Mariska Hargitay adopted an American baby girl, named her Amaya


I no longer watch Law & Order: SVU (the Christina Lahti-Sharon Stone story lines finally killed the series for me), but I still have residual goodwill for Mariska Hargitay, just because she seems like an awesome person. So I’m really, really happy for her news: Mariska confirmed to People Magazine last night that she and her hottie husband Peter Hermann have adopted a baby girl. They named her Amaya Josephine! You can see the photo of Mariska and Amaya here, at People.

Mariska Hargitay has a big surprise to share. The Law & Order: SVU star and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, have adopted a baby girl, she tells PEOPLE exclusively.

Baby Amaya Josephine was born about a week ago and is from the United States.

“I’m deliriously happy,” Hargitay, 47, tells PEOPLE. “From the minute she was born, she was just surprisingly alert and so full of love.”

“We were considering both international and domestic adoption and we’re thrilled that this is the way our prayers were answered,” she adds. “We talked a lot about mixed-race adoptions, and we are very excited that we are now a multi-racial family. We’re just so happy she’s here.”

And there’s one family member who’s more excited than anyone: Hargitay’s 4-year-old son, August.

“He is over the moon,” says the actress. “He calls her his baby because he says the whole thing was his idea. He always talks about how he’s going to protect her. He’s going to be a great big brother.”

[From People]

Any thoughts on Mariska’s open discussion of her now multi-racial family? Is it even a big deal at this point? I don’t think so. If she didn’t mention it, I wonder if anyone would have even brought it up. I also think it’s interesting that she ended up adopting domestically, like Sandra Bullock. Although, unlike Bullock, it sounds like Mariska isn’t disrespecting international adoptions in general, she makes it sound like all options were on the table, and this is just their experience. Anyway, congratulations to Mariska, Peter and August on the new addition to their family!



Photos courtesy of WENN.

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57 Responses to “Mariska Hargitay adopted an American baby girl, named her Amaya”

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  1. brin says:

    Awww…congrats to them! Love Mariska, her little boy is adorable!
    I agree about L&O:SVU, I couldn’t stand watching when Christine Lahti & Sharon Stone were on.

  2. samihami says:

    Sweet. I’ve heard that she wanted more children, so good for her!

    And is that son of hers a little mini-me or what? He looks just like her.

  3. K says:

    Always thought Mariska was beautiful, intelligent and funny. As a domestic adoptee, I think her attitude towards the process is wonderful. There are so many children out there who are waiting to find a loving home. Welcome, Amaya!

  4. Zelda says:

    *prays that this thread doesn’t descend into an insulting and weak argument about why people are better for adopting “American babies”*

  5. Diane says:

    That’s great, congrats to all, beautiful children.

  6. HotLatino says:

    I think it’s nice that she adopted a non-white baby as there are many underprivileged non-white babies and it’s nice that she talks about it, racism is still an issue, unfortunately, just go to the Idol boards, the racism against Karen Rodriguez and Naima was unbelievable!

    EDIT: And yeah, I LOVE Mariska, she’s so talented!!!

  7. kiki says:

    From the article you linked to, I don’t understand how, exactly, Sandra Bullock “disrespect[ed] international adoption”.

  8. sasa says:

    Congratulations! She’s a beautiful woman and her son is just uber cute.

    (but that black outfit with the boots is terrible)

  9. Bite me says:

    Congrats to mariska and her family

  10. hstl1 says:

    Sorry to disappoint you fans but she is a typical, Hollywood diva. I sat maybe a foot away from her in the salon having my hair colored and she couldn’t just hang and be a normal person. It bothered her to have her hair done with normal people. And normal is subjective because trust me, most of these ladies are top dogs in their respective industries. I am like the bag lady of the bunch so maybe she didn’t like me. LOL

    But, I will say she is very pretty in person and probably a size 4 or 6.

  11. HotLatino says:

    @hstl1 more details please! “she couldn’t just hang and be a normal person. It bothered her to have her hair done with normal people. ” What did She do to give you this impression? I’m genuinely interested because I’m her fan, I hope she’s not a diva IRL :(

  12. Sakyiwaa says:

    good for her.

