Connie Britton: Why I Adopted As a Single Mom

12/07/2012 at 04:00 PM ET

Jack Osbourne Respectfully Declines More Baby Gifts
Cindy Ord/Getty

Connie Britton always knew she wanted to have a family — and she wasn’t about to let her single status stand in her way.

“I lost both of my parents within three years of each other and I kind of thought, ‘What am I waiting for?'” the Nashville star said during The View on Monday.

“The man will come and if I want to have my own kids I can do that, but I [knew] this was something I [wanted] to do.”

And after shining light on Africa’s orphan crisis, it didn’t take long for Britton, 45, to decide where she would find her first child. “I was going to do a documentary about Ethiopian orphans and spent a lot of time in orphanages there,” she shares.

“It was something I knew I always wanted to do — adopt from there.”

In 2011 the actress welcomed home Yoby — a “wonderful and life-changing experience,” Britton says — and, from the start, baby boy has been busy motivating his mama in ways she never imagined.

“It is really true, I sing to him all the time. Poor thing practically never hears me just say a straight word. I sing everything like we’re in a musical,” she jokes. “I guess he likes it. He wasn’t able to defend himself because he couldn’t speak until just recently.”

So when she was offered the role as country superstar Rayna James on the hit show Nashville, Britton didn’t think twice about belting out her voice. “When this came up, I thought to myself, ‘You know, I sound pretty good singing with Yoby. I’m sure I can pull it off.’ Not smart!” she says with a laugh.

— Anya Leon

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 61 comments

Tieraney on

I honestly never heard of her before Nashville. I love that show and she is great in it!

Marcia on

Where have you been??? Connie Britton was in “Friday Night Lights” Very good series! Nashville is her second. I suggest you rent FNL and see for yourself.

klutzy_girl on

Actually, Marcia – Nashville is her third series. She was on American Horror Story last year!

Love Connie and Nashville!

Nancy on

Actually Nashville is Connie’s 4th series. She was in Spin City with Michael J. Fox. She played his assistant and girlfriend before he left the show because of his Parkinson’s.

Anonymous on

“The man will come and if I want to have my own kids I can do that”. Oh, Connie, if you really believe that’s going to happen at 45, I feel sorry for you!

me on

You are a moron Anonymous. Why can’t she find love at 45?! People are still getting married and finding love in their 70’s.

Anonymous on

By the way, it says in the post announcing her adoption of him that he was nine months old at the time. That was in November 2011, meaning he’s around 22 months old now, in case anyone’s curious. πŸ™‚

Angela on

I remember her back from Spin City with MJ Fox, years ago. I don’t understand the judgemental comments. A woman longing for a child has one and a child who was once orphaned now has a family. What’s to criticize?!

Jen DC on

@Anonymous: Why are you feeling sorry for her? She HAS a “her child,” through adoption. Is the wedding out of the question?

shannon on

I had never heard of her either till Nashville I never watched Friday Night Lights… Congrats on Yoby I 2 am a single mother of an adopted child though it was a private adoption I was lucky enough to be there through the whole pregnancy an the birth she is a blessing from God after loosing my husband in a car accident in 05 an my brother in 08 to the same car accident from this injuries …she will be 7 months the 29th she keeps me going

Nic on

Well even before Friday Night Lights (which I loved) and American Horror story (which was a miss with me) she was in Spin City with Michael J Fox and I loved that show too!

dsfg on

Connie, children you adopt ARE your own children. If you don’t think so, don’t adopt!

Anonymous on

Jen DC- Of course a wedding isn’t out of the question! But she talked about being able to have her “own” children, clearly meaning biological…but that’s not likely to happen given her age.

ClaireSamsmom on

Love Connie and she seems like a great mom! She was in a show last year called “American Horror Story” on F/X channel. This show won a ton of awards and is one of the creepiest shows I have ever watched! She was so good in it! I haven’t seen “Nashville” yet, but I want to….I am definetly a fan of hers!

Amy on

@Anonymous – you’re privy to whether or not she has harvested her eggs for future use? Be careful what you say isn’t possible. Quite honestly, I was offended by your comment because it reads more like you think she couldn’t find a man at that age.

Cindy on

She was also in Spin City! And was in the Friday Night Lights movie!

