'SVU' star: Adoption isn't for the faint of heart
April 5th, 2012
03:44 PM ET

'SVU' star: Adoption isn't for the faint of heart

“Law & Order: SVU” star Mariska Hargitay has spoken out about a very painful episode in her life.

The actress told Good Housekeeping she was “devastated” by an adoption attempt that left her baby-less, and, for a little while, extremely sad.

“I’m not gonna lie,” she says in the magazine’s May issue. “There were wrenching moments. I say to everybody, ‘Adoption is not for the faint of heart.’”

What she’s referring to is an incident where she and her husband Peter Hermann adopted a baby girl - only to have the child’s birth mother change her mind two days after they took the infant home.

"It was nothing short of devastating,” Hargitay reportedly said through tears. “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."

Fortunately the couple would go on to have their own happy ending. Soon after the incident, they were able to adopt not one but two babies - the first of which was also a little girl.

"The whole thing was kind of … storybook. It was almost too good to be true," Hargitay said of meeting the second birth mom, who not only agreed to let the actress be in the delivery room but also help deliver the baby.

"I basically pulled Amaya out," she said. "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."

A little boy quickly came next.

He was two months premature and being released from the neonatal intensive care unit in a hospital in another state, she recounted.

Immediately Hargitay said she knew he was their son.

"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!'" she said. "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."

"Adoption was a bumpy ride — very bumpy,” she concluded. “But, God, was it worth the fight."

soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. unbelievable


    April 26, 2012 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Get a room (@ unbelievable)

      If davidw is who he says he is (right now still on the fence about him but I am leaning towards legit) you should e-mail him and let him know.

      Then again, this is an old article. I don't think these new "changes" were implemented until quite recently.

      April 26, 2012 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  2. Debbie

    @ Avser Bastain: I see you're still using regular aluminum foil for your hat. Whatever you do, you have got to start using the super heavy duty aluminum foil. It appears you only have at max 2 twitching brain cells left- and 1 of them is fighting to be put out of its' misery.

    April 7, 2012 at 9:49 pm | Report abuse |

    i use to love u baby, nice 1 dear.

    April 6, 2012 at 6:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. Anon

    I love Mariska. Great human figure and a beautiful and talented actress. Congratulations on your beautiful family.

    April 5, 2012 at 10:45 pm | Report abuse |
  5. rh

    Boo hoo. People rich or connected enough to attend their adopted child's birth.

    Show me the money, eh?

    April 5, 2012 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
  6. lol's dad

    Lol likes to open wide for daddy

    April 5, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Fix in Tx

    Mad Rap3r and alecia got 2gther last and got jiggy with it. mad couldnt find the hole n he ran out of flour.

    April 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Booo

    I'll bet If she ever finds out, that little girl who was taken back by the birth mother will be ticked. "I could have a life of luxury with ballet lessons and an Ivy League education instead of slumming it here!"

    April 5, 2012 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Edgar Allen Pooop

    Not me. Thanks anyway though.

    April 5, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. tracie

    I would absolutely love to see her strap on some white under wear and then bend over and make em turn brown!

    April 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm | Report abuse |

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