  13. Samigirl says:

    As someone who is adopted, I always really respect those who adopt. However, stories like this make me extremely happy, because it opens peoples eyes to see that there are children still here in the US that need to be adopted. I wish that people would take chances and not just adopt babies though. There are adorable 5 year olds, sassy 12 year olds, and even teens who deserve love. My finace’ and I are in the process of becoming foster parents, and I wish more people would do it as well. Help out others in need. Food for thought :)

  14. Elizabeth says:

    I think it is great for her to adopt. I worked for a child protection agency and met kids who were in foster care. I also know people who are foster parents. These are great kids – babies and up. Some need time to deal with where they have come from but that’s workable. I admire her and her husband for taking this step. And both her kids are adorable!

  15. Katie says:

    Her son August is SO cute.

  16. lucy2 says:

    Congrats to the family!

  17. EdithP says:

    Very very cute kids!! And her husband is quite hunky.

  18. jemshoes says:

    Lovely news! :)

  19. nnn says:

    Congrats for anyone giving his/her heart and home to a child, any child.

    Now since we are in the debate international/domestic adoptions, my questions are, why there is no debate in the US as to why in a rich country there are so many children who are abandonned (not necessarily like in third world countries where it is usually orphans or children, familly cannot feed).

    I am really baffled by the amount of US children without a home/relatives to take care of and why there is never a debate about this. Why is the US the western country with the most teen pregnancies, hence a factor to increase children who will be abandonned ? Why is it the western country with the highest HIV positive persons (1 millions, 5 years ago when my sister who work in the field went to the international forum for aids spreading throughout the world), hence another factor that may explain that they are not protecting themsleves and get unwanted pregnancies which ultimately lead to either abortions or abandon of the child.

    Why are those children conceived with all the opportunities, contraceptives US women and teens have at their disposal, compared to third world women, to prevent it ?

    I am just really astonished that apart from the’there are plenty of children to adopt in the US’, noone ever raise those questions as to why is that ? why there are so many US children without parents in the US or relatives to take care of them and what could be done as preemptive measures, be it education to prevent it.

    I know that it’s typical of the US because in most western european countries, international adoptions is often the only option because there are not as many children from home to adopt.

  20. TQB says:

    This made me so happy this morning. She’s a great lady. Adoption is wonderful, domestic or international – kids need homes and parents, period.

    Special love to you, Samigirl, for becoming a foster parent!!

  21. jc126 says:

    #19 – plenty of those older kids in foster care awaiting adoption are the children of drug addicts who opted to choose drugs over their offspring. And/or, they’ve abused their kids and had them taken away.

  22. Happymom says:

    I think it’s wonderful they’ve adopted and I agree her son is adorable. Now on to the snark: Have you ever heard anyone use the expression “over the moon” other than celebs? Unless you’re British it sounds ridiculous.

  23. angie says:

    I find it odd that the praise for adopting this, and most celebrity babies, is more due to the fact that the baby is underpriviledged and not white. A baby is a baby, skin color notwithstanding, and an orphaned white baby is in the same circumstances as a black one, or hispanic one. All babies need love – add to that there are children who are 10, 12, 14 who have never known a good home. Praise should be given more to parents who take in those with baggage.

  24. Mizz Tickles says:

    Good point nnn.

  25. nnn says:

    @ 21

    Thanks for your input, i appreciate.

    In Europe, adoptions are often from third world countries and many from Africa, since it is next door.

    I myself have only meet a belgian caucasian couple (i used to live in belgium) who had to go to France to adopt a french babygirl. But the other adoptions I have seen in my life are all from Africa because basicly it’s a rarity to find a belgian in orphan available for adoption. Usually if parents die, relatives, take over be it an aunt, a grand ma.

    There are often children from third world countries picked during wartime to get some proper medical assistance when they are wounded then put in a belgian foster care family during convelescence, then ultimately adopted by them.

    Or Europeans go directly to Africa to adopt one. Now they are also adoption from east europe where at a time there were a traffic of east european babies, young women selling their babies to western europeans.

  26. Violet says:


    What exactly did she do? i don’t see how you could get that from a visit to a salon?

    i really like mariska and i don’t think it’s weird that she drew attention to the fact that her family is now multiracial. i mean it’s not a secret so she might as well say that she’s happy that it is right?

  27. fabgrrl says:

    I’ve heard that it is really, really hard, almost impossible, to adopt American babies, and that is why many people adopt internationally. Case in point, my boss and her husband adopted from China after they were denied a US adoption – they were “too old” (late 40s) and “too poor” (earning around 70K).

