Katherine Heigl on adopting baby Naleigh
September 21st, 2010
05:28 PM ET

Katherine Heigl on adopting baby Naleigh

Adoption may seem to be the celebrity lifestyle choice du jour, but Katherine Heigl says she'd been dreaming of bringing home a baby of her home for quite a while.

It was so important to her that she had to make sure husband Josh Kelley felt just as strongly about adoption before they could walk down the aisle.

“Josh and I had been talking about adopting for a year before it actually happened. I had spoken to him about it before we got engaged because I wanted to be sure we were on the same page—not everybody feels the way I do about adoption,” Heigl told InStyle magazine for their October cover story. “I don’t know why it was so important for me to do it before we had biological children, but I felt like I had been waiting for and dreaming about [daughter] Naleigh for a long time.”

Heigl brought home Naleigh from Korea last September, a decision that eventually led to her walking away from her role as Izzie Stevens on “Grey’s Anatomy.” “I started a family and it changed everything for me,” Heigl told Entertainment Weekly of her decision in March. “It changed my desire to work full-time.”

But the 31-year-old actress hasn’t ceased work altogether, and her role in the new movie “Life as We Know It” actually found her job looking very much like her home life.

“My experience as Holly in [her new movie, Life as We Know It] was my experience as Katie in real life. There’s this thing where, as a new mother, you’re just constantly going, ‘Am I doing this right? Am I handling this right? Am I playing with her enough? Should I be talking to her more?’” she explained to InStyle. “You’re just nervous, so you’re almost creating more drama than is necessary.”

To read the full interview with Heigl, check out the October issue of InStyle, on sale Friday, September 24.

Filed under: Celebrities • Katherine Heigl

soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. jen

    although I think it is a wonderful thing to adopt from any country, I do wish celebrities would be more vocal about adopting from the US since there are a lot of children here who need homes, especially foster children. again, adoption from any country is a wonderful thing i just think it would be nice to put the focus on the us foster care system. and secondly, it's great naleigh found a home, but I don't like how katherine heigl elevates herself because she adopted a "special needs baby." naleigh had a heart condition that was fixed with surgery, and not to undermine heart conditions....but there are many more parents around this country that adopt kids from abroad and the us who have much more severe conditions such as loss of limbs, extreme emotional disorders, or other developmental or physical disabilities and i think those parents really deserve more of our support.

    November 1, 2010 at 2:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. KT

    "bringing home a baby of her home for quite a while" –> "bringing home a baby of her own for quite a while"

    September 22, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Natch

    "bringing home a baby of her home for quite a while"

    Really? Proof reading, anyone??

    September 22, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
  4. 4815162342a

    I adopted my first two lovely children from the US foster care system. They were not babies, but were young enough to not remember much of their former families. The cost: $0. In fact, the state paid us a stipend until the adoption was final, because they were still officially in foster care. We didn't have to pay a lawyer, a case worker or even their medical expenses until they were offically ours. I don't understand why others who want to adopt don't look at this option first. The children may not be newborns or even toddlers, but they need a permanent home just as much as anyone. Their birth parents are not allowed contact, and would be arrested if they did contact them, so no worries on that. We changed their names and social security numbers upon adoption, so there is no vestige of their former lives. I did keep all the paperwork for them if they want it someday. They got a new start and we are so thankful for them every day.

    September 22, 2010 at 11:56 am | Report abuse |
  5. Kealee

    Good grief! I can't believe people are still talking about this. Frankly, I can't believe people are still talking about her. She's terribly narciissistic, her movies are basically flops and she's not that good of an actress. Go away already...

    September 22, 2010 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
  6. Rush

    Thank goodness she didnt ruin that body from having a kid herself and as an adopted person myself, thanks for adopting.

    September 22, 2010 at 7:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven Segal

      Agreed, sir! You're absolutely right and I'm glad someone noticed the important aspect of the story. Sometimes what's not said is more important than what is. She should be congratulated for this.

      September 22, 2010 at 9:28 am | Report abuse |
  7. HelenaHandbag

    Let's hope Heigl is a better mother than she is an actor. Otherwise, Child and Family Services will be wearing a path to her front door.

