Mariska Hargitay has successfully adopted multiracial children — including one who was « dropped from the sky » after a painful process.


At 42 years old, Mariska Hargitay had her first biological child, and after several more attempts, she knew that adoption was the way to have the large family she and her husband wanted. Here’s a look at their adoption journey.

Mariska Hargitay, born on January 23, 1964, studied theater and had her first appearance in « Ghoulies » in 1984.

She had a recurring role in « ER » before landing the role of Detective Olivia Benson in « Law & Order: Special Victims Unit » in 1999.

She did her own stunts and reaped the rewards of her hard work, soon becoming the highest-paid actress on television. Winning Emmy and Golden Globe awards for her performance crowned her achievements.

Hargitay also starred in « Plain Truth » in 2004 and became an activist. To help survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, and sexual assault, she founded a nonprofit organization called the Joyful Heart Foundation.

She directed the 400th episode of « Law & Order: Special Victims Unit » and broke the record for playing the same character, Olivia Benson, in consecutive seasons.


Hargitay, who married in 2004, welcomed her first child with her husband Peter Hermann at the age of 42 in 2006. Their little boy named August was born via C-section. She said,

« August changed everything! You know, I think because I became a mother later in life, everything in life means more. Every day is deeper and richer and more heartfelt. »

The ecstatic new mother believed at the time that life with her son became holier as she understood the value of everything a little more.

Hermann and Hargitay not only knew they wanted to have their own children but also knew they would adopt children. Hargitay, who lost her mother at a young age, learned that a mother didn’t necessarily have to be biological.

Hargitay and her husband contacted an « amazing, » intuitive adoption lawyer and began their journey. They visited homes, experienced some false starts, and had several cases that didn’t work out.

The couple had hope when they met a pregnant young woman who would have a girl. After several screening processes, they arranged to meet her, and after the meeting, Hargitay was thrilled.

Hargitay and the birth mother talked for a month, and when it was time for delivery, the birth mother called Hargitay. When Hargitay arrived at the hospital, they handed her the newborn.

She and Hermann spent two blissful days with the baby and even named her before the birth mother changed her mind. It was devastating for Hargitay, and she said,

« But… what I understood about life was that it was probably the greatest, happiest ending. I mean, it was so painful for us, but it was profoundly joyful and profoundly right for her. »

Hargitay felt honored to have been part of the process and saw it as a deep blessing as she was part of the creation of a union.


Despite the heart-wrenching results of their first attempt, the couple pursued another opportunity. They wanted to adopt a girl because their son August wanted a sister.

The couple was introduced to another woman expecting a baby. When they finally agreed on an arrangement, Hargitay felt the moment was too beautiful to be true.

The birth mother was an African-American woman, but her race mattered neither to the couple nor the mother, who didn’t mind whites adopting her baby.

Initially, medical reports stated that the birth mother would have a boy, but it turned out to be a mistake as it was a girl. Hargitay not only was present in the delivery room but also assisted in the birth of the baby.

Before the baby was born, the couple decided it should have the same initials as August, and they chose the name Amaya, which means « princess, » « warrior, » and « night rain » in various languages.


They didn’t plan for the arrival of their third child. After adopting Amaya, August wanted a brother, and Hargitay said the timing to have more children was just perfect for them at that time. She said,

« A miracle happened and our second son Andrew fell from the sky and into our home. »

Just as they were embracing the idea of adding a new member to their family, they lost a dear friend Andrew and shortly after, their lawyer called to inform them about a two-month premature and very fragile boy.

They had just discharged the boy from the neonatal intensive care unit, and he was adoptable. The couple went to the hospital and met the birth mother who had been through a lot.

The whole ordeal went quickly, and in just two days, another member joined their family. Hermann and Hargitay named the boy Andrew after their lost friend.


The actress with a diverse home says her children are different and don’t react to the same things. Andrew took « big muscles » classes because he was born prematurely.

The class helped him with balance and development. Amaya loves music; she comes alive and starts dancing when the music and drumming start.

However, they were all in swimming lessons because water is a fear for all parents, and Hargitay had to ensure all her children knew what to do in the water. She also loves learning what each child likes so she can encourage and support them.

As an older brother, August loved his role and had wanted more children. He seemed to have wanted another sister to have the same number of boys and girls.

For Hargitay, who deals emotionally with her family and is a hands-on mother, she said,

« What’s made me a better parent are my children because they’ve taught me to truly listen. My husband is my North Star, and my children are my teachers. »

Despite the challenges they faced in the early years of their adoption attempts, Hargitay believes she wouldn’t have wanted it any other way because her family is perfect for her.

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