  28. TQB says:

    @nnn, for better or for worse, the US has a very active and complicated child welfare system. Terminating a parent’s rights to a child against their wishes can take a long time. Our Constitution demands this.

    During that time, someone seeking to adopt that child lives in limbo, wondering whether this child they are growing to love will be able to stay. This applies regardless of whether the family that wishes to adopt the child is related or not.

    In addition, once the child protection agency is involved, you can’t just scoop the kid up and send it to a relative without their approval. We’re struggling in my family now because we’re concerned my step-sister is not doing well and not caring for her daughter. My father wants to take the girl in but my step-sister has threatened to say that he’s abused her in the past. This vicious lie only illustrates how dangerous she is, but at the same time, family services would have to put my poor niece in foster care while they investigated.

    I agree that there are too many teen pregnancies in the US and that more education would be great, but I think the answer to your question has more to do with excessive red tape.

  29. serena says:

    Oh god her son August is just so cuteee!

  30. Johnny Depp's Girl says:


    So happy for her

  31. Cheyenne says:

    @nnn: The great majority of the children in foster care are not free for adoption; the plan is to reunite them with their birth parents. But the parents have to demonstrate that they are able to care for the children before they can get them back. This means they may need to go to drug counseling, domestic violence counseling, parenting skills classes, find an apartment, etc. etc. It can take months or years to reunite a family.

    If the parents, after extensive intervention, show that they are not able to care for the child, then the agency can go to court to terminate their parental rights against their will and free the children for adoption. Again, this takes many months. The agency has to demonstrate to the court’s satisfaction that they did everything they could to help the parents regain custody of their children and the parents could not or would not cooperate.

    The reason the process is not simpler is to protect the legal rights of everyone concerned. You can’t just snatch a child away permanently from an incompetent parent until you have proven the parent to be incompetent.

  32. Cheyenne says:

    @fabgrrl: When you say it is nearly impossible to adopt American babies, it depends on what you mean by “American”. If you mean a healthy white infant you are correct. For every healthy white infant free for adoption there are several dozen childless white couples who want to adopt it. Healthy black babies are also harder to adopt as many more black couples are applying to adopt babies than was the case some years ago.

    The children who have the most problems being adopted are those with very severe medical and developmental problems. For these childen, unfortunately the reverse is true: there are more of them available for adoption than there are families willing and able to adopt them.

  33. JenJen says:

    @ SamiGirl- good for you, I feel the same way about older children that need loving homes.

    I love Mariska too and did like SVU but it lost me right after the Kathi Griffin episode for some reason, even though I like her.

    Her son is gorgeous, he may end up carrying on in the family footsteps of stardom. Her little girl is beautiful and it’s nice she is encouraging American Adoption (just by doing it). I hope they are all very happy.

  34. bluhare says:

    Ditto on quitting SVU after Sharon Stone. And I quit CI after Jeff “I Can Play Piano” Goldblum started.

  35. lila says:

    The way she talks about the baby’s race makes the adoption look more like a trophy. Amaya, no matter how dark her skin is will be a white baby because she is going to be raised in a white family. It is not a matter of color, it is a matter of culture.

  36. lila says:

    Reading the People article seems that she thinks that she came up with the name by adding an a to her favorite name, Maya, but Amaya is an Aymara name and means beloved daughter, which btw reflects perfectly their feelings.

  37. orion70 says:

    Count me in her fan club. She’s stunning, and I love her character on SVU.

    That baby is a cutie.

  38. CJK says:

    Amaya will not be white. She will have privileges due to the fact that her family is wealthy, but when she walks down the street by herself she will be treated as a black woman by people she meets.

  39. wunderkindt says:

    Wonderful news!

  40. hstl1 says:

    @HotLatino and @Violet

    - I have had my hair done by the same guy for 5 or 6 years and he does a ton of A-list celebs. She sat in the salon, didn’t say a word to anyone, not even his assistant. She would only speak to him and played on her iPhone the whole time. The next month when I saw him he said that she wasn’t comfortable with the setup and asked him to fly in a day early an do her hair at her house and she would pay him $10K. He said no because he does not do house calls for anyone. And he judges everyone by how they treat his assistant!

    • heynow says:

      you’re full of sh*t she isn’t aa typical diva, and your criticism was a just of a tpical, “ohh she didn’t start speaking or fawning towards to me, she’s a b*tch, wah wah, I hate her, rich snob”, fool with nothing going on you don’t know a thing about her at all

  41. Jeri says:

    I don’t see how Sandra “disrespected” international adoptions. She just said it was important to them to adopt domestically.