    September 22, 2010 at 7:49 am | Report abuse |
  8. guest

    @MATTIE_CAT – perhaps your academic credentials need review. The original poster referenced celebrity adoptions, not the general population. The issues you raise are not applicable to Ms. Heigl nor her ilk since she has the resources to overcome any and all objections you so callously level. You may want to refresh your superior intellect and liberal arts degree with an into to critical reading course. I

    September 22, 2010 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  9. Anon Mom

    She isn't raising this kid. A nanny is.

    September 22, 2010 at 3:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Bull

      So true.These rich,show people spend very little time with the children.Every so often,the children are taken along for a photo op.Or sent back to school. My aunt was a nanny .The children were closer to her than the parents.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  10. Hopeful

    Well, it looks like there is a good amount of opinions, and I will add mine...A child needs a home, and if there is someone out there that is able to provide them with a home and love then go for it. No matter where they are from. I can understand why US opinions would want to have others adopt from the US. However, these US people that giving their opinion on who and where to adopt are only talking and not doing. Adoption is a very serious choice, and not one that needs tons of different voices. Choose your own way, and it will be the right way.

    September 22, 2010 at 12:57 am | Report abuse |
  11. ComeOnNow

    "bringing home a baby of her home?" Editors, this is the first sentence? Please...

    September 21, 2010 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  12. John

    Hope she's not smoking around her new baby!

    September 21, 2010 at 8:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • jen

      I am pretty sure she still smokes, you can see cigs in her paparazzi pictures.

      November 1, 2010 at 2:10 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the_dude

    You dont want to risk adopting an American kid....maybe you'll get a good one or maybe you'll get the next sarah palin.

    September 21, 2010 at 6:57 pm | Report abuse |
  14. anobody

    Not sure if the rumor is true but many people who live in the U.S. adopt children from other countries because the adoption process in the U.S. is more difficult and lengthy.

    September 21, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • LBW

      I have heard in some cases more expensive, also the risk of a biological parent changing their mind and the adoption not going through is greater. Can't confirn on that.

      September 21, 2010 at 6:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ny

      You're absolutely right – not only is the process more lengthy and more expensive, but there is also a much greater risk that the biological parent will try to reverse the adoption sometime down the line. That chance is almost non-existent with foreign adoptions. Much less "messy".

      September 21, 2010 at 7:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • redhead1968

      Another consideration is, biological parents of American children can change their minds and potentially get their children back. This happened to my dear friends after they had the child for almost a year. It was devastating to all of us. They are now trying to adopt from China.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Guest

    Why do celebrities have a tendency to adopt a child from somewhere other than here in the U.S.? There are plenty of unwanted children, of all ages, who deserve to have parents too! This is another example of a rich celebrity buying another country's unwanted child and bringing her here. Will she be able to teach her about her Korean heritage?

    September 21, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      My parents adopted a Korean baby when I was seven years old. Neither of them are rich, or a celebrity.

      My mother had a tough pregnancy with me; I was born premature. For years her and my father tried to have another baby after I was born. After a few years they made the decision to adopt. Taking into account all the different points to consider (family dynamic, cultural, legal, financial etc.) they decided adopting a baby from Korea was the best choice. They didn't choose this path because it was the easiest (i.e. irresponsible people just wanting to get their hands on a baby). This just happened to be the best path for them.

      My brother came to us when he was 7 months old – we are the only family he has ever known. My parents have always made an effort for the entire family, not just my brother, to learn about his biological heritage/culture. He knows he's Korean, and he's proud of it! He just happens to have white parents.

      Four years after he came to us, my mother surprisingly became pregnant again. I have two brothers. One is Korean, and the other one is a German-Irish mutt. I love both of them, equally. No stronger connection to the younger one simply because we're both white. They are both my brothers and thats all that matters.

      I get so frustrated when people complain about U.S. parents not adopting U.S. children. The decision to adopt is a serious lifetime committment to make. Adopting a child, regardless of which country he or she is from, is something that should be applauded and encouraged... not criticized.

      September 21, 2010 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      MM – I was not critizing, merely making a statement because in the past several years, many more celebrities are adopting children from other countries. I am very happy for your family and you! It must have been a tough decision for them to make but it appears that it was made for all the "right" reasons! My apologies if I offended you.

      September 21, 2010 at 6:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kim

      I adopted from the US....the tendency in the US now is for the biological parents to have a part in the chil'ds life either thru contact from letters and pictures to actual physical meetings throughout the year. For many adoptive families they don't want to open up their homes and "share" their children with for the next 18 years. With foreign adoptions you don't have that personal contact.

      September 21, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Kate

      50 states = 50 different adoption laws, and, in some states (such as Michigan) the biological parents can "change their mind" and take the child back. They can take the child back up to two years out from placing the child up for adoption. I have to adopt someday, and I won't adopt from the states because I can't bare the thought of giving a child, that I have had for say 6 months up. The state's adoption laws are royally effed... to be blunt.

      September 21, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |

      gee, GUEST, do you have any domestic adopted children?? did you adopt them when he/she/them were, ah, 8-12 yrs old (the typical age for domestic adoptions–I clarify–the MANY KIDS waiting to be adopted here in the US? did you agree to an open adoption so he/she/them can have ties to some blood relatives?? Do you know ANYTHING about domestic adoption? Or did you pay the agency, birthmother, and birth mom "expenses' so she would "select" you to be the parent of her newborn? If you can answer " yes" to any of those, ok...but i doubt it. GET EDUCATED before you comment.

      September 21, 2010 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • CeeCee

      I am neither rich nor famous and I adopted a child from China...why? I didn't have any desire to jump through the excessive hoops that are in this country and I didn't want a biological parent deciding at a later date that...oops they changed their mind and they want their child back. I can and will teach my child about their heritage through adoption groups and the asian community...think before you write.

      September 21, 2010 at 11:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Marky

      My Korean daughter is now an adult with children of her own. She knows a great deal about her Korean heritage, and is very close to her American siblings. We are all more educated about Korea as a result of having her in our family. I could not face the possibility of having someone decide they wanted "their" child back after we adopted and raised that child for an extended time, and in the USA too many biological parents seem to almost view adoptive parents as "babysitters" taking care of their children while the bio parents get their act together. Sorry, not the case. I have 2 adopted children–one domestic and one foreign–and I didn't borrow either child. I know they had a bio mother, but I am their mom and that's how they feel, too. I am worn out with the criticism of other people who choose to go the foreign adoption route. It is their business how they build their family. Build your own the way you choose. The anonymity of the internet has caused way too much hatefulness towards people you don't even know. Kathryn H. chose to adopt a child like her sister, for goodness' sake. How is that as example of another "rich celebrity ...buying an unwanted chilld"? Do you even know what you are talking about here? It is so frustrating to those of us who adopted for very good reasons. At the time I adopted my daughter, Korean baby girls were being drowned in buckets because no one had food, and they didn't like girls. American children were not facing anything like that. It's not that way in Korea now, but it is still better in the US.

      September 22, 2010 at 2:29 am | Report abuse |
    • maxine

      As I understand, there are risks in adopting a child in the US. The biological mother can come back and "request" that child back. Can you imagine opening your home to a child, loving it, caring for it and then having it taken away. Once a foreign adoption is complete, it is complete.
      I know that it wouldn't happen often, but I certainly wouldn't want to take the chance.

      September 22, 2010 at 7:20 am | Report abuse |
    • Gracie

      Why does it matter where the child is from? Why is an American child more deserving of adoption than a child born outside our country's borders? I think the fact that so many people are willing to offer homes to children in need of families is a beautiful act of love. Love doesn't recognize the confines of nation, ethnicity, or race. If you wish to adopt an American child, please do so.

      September 22, 2010 at 10:20 am | Report abuse |
  16. jilly

    Wasn't Katherine's sister adopted from Korea too? Think I saw a picture of them together recently.

    September 21, 2010 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |

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