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17 Celebrities Who Adopted Children From Overseas

Updated April 15, 2019 269.5k views17 items

List of celebrities who adopted children from overseas, loosely ranked by fame and popularity. Many celebrities have chosen to adopt children internationally rather than domestically. The media speculates that this may be because it is much easier to adopt overseas and famous adoptive parents face a lesser risk of the birth parent changing their mind.

Who are the most famous people who have adopted children from overseas? Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, a former couple, are on our list. Maddox was adopted at 7 months old from Cambodia, Zahara Marley was adopted at 6 months old from Ethiopia, and Pax Thien was adopted at 3 years old from Vietnam.

Pop superstar Madonna has adopted four children from Malawi. The “Material Girl” adopted David in 2006 when he was an infant, and her daughter Mercy was adopted when she was 4 years old. Madonna later adopted 4-year-old twins Esther and Stella in 2017 from Malawi. Other famous people who have adopted overseas include Knocked Up actress Katherine Heigl, Trainspotting star Ewan McGregor, and Senator John McCain.

Do you think that the adoption process is easier overseas? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

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  • Angelina Jolie has adopted several children: Maddox (2002) was adopted at 7 months old from Cambodia, Zahara Marley (2005) was adopted at 6 months old from Ethiopia, Pax Thien (2007) was adopted at 3 years old from Vietnam.

    Jolie also gave birth to daughter Shiloh (2006) and twins Knox and Vivienne (2008) with partner Brad Pitt.

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    • Photo: Chrisweger / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA 2.0

      Madonna adopted four children from Malawi. David (2006) was adopted when he was an infant. Mercy (2009) was adopted when she was 4 years old. Madonna also gave birth to daughter Lourdes (1996) and son Rocco (2000). She later adopted Esther and Stella from Malawi when they were 4 years old (2017).

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      • Photo: Katherine Heigl / Instagram / Fair Use

        Katherine Heigl and her husband Josh Kelly adopted two children. Naleigh (2009) was adopted as an infant from South Korea. Adalaide Marie Hope (2012) was adopted domestically as an infant. She gave birth to her son Joshua in 2016.

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        • In 1964, Elizabeth Taylor adopted a 3-year-old girl, Maria, from Germany with Richard Burton. She gave birth to sons Michael (1953) and Christopher (1955) with husband Michael Wilding, and daughter Liza (1957) with husband Mike Todd. 

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