Jillian Michaels: International Adoption Is “A Full Time Job”

Former Biggest Loser trainer Jillian Michaels has had a lot going on over the past year. Last December, the fitness guru announced she was leaving the NBC weight loss show to venture into her own television endeavors. In February, she announced she had decided to adopt internationally. Two months later, she signed on to co-host the daytime talk show The Doctors and as a correspondent on the Dr. Phil show.

In the recent issue of Prevention magazine, Jillian opens up about her struggles to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo, her transition from The Biggest Loser to The Doctors and if she will ever host her own TV show.

On adopting internationally: “I honestly don’t know how somebody without money and help could ever get this done. It’s a full-time job. If I called the girls down here to where we’re sitting, they would run you through how many times the notary has been here this week….I regret saying this now, but I think for anyone pursuing this [I’d advise them] to explore foster care in this country. In the US, you get your referral, you bring the kid home. They’re already American citizens. I don’t want to tell people not to adopt internationally – but I’ve learned that you’ve got to have tremendous patience and financial resources because it’s going to cost a lot of money. If you don’t have those two things, go domestic.”

On transitioning from The Biggest Loser to The Doctors: “On Biggest Loser you’re edited for better or for worse, so if you get repetitive they can edit you out. Whereas on daytime, it’s one take, it’s live to tape and it’s five days a week. So we need to keep it fresh, we need to keep it interesting, you don’t wanna constantly loop yourself and rehash old dialogue and old material. So I think that is going to be a real challenge for me, five days a week is a lot of TV time, I want to make sure I don’t get boring to people. I’ve wanted to be in daytime quite honestly since I ended up in television. I ended up on Biggest Loser and it was a fluke, I had no intention of being in TV. But once I recognized the power of television as a platform to get out a message, I realized primetime is actually not the right platform, daytime was the platform where you can truly convey information. You can still be entertaining, you can still be inspiring, and uplifting and motivating, but it’s more informative, and with that information people can truly utilize it to make real change in their lives. So, I’m just looking forward to having a direct relationship with the viewer, having a dialogue with them. Honestly I’m excited to be 360, not a caricature on Biggest Loser, it’s a whole new medium and one I’ve waited years to get into.”

On if she’s thinking about her own show: “I’m not really thinking about my own show right now. I’m really focused on learning this daytime medium and contributing as much as I can on this show that I’m gonna be on. So, I just got on The Doctors and I want to kick ass there and then we’ll see what the future holds. If I did do my own show again in the future, it really comes back to standing in my own power and setting boundaries.”

Be sure to pick up the latest issue of Prevention magazine on newsstands today!

Filed under: Jillian Michaels

Photo credit: Prevention Magazine


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6 Comments on "Jillian Michaels: International Adoption Is “A Full Time Job”"

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This is the most honest interview I have ever read. I am also adopting and everything she said is correct but I will also add that people don’t know that private adoption even domestically requires at least $20K- $45K.

I miss you Jillian!!! Good luck on the adoption.

Anonymous 2

You could also choose to adopt domestically because US kids need homes as well. It’s obnoxious that this is a trend. Where does her interest in the Congo stem from?

Who cares from where you adopt? There are kids all over who need homes. Adoption domestically isn’t inexpensive and it does not follow a time line of paperwork. Most kids available in US are older because we are a wealthy nation with numberous extended family and an extensive foster parent system allowing years for birth parents to work toward reunification and a support system to help with healthcare and food and housing for the poor so voluntary placements are rare. Few children abroad are able to be adopted within their country. There were 41 adoptions from the country she is… Read more »

I don’t know why people seem to think that children who live abroad don’t have families. I’m not against adoption internationally, or saying people who adopt internationally are bad, but it has become society’s way of trying to solve poverty, and it doesn’t work. Women should not have to send their children abroad simply because they don’t have money, and women in South Korea shouldn’t have to give their children up because of the stigma of being a single parent. Those are silly reasons, and they’re heartbreaking reasons.


What is wrong with adopting an American child that needs a home. There are many of them here, jillian.


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