Mariska Hargitay Shares Adoption Journey: “There Were Wrenching Moments”

Mom-of-three Mariska Hargitay, 48, graces Good Housekeeping’s May cover, and for the first time, she reveals the devastating loss that led to her two new babies, Amaya, 1, and Andrew, 6 months. Also mom to son August, 5, Hargitay shares her adoption journey, admitting there were “wrenching moment.”

On the devastating loss that led to her two new babies: Hargitay was on the set of SVU when her cell phone rang. It was the birth mother: “Come now—it’s time!” At the hospital, Hargitay was handed her newborn, “this little angel.” Hargitay and her husband, actor Peter Hermann had two blissful days bonding with the girl, naming her. And then, “the long and short of it: The birth mother changed her mind,” Hargitay says, her eyes welling up at the memory. “It was nothing short of devastating. But…this is what I’ve come to understand about life: It was probably the greatest, happiest ending. I mean, it was so painful for us, but it was deeply joyful and deeply right for her.”

On meeting Amaya’s birth mother: “The whole thing was kind of…storybook. It was almost too good to be true.” The birth mother agreed that Hargitay not only would be in the delivery room, but also would help deliver the baby. So she did, and “I basically pulled Amaya out. Peter and I held her, and then the birth mother and I hugged for a long time. That was profound. That was one of the most meaningful moments I’ve ever had in my life.”

On adopting baby Andrew 6 months after Amaya: “I don’t really know what to say about it, other than it was a no-brainer. Peter and I both thought, Let’s do it! I’m in! It was like…a miracle. And I don’t use that word lightly. I’ve never made a bigger decision so quickly. The whole thing happened in a total of two days.”

On the adoption process: “I’m not gonna lie, there were wrenching moments. I say to everybody, ‘Adoption is not for the faint of heart.'” She adds, “Adoption was a bumpy ride—very bumpy. But, God, was it worth the fight.”

Continue reading the interview with Hargitay at Good Housekeeping

Filed under: Mariska Hargitay

Photo credit: Good Housekeeping

  • Lizzie

    I love her- she gives a great interview and seems like a loving, involved mom.. And bless her for adopting not 1 but 2 babies and (probably!) giving them a much better life than they (might have!) had

  • Anonymous

    Whenever I read about Mariska my heart fills with joy. What a wonderful woman. It is simple, generous, beautiful and talented. Congratulations Mariska for his beautiful family.

  • Ebonita

    Wow. I had no idea about that previous loss. how brave of them to try again after that! Many people (likely myself) would not have been able to try again after that.

  • SMH

    wow that so sad that someone could play with someone’s emotions like that and then take their child back. Granted I have never been in that situation so I couldn’t imagine what it would be like to want to give your child up, then meet them and change your mind. Which I guess is why their is a grace period bc for most birth mothers so they do have that option. I am sure for many parents its the most difficult decision of their lives.
    I’m glad though that Mariska didn’t give up and that she not only got 1 but 2 little babies to love. I wonder if she cut ties completely with the first baby? oh well I guess sometimes some things do happen for a reason and some roads lead you to greater joy! Good luck to her!

    • Anonymous

      I don’t think it’s that she & Peter “cut ties” with the first baby, but rather that the birth mother has chosen not to allow them any contact with the child anymore. Disrupted adoptions aren’t uncommon, and I have yet to hear of a birthmother who has permitted the hopeful adoptive parents to remain in the child’s life after she has taken her child back from them.

    • Grace

      I don’t understand your comment about the birth mother “playing with someone’s emotions.” Making an adoption plan and then changing your mind after the baby is born is not “playing with someone’s emotions.” You make it sound like the woman went into it with ulterior motives, when it sounds like she just changed her mind after the baby was born. It’s unfortunately, but it’s not a vicious act on the part of the birth parent. It’s a situation where it’s not always possible to know how you will feel afterwards.

      • SMH

        It’s like me dangling candy in front of a small child. Telling them they can have the candy then turning around and saying nevermind it’s all mine! You essentially just gave hope to someone to have something to only change your mind. I’m am sure the birth mother was not being malicious or had this in her plan and of course she has the right to take back what is hers. But When you tell someone they can have your baby and they have it already in their head that they will be the mother and raise the child as their owns you cannot say that you did not in some way toy with someone’s emotions.

    • Audrey

      In most cases I don’t believe it is fair to claim the birth mother of toying with prospective parents. I watched the birth mother of my granddaughter struggle with her decision. We got our baby but I’m not sure that I could have followed through and released my child. It’s got to be tough.

  • Anabelle

    I didn’t even know you were allowed to adopt babies that young so close together!

  • Hat is her real sons name?

    She does have her own son! But that does not matter as long as she has her
    Adopted kids, right does anyone remember her real sons name? Guess not if she does not talk about him! Just her adopted so and daughter! How sad foe her
    Son brought upby a nanny? Boy even on the cover does it mention her real sns name!

    • Janna

      Clearly you didn’t read the article. How about you try that before you judge what kind of mother she is based on CBS’s little snippets?

  • Hat is her real sons name?Know it?

    Feel sorry for her real son not mentioned n the cover. Nor in the article above
    Just sad that she talks about he adopted kids! Not her real blood son

    • Grace

      It’s deeply offensive to refer to her biological child as her “real” son. All of her children are her real children.

    • not impressed

      All three children are her “real” children. The interview was about adoption, not the ignoring of her son W H O has a name, August, called Gus. Were you the obnoxious “scorekeeper” in your family as a child?

  • Anonymous

    I just love all the folks who did read the full article or see the pictures accompany the article and her love for the the little guy, who’s name by the way is August… Take your meds people.

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