Katy on

I really love it when people take out of context comments and twist them into something nasty. It’s almost as if seeing who can say the cruelest thing is the new American sport.

Melissa on

Actually she was in the Friday Night Lights movie before the series and then in American Horror Story, not to mention a ton of other shows/movies. This gal is amazing. I would watch anything that she’s in. Friday Night Lights the series was one of my all time favorties!

Janet on

I LOVE Connie Britton and I give her kudos for adopting this child back in 2011 and for not broadcasting it like a lot of celebrities would. Good for her – she adopted the child she always wanted and gave this little boy a wonderful home that he would not have had.

Melissa on

Best actress on TV, she was so amazing in Friday Night Lights and she’s incredible on Nashville now. Love her!

UnKnown on

Good for her and those who clicked on LOL this isnt funny!

Yvonne on

It’s never too late to find love people. I recently saw an older woman than her who was really not pretty at all run off with a man she met. They were really happy. I’m sad for the people who view life so negatively and have such a limited vision of someone else’s future. How presumptuous.

Doughboylvr67 on

Actually if you look on Connie Britton has starred in many movies and television shows, including Spin City with Michael J. Fox back in 1996. Connie was also on The West Wing. She has been around for awhile. Maybe you just never noticed her before. She is very beautiful and a wonderful actress! Congratulations to her on the adoption of her little boy!

Whi on

I think Connie is great! Never saw Spin City or FNL but I first saw her on AHS and thought she was awesome. Wasnt sure how Nashville would go but I love that show!!!

Congrats (belatedly) on the adoption and I’m glad you are happy with making that decision! I cannot imagine taking on the role of single mother, it must have been a tough decision and I’m sure it’s tough at times, but being a mother myself I know rewarding our children can be πŸ™‚ Congrats πŸ™‚

Mya on

I think it’s great that she has adopted and child and provided a home for a child who otherwise may not have had one. I am a bit torn however on the idea of purposely depriving a child of a father, especially a boy who will need a male figure in his life. No matter how great a parent she is, she cannot take the place of a man. The other side of the coin is that she may have plenty of males in her family who will provide this loved child with all of the male influence that he will need.

Emme on

I’m glad she is happy. We need more happy people in the world.

jomama on

@Mya…isn’t it better for a child to have at least 1 parent instead of no parents at all?….single mothers are awesome and can many times take the role of both parents if needed…. congrats to Connie…love her in Nashville.

KSB on

@MYA: She might have many male figures in her life. I do. I am not married and don’t plan for children. But I have many diverse friends and loved ones surrounding me. Maybe she has similar. πŸ™‚

@Anonymous: She is lovely, smart, gracious and beautiful. She has every right in the world to believe that a man will find her qualities endearing, no matter her age. How simple minded of you to think she won’t find love. Sounds to me like she is bursting at the seams to give it away. It will find her….she is obviously rightfully particular and wants the best in her mate. Good for her! πŸ™‚

La La La on

To Anonymous: If you think Connie Britton’s crazy for thinking a good man could still be in the cards for her, then allow me to tell you about my sister. Last July, at the age of 69 (almost 70), my sister married the love of her life. The same thing happened to my mom. There are still some men in this world who want nothing more than a woman who will love and appreciate them. and the woman’s age is not important to them. You GO, Connie!!!

Rick on

Respect for Connie! She was moved by her giving and adopted to start her family – what a great story. Dig Nashville too

Lori on

Why does “celebs” go out of the country to adopt? There are thousands here in the US that need it just as much. Don’t understand.

Goolll on

I love CB!

Anonymous on

Aren’t there many children in the USA awaiting adoption? Seems like you make all your money from the US why not adopt here?

cj on

she was the wife on Friday Night Lights & very good in it too!

La La La on

I’m not speaking from experience, but my understanding is that a U.S. adoption can take years, as opposed to international adoptions, which happen relatively quickly. So if Connie Britton was already in her 40’s when she decided to adopt, she may not have felt she could afford to wait several years.

Travis on

Adopting is great, she has the money to do it, but I haven’t seen any celebrities that have adopted from the U.S. We have kids here that need adopting too.

SaraB on

For those of you commenting on USA vs international adoption.. first and foremost she said herself that Ethopia held a special meaning for her… so that is her right and choice to adopt from whatever country she chooses.. secondly the process for a adopting a child in the US is more stringent and almost designed to keep children in foster or state care. Many times it is easier and less lengthy a process to adopt out of country.. which is sad for the children here but unfortunately that is just how it is.. it took us 3 years to go though all the legal hoopla to adopt a child we fostered since he was born… but I say no matter where a child is from, kudos to anyone who opens their heart and home to a child who otherwise would not ever have that opportunity!!!!

guest on

Love the Nashville show and Connie!

Marky on

As someone who has adopted both internationally,. and domestically (through the foster care system(, may I just say, it isn’t the piece of cake people seem to think it is to adopt in the states, even through the “system”! We had our child for several YEARS before we could finalize the adoption, and at any time through that process, the bio family could have stepped in and taken her away, or destroyed the adoption. I found that to be unnerving, and had I not had any other children, I would have found it nerve-wracking. I have friends whose child was placed with them for more than a year, and a family member stepped in and stopped the adoption over the protests of the bio mother, who wanted the adoption to go through. More than 2 years later, they are still trying to adopt a child and they are well-educated, loving, fantastic people with money to afford the adoption. If they chose to go overseas, they would have already had a child.

In this country, we allow bio family members who are completely incapable of EVER raising a child, keep their child in foster care until the child is a mess, incapable of true attachment, and/or functioning in a forever family, and we allow their rights to supercede the rights of the child. I say that as an adoptive parent, bio parent, and someone who has worked in the SW system. We need to set limits so people either get their act together and raise their child, or their rights are terminated by the time the child is 2 years old, “Best interests of the child” should mean more than hanging on with people who will never rise to the occasion. Not everyone can take teenagers who are beyond damaged, and overcome every obstacle. And children deserve more than living their lives as foster children, no matter how good the care is in the foster home (or homes)!

Joanne Hankinson on

She is SO good on Nashville! Excellent show! Some of the best, most exciting songs out there now, and I am not even a country fan!

She was also excellent on American Horror Story’s first season!

Kiki on

I never heard of her till Nashville. Congrats on becoming a Mom though, even though it’s still sad this little guy won’t have a father in his life, it’s better than being an orphan in Africa.

guest on

I’m sorry but I truly believe that children need BOTH a mother and father whenever possible. All we hear about is how glamorous single parenthood is nowadays and maybe it is for celebrities that have a wealth of resources, but single parenthood is INCREDIBLY hard. I, and many of my friends, grew up in single parent households, most of us did not know our fathers and we watched our mother’s struggle to make it all work. And yes we had male role models, but they did not make up for not knowing ones father. Many of us have suffered the psychological affects of not knowing our fathers and ironically we have all been in long-term marriages. I’m not saying that single women/men should not adopt, just that children should have the benefit of two parents (male and female) and that glamorizing single parenthood is detrimental. I feel the same way about gay marriage. I think it’s cruel and a violation of a child’s rights to not know ones biological mother or father.

Kim on

I’m quite sure I’ll get slammed for this remark, and I won’t be back to check because frankly, I don’t care. I’m so sick of white celebrities adopting black children. Black babies have become the new ‘purse dog’.

BooBoo on

This is the problem with the internet. Things that are no one’s business or concern are now being debated. She shared that she was happy and adopted an orphaned child from a country that means something to her.

Now there are people arguing the whole “oh she makes her money in the US, why didnt she adopt in the US?” “Why couldn’t she adopt an American baby”? If you actually read the article, it states it pretty clearly, no??

These are the types of people who seem to think that adopting a child is as easy and simple as buying a new pair of shoes to replace an old pair. It takes YEARS and red tape and hoops of fire and whatever else they can throw at you, to adopt a child – and it takes even more to adopt an American child. As SO many have needed to point out, she’s the grand old age of 45. These days 45 is nothing. People get married at 45! Wow! People get pregnant at 45! Oooh! People start careers and buy houses and travel the world and have new life experiences at 45! But what you can’t do one you’re past a certain age is adopt. Because apparently, your ability to parent an adopted child disappears once you hit 40-something. I have friends who spent years trying to adopt but you have to A. Have a certain amount of money in the bank B. Have to fully own your own house C. You have to be younger than a certain age and D. a myriad of other things. These people who have lovely children of their own and just wanted to provide a home and love to an unwanted child, were turned down and, finally, had to accept that they simply could not adopt.

And just because she’s a single mother now, doesn’t mean the child “will never have” a father. She’s obviously open to love coming along. Which is a far better thing than to be one of those women who adopt, because they hate men so much they don’t want to BE in a relationship.

Cindy on

She has a kind heart.

amie on

Hugs to Connie and her son. I have my son for almost a year now and he adopted me! I have the greatest joy with him and his laugh is my happiest moment each and every time it happens.

dsfg on

What frustrates me about these adoption posts is that so many people who are COMPLETELY IGNORANT about adoption make uneducated comments, such as Travis wondering why she couldn’t just adopt from the US because there are kids here that need adopting.

Think about this:

1. If you guys think there are so many kids in the US that need adopting, why don’t you just do it yourself? There are actually some very affordable options through foster care. Or better yet, become a foster parent! If you’re that passionate about this, why not help out yourself, instead of expecting a celebrity to do so?

2. Do you guys realize that there are far more people in the US trying to adopt than there are babies available? Sorry, but I’m getting tired of the “she adopted domestically and gave a good home to a child in need” comments. Adopting a baby in the US is NOT charity, the baby WILL be adopted by someone else if the celebrity doesn’t do it. The birth mothers are the ones doing charity work here, but providing babies to a surplus of couples who want to adopt them.

3. The children most in need of adoption are older children in foster care, the majority of whom are there due to physical and/or sexual abuse or neglect. The majority of these kids have mental and/or physical (due to being born with drugs/alcohol in their system) problems that the average American is not equipped to deal with. God bless any adult who can take one of these kids into their home and adopt them, but I do not blame anyone who isn’t capable. Not to mention that many people who try to adopt these kids are rejected because the agency can see that they are probably incapable.

Most celebrities who adopt are just trying to have a baby to raise, just like most of the commenters on here. It would be great if instead they adopt a 12-year-old sexual abuse victim with severe learning disabilities, it really would, but how many commenters on here have done that themselves?

Cindy Duffield on

She was in that show with Michael J Fox called Spin City.

AJ on

Loved Connie Briton in “American Horror Story”. If she wants to adopt as a single parent, the more power to her! You don’t need a man to be happy. She has the finances to do so, so why not?

Joel on

β€œThe man will come and if I want to have my own kids I can do that, but I [knew] this was something I [wanted] to do.”

Connie, in regards to having your own kids, your 45, that ship has sailed.

BBB on

At 45 adopting was the right move, bodies weren’t made to have children post that age (less probability of pregnancy, high probability of disorders, etc.). However, giving a child a full set of parents would have been ideal but I’m sure that child would rather have one parent than no parents at all. She can definitely still find love and get married, but she should rethink having her “own” children with that man at her age–even if she wants to go the IVF route it’s not the best idea. (Aren’t adopted children your own too??)



LisaT on

I am happy for her but hardly news worthy since a lot of single people adoprt children.

Tom on

Connie- I’m right here in L.A. I have experience with kids too! She is the best. She’s smart, sexy,and very talented.

Cathy on

She was on Spin City several years ago along with Michael J. Fox. That show was hilarious!

Greg on

Im glad that she decided to go for Nashville! I thought Connie was super in West Wing and I think her work in Nashville is fantastic. Good luck with the parenting Connie – its the hardest job you’ll ever love!

Lee on

I didn’t know who Connie Britton was before “Nashville,” but I love the show, and I think she’s amazing! I love her voice with Hayden’s—they could actually go on the road together like the Judd’s. Good to know you have a backup career!

Rin on

I am adopted by woman who had settled nicely into life and wanted a child. Gave me a wonderful home and security and boundless love so zero zero negatives about Mom. She’s terrific and I’d never tell her this but I really did miss out not having a father. Men are thought of as an unnecessary part of family life more and more (much of it the fault of too many deadbeat dads). If at all possible you should not actually plan to have a child without a father figure. If it happens because of divorce, father leaving and never coming back, or some other tragedy well then what can be done? But to actually plan a life without a father to a child is really really risky plus you are planning their life without a father for them with us having no say in that. It’s unfair. And it’s sad not to have a father. We all can live on life no matter what sadness or tragedy so it’s not ruining my life. But it hurts and it’s a longing to know first nobody wanted me then someone who did want me purposely planned a life where a father couldn’t happen. She tried to date but she doesn’t realize it’s not “snap…ok husband, appear”.

I’ve learned over time why she’s single too. She has issues with men even though she denies it and always blame career or men. We got through it all and we love each other bunches and I’m forever grateful (after all, I can’t say a nice couple would have eventually adopted me). but not having a dad figure in life is sad actually. I was lucky to meet a coach who kept me steady during unsteady 14-17 years old. The ages of 10-14 is when I really realized how much I wanted a dad…my dad. It was a sadness not so much a burden or tragic feeling. I never was a bad kid and never had bad temptations but even still I was not making smart decisions as teen life hit and sometimes really only a father around could help me with. I really gravitated towards this coach like a dad even though we really didn’t have as close relationship as I might have believed then. Guys who say it’s no big deal they never had a dad are just saying to be proud or in case birth father hears them say they missed their dad, they don’t want to give deadbeat dad pleasure of being missed.

I wish her luck of course and all happiness. Obviously she will give the child the best life and advantages her position will allow plus endless love. But I would ask others to think twice about actually planning a child’s life without a father. Some will say “well the child had no home before she adopted” and it’s a valid point. But I could easily counter with “but maybe a couple wanted the child or eventually would have come along”. Try first to find a man who wants this too. They are out there. I’ve met lots of middle aged men never married and can’t figure out why. They would be great dads. Many told me they wanted to get married but never had any luck. Too many people from that generation want too much from marriage and so many never do. Try hard if you can to first find a man to partner with.

I don’t talk about it much and have learned to live with what I never knew. Mom is a strong women and bit of a believer that dads are important but kind of not so important as history suggest. I actually disagree. Fathers are really amazing when you see them and you don’t have one. They are really cool guys even the crappy ones. They are magnetic. Powerful. Security even if they have no job. I daydreamed about a father I never had and do it a lot. I looked upon my friend’s dads as really amazing men and not like superhero amazing but just they really did stick in their for their kids and they really do show power when kid makes bad decision. I long for dad more than my adopted mom. I feel her loss and wonder why she didn’t want me or couldn’t but my dad is. Maybe if a man adopted me with no mom I’d miss my birth mom huge but you get the point either way. I’ll never stop longing. If you can, try to find a man and tell him your plan for family life. He might join you and you’d be giving your adopted child a father too. Even a crappy dad I believe is better than no dad as long as they don’t hit or have serious mental/addiction issues. I have friends with dads they think are crap and in some ways they are. But they really are better immeasurably than no dad at all.

Shannon on

Aww, I like hearing about adoption. Not going to nitpick it to death.

Mimi on

To those of you that didn’t see her on series before Nashville, I suggest you check her filmography on IMDB. You are all too young to know about her early career so you should check before spouting off nonsense I saw he, she had quite a career. I saw her on Spin City for 4 years after I saw her one of my fav movies Brothers Mc McMullen that won some awards. Next a few eps on the tv series on a primetime series called Ellen starring Ellen Degeneres that was canceled. She then did an episode of Oddville and the pilot of Cupid which I loved with Jeremy Piven. Then spent 4 yrs on Spin City, a few eps on The Fugitive and one year on a season of The Fighting Fitzgeralds set in the Irish section of Boston. There was an uproar over it being canceled but it didn’t come back. Then a season of The West Wing and moved to Lost at Home for a season then a episode of Life as We Know It. Then she did a season of “24” and then on Friday Night Lights for 4 years after playing her part in the movie. Before FGL she did a season of American Horror Story.

You might want to check your facts before jumping to conclusions…you were soooo wrong and none of you said you didn’t check her film career before posting anything at all. I always check first so I don’t look stupid. Btw she made a lot of movies, too. Most were probably TV movies on Lifetime

Mimi on

Most of you were toddlers when she started acting. Her first endeavor was the award winning The Brothers McMullen, followed by Spin City for four year. She has a long list of series and movies if you take the time to look it up on IMDb. You seem too lazy to look.