While international adoptions have been criticized for removing a child out of their own culture, plenty of celebrities choose to adopt children from foreign countries, some more impoverished than others.
Find out more about the big celebrities who adopted internationally, either one child or more. From Angelina Jolie to Jim Caviezel, here are the celebs that chose to care for a child from a different region of the world.
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt
Even though her marriage to Billy Bob Thornton was falling apart, Angelina Jolie decided adopt to seven months old Maddox from Cambodgia on her own in 2002. She continued to adopt by herself in 2005, with six months old Zahara Marley from Ethiopia, and then 3 years old Pax Thien from Vietnam.
Brad Pitt has also became their legal parent, even though all three adoptions featured Jolie as a single parent.
Unlike Brangelina, Madonna is one of the celebrities who adopted internationally from a single country. In 2006, the queen of pop adopted baby David from Malawi. Even though the adoption was controversial, she wanted to give a good home to another child from the impoverished country, and ended up adopting 4 year old Mercy in 2009.
Even though the actor and his wife Eve Mavrakis already had two daughters, they decided to adopt two more. Ewan and Eve first adopted 5 year old Mongolian Jamiyan in 2006, then made the step again in 2011. For the second time around, they adopted baby Anouk, but haven’t given any details about her country of origin.
See also: Celebrities Who Used a Surrogate
The “State of Affairs” actress and her husband Josh Kelly are also among the celebrities who adopted internationally. “Josh and I started talking about [adoption] before we were even engaged,” Heigl told Scholastic Parent & Child. The actress grew up with a sister adopted from South Korea, so that was her choice as well. Their first daughter is Naleigh, adopted as an infant in 2009, but Heigl and Kelly also adopted domestically in 2012, welcoming Adalaide Marie Hope to their family.
Golden Globe winner Mary-Louise Parker decided to adopt as a single parent in 2007. She already had a son, William Atticus, with Billy Crudup, when she adopted daughter Caroline Aberash from Ethiopia. “I think it’s something everyone should do if they can and want to. I can’t adopt 500 children, but I did adopt this one beautiful little girl, and it was an amazing thing,” she told People.
Unlike most celebrities who adopted internationally, Emma Thompson and her husband Greg Wise decided to make a difference in the life of a teenager. Tindyebwa Agaba was a sixteen year old a Rwandan orphan and former child soldier when he was welcomed in the English actress’ family. “I couldn’t have more children, and that was hard; but perhaps if I had [had more], I’d have missed out on this extra act of mothering that I’ve had with Tindy,” she told The Guardian.
The “Friday Night Lights” and “Nashville” star decided to adopt as a single parent in 2011. Connie Britton welcomed 9-month-old baby boy Eyob, nicknamed Yoby, to the US, after a three-year long adoption process in Ethiopia.
In 2006, when Meg Ryan had a 13 year old boy with her ex-husband Dennis Quaid, she decided to become a mother for the second time. Ryan adopted 14 months old Daisy True. Unlike other celebrities who adopted internationally, Ryan didn’t settle on a name right away. Her first choice was Charlotte, but that didn’t last for long. “I never felt like I was on a rescue mission or anything like that. I just really wanted a baby,” she told Redbook.
More: Celebrities Who Married Their Fans
“Person of Interest” star Jim Caviezel and his wife Kerri Browitt also adopted two children from China, boy Bo and girl LeLe. Both children suffered from brain tumors at the time of the adoption. “Even though they’re adopted, it’s as strong as any instinct,” he told Catholic Digest.
Few celebrities who adopted internationally did it as many times as Mia Farrow. The actress went through the process 11 times, with two children from Vietnam and one from South Korea.