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Famous People Who Gave Up Kids for Adoption

Updated October 6, 2020 1.9m views16 items

An unexpected pregnancy can be tough to deal with, especially if you are young, unwed, and struggling in your career. Several celebrities have decided to give up children for adoption early in their lives. One even adopted a son after she had given up another one.

Who is the most famous person who gave up a child for adoption? Roseanne Barr tops our list. She gave up her daughter, Brandi Brown, for adoption in 1970. Patti Smith, and David Crosby (who later had a daughter with Jackie Guthrie), also gave up children for adoption. Joni Mitchell later reunited with the daughter she gave up for adoption, Kelly Dale Anderson. 

Clark Gable had a daughter with Loretta Young, with whom he was having an affair, around 1935. The baby was placed in an orphanage after she was born, and Young ended up going back and adopting her own baby 19 months later. Other stars who gave up children for adoption include Rod Stewart, Linda Lovelace, and Albert Einstein. 

Learn more about famous people who gave up kids for adoption below. 

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  • Clark Gable is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous People Who Gave Up Kids for Adoption
    Photo: Movie studio / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    Clark Gable had a daughter with Loretta Young, with whom he was having an affair, around 1935. The baby was placed in an orphanage after she was born, and Young ended up going back and adopting her own baby 19 months later. Although, the girl looked a lot like Gable, he never acknowledged that he was her father.

    Gable was married five times. His daughter, Judy Lewis, was born in 1935 of an affair with actress Loretta Young. In 1961, his fifth wife, Kay Williams, gave birth to his only son, John Clark Gable, four months after the actor's death.

    • Born: 1901-02-01
    • Birthplace: Cadiz, Ohio, United States of America

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  • In 1963, Rod Stewart had a daughter, Sarah Streeter, with his girlfriend Suzannah Boffey. They were young and decided to give the baby up for adoption. Stewart later reconnected with Streeter.

    Stewart has been married three times and has six other children: Kimberley (1979), Sean (1980), Ruby (1987), Renee (1992), Liam (1994), Alastair (2005), and Aiden (2011).

    • Born: 1945-01-10
    • Birthplace: Highgate, London, United Kingdom

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  • A 17-year-old Roseanne Barr gave up her daughter, Brandi Brown, for adoption in 1970. The two later reunited, and Brown worked as a production assistant on "Roseanne."

    Barr has four other children: Jessica (born in 1975), Jennifer (born in 1976), and Jake (born in 1978), with first husband Bill Pentland, and Buck (born in 1995) with third husband Ben Thomas.

    • Born: 1952-11-03
    • Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States of America

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  • Joni Mitchell is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous People Who Gave Up Kids for Adoption
    Photo: Paul C. Babin / Wikimedia Commons / Public domain

    In her early twenties, Joni Mitchell gave birth to a daughter, Kelly Dale Anderson, whom she gave up for adoption. The two met for the first time in 2001.

    Mitchell was married twice, but never had more children.

    • Born: 1943-11-07
    • Birthplace: Fort Macleod, Canada
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