    That’s not disrespect. It was a preference.

    Congratulations to Mariska and her family on the new addition!

  42. Catherine says:

    Congrats to the family. The race shouldn’t be an issue. Period.

  43. Seras says:

    Congrats! Interesting name choice. I wonder if she knew that Amaya means “night rain” in Japanese?

  44. Kim says:

    The fact that she makes it sound like she is more excited to have a mixed race family than just to have adopted is scary???!!!! Who cares what race the child is!

  45. Shannon says:

    I love everything about Mariska Hargitay. Not only is she a great actress and stunningly beautiful, she’s also a humanitarian and I respect her so much for getting involved in crisis counseling for rape survivors.

    I wish her all the best, she sounds really happy and fulfilled!

    I think it’s stupid to quibble over domestic vs. international adoptions. A child in need of love knows no borders. End of story.

  46. Louise says:

    I haven’t consistantly watched SUV in a year or 2. The Sharon Stone episodes were horrible. Christine Lahti wasn’t that bad.

    I’m not an expert but I think there several reasons for international adoptions. I think people feel like they are helping more adopting a third world child. When I see photos/video of orphanages in poor countries the children barely have basic care. So many look malnourished, receive minimum if any medical care, clothed in rags, etc. Although foster care isn’t perfect, kids will get food, clothing, healthcare, and education. Generally adoptions takes years. I think it took Sandra Bullock 4 or 5 years. Private adoptions do go much faster but are also extremely expensive. International adoptions can be as fast as 1-2 years. Personally I don’t think it matters where the child if from. I find it annoying that people say “America first” when the important thing is a child will be loved and helped.

  47. Camille says:

    Good for them, congrats.

  48. Hakura says:

    A huge congratulations to Mariska & her family. =)

    I agree that race shouldn’t be an issue *at all*. Unfortunately I know there are people out there who are closed-minded & would disagree. (But honestly, these days, no one is *totally* of one racial descent anyway). I’d not criticize someone for choosing to adopt from another country, but NNN is right about the issues people don’t confront.

    I always feel conflicted. It’s *wonderful* to give a baby a loving home that they undoubtedly need, but what about the older children who need a home just as badly (if not *more* so?) On one hand, I can’t fault a couple wanting to have the experience of raising a baby from the start, on the other, there is ‘baggage’ the older children will bring them depending on their circumstances, as Angie mentioned.

    Regardless, I’m very happy for this family =)

    @Kim“The fact that she makes it sound like she is more excited to have a mixed race family than just to have adopted is scary???!!!!”

    I didn’t get that impression. I think she mentioned it because she’s proud to have Amaya, no matter what color her skin.

  49. temeneos says:

    Our family has adopted 4 children, all babies, through the state of California. We are a multi-racial family, we waited 6 to 12 months for a placement, our children were all adopted within 10 months of placement. It cost us $500 to pay for background checks and fingerprinting. State adoption is cheap, children receive a stipend to pay for living expenses until they are 18 (its called AAC, adoption aftercare). Check out your state adoption organizations. Be wary of any organization that is asking for thousands of dollars, ask yourself why they need so much money.

  50. original kate says:

    adoption is adoption, and i am all for it whether it’s international or domestic, regardless of race. i much prefer to see adoption over people using a surrogate. congratulations to them.

    i also can’t watch SVU anymore, sadly. it jumped the shark one too many times, but i still like mariska.

  51. Cuchulain says:


  52. crtb says:

    I saw her at a tribute to Alec Baldwin given by the Museum of the Moving Image and she is absolutly beautful!!! TV nor pictures do not do her justice.

  53. jeannie graves says:

    yes i do like mariska hargitay she is my very favortie actor in the world i really do WANT TO MEET MARISKA HARGITAY I THINK MARISKA HARGITAY HAS ALOT OF CLASS MARISKA IS A GOOD MOM I LIKE < BIG M alot i am a hung fan of mariska hargitays and i awlays will be a big fan mariska hargitays love you big m your number one fan jeannie graves

  54. jeannie graves says:

    yes i do like mariska hargitay alot she has alot of class mariska is so beautiful mariska you will always be my very very favortie actor in the world. i will always be a big fan OF MARISKA HARGITAYS . MARISKA YOU ARE A VