Mariska Hargitay Gave Birth at 42 and Adopted Two Kids at 47. Now She Sometimes Hides Out for a Moment of Peace but Has No Regrets

Sometimes it seems like for celebrities, everything comes easily and goes smoothly; even when they have kids, they seem to not keep them up at night. But in reality, all is not that simple. Mariska Hargitay always dreamt of having a big family but could only give birth at 42. And five years later, she adopted a daughter and a son. Now the Law & Order star lives a frantic life, but she’s happy and adores her family.

© Tsuni / USA / Alamy Stock Photo, 0000554 / Reporter / East News

Mariska gave birth to her son August at 42, and a few years later, the boy started asking for brothers and sisters. Mariska and her husband had always dreamed of having a large family because they both grew up in one. Moreover, they felt the need to share the enormous amount of love with which they were filled.

Mariska admits that she had no concrete plan for how exactly children would come into her family. She didn’t reject any of the options and was ready to either give birth or adopt. What’s more, adoption was not a “plan B” — the couple was sure that one day they would do it.

The idea of adoption started in Mariska’s childhood. She learned very early on that motherhood doesn’t always mean a biological connection. It was her own experience that taught her this. The girl’s mother died in a car accident, so she and her brothers went to live with her father and his new wife, who truly became family to the kids.

“I called her Mom. She really claimed us. She never had biological kids of her own, and to this day we are her kids. So we were blessed that she really embraced us and loved us so quickly. And I was very fortunate to have a maternal figure in my life after such a horrific accident.”
Max DeAngelo, / EAST NEWS, Max DeAngelo, / EAST NEWS

In 2010, four years after her son was born, Mariska and her husband started the adoption process. And in 2011, they became parents again — a girl, Amaya, joined their family. And then, within just six months, they received the news that a boy, Andrew, would also become their son. It was exciting, joyful, and a little frightening, but unequivocally the right thing to do.

“The thing that’s made me a better parent is my kids. Because they taught me to really listen. My husband is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers.”
Paul A. Hebert / Invision / AP / East News

Of course, Mariska’s life now revolves around her kids. And in those rare moments when she and her husband go to the cinema (usually about once every three weeks) before the show starts, they both keep saying to each other: “Wow! We’re at the movies without kids!” Many people then give them weird looks, but those who are parents themselves understand them perfectly.

Mariska also admits that in the frantic pace of her life, it’s not only the time she spends with her husband that acts as an escape. She also considers it important to spend time completely alone, at least for a few minutes per day.

“I try to give myself a little bit of time every day to sit quietly, and I end up in the bathtub as often as I can — that’s a real sanctuary for me.”

Many of Mariska’s friends also have young children, and she’s happy to be on the same wavelength. She’s also grateful for being able to get the advice and sympathy she needs and to just do silly things together. Mariska is not hesitant to admit that all this is a real treasure.

“After we adopted, it was remarkable how many people had great thoughts and tips for us. And my friends are all so incredibly loving and hilarious; I inevitably end up laughing when I talk to them. I would say in that department, I am a very lucky girl.”

However, Mariska is honest about the fact that there are really difficult moments in parenting and that the amount of stress can be off the charts. At times, the actress would come home in tears and only her husband’s support would help her recover.

“It’s a new skill to have two children that want you at the same time. Sometimes ... I wanted to rip my hair out. Where I’m like, ‘August! Amaya! August! Amaya!’ You don’t know what to do.”

Mariska and her husband are a real team when it comes to raising children. The couple also complements each other perfectly. For example, Mariska said that if one doesn’t know something, the other one does, and in the end, their differences have only worked to their advantage.

The family truly adores everything to do with their kids, and they don’t doubt for a second that they’ve made the right choice.

“Our family is so perfect, or at least perfect for me. Together we’re just this whole, happy, joyful, chaotic, crazy unit. I’ve never known anything that was more right.”
Preview photo credit AFF / Alamy Stock Photo, Max DeAngelo, / EAST NEWS
Cheery/People/Mariska Hargitay Gave Birth at 42 and Adopted Two Kids at 47. Now She Sometimes Hides Out for a Moment of Peace but Has No Regrets
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