will only strengthen the bond you have with your adopted child and, believe me, this bond with the adopted parent is an incredibly strong one. You wield great power over everything the adopted child see, does, etc. You will be their shelter and their sanctuary so don’t worry or be afraid.

Jillian on

Your posts reek with anger and hostility and resentment. Again, you should never speak on behalf of someone else. Speak on YOUR experience. Many do go and find their parents, but they don’t have the same feelings, everyone is different. Why do I think you had it rough? Based on what you have said. You have so much negativity flying out of your mouth, so that is my perception of you. I am not insulting you at all. You need to not be so sensitive. And I don’t need counseling for insulting you. That makes no sense. I suggested it because based on what you said, it sounds like you have issues with your adoption. If you can’t handle the response from people, don’t share. I don’t know what you don’t think I am not okay with. I am not okay with people speaking for others. I know plenty of adopted children and adopted parents and never met someone who talks about it like you.

Again Janet, that is how YOU feel! I asked my two cousins (in their 30’s) if they have two moms and they said no. They each said they have one mother. The one that raised them and who is in their lives. They explain the other person as just someone who gave them life. They both said not a mom, mother or anything. And regarding telling someone to shut up…….should it matter if the person was adopted or not?!

Shannon, I agree and think what you said is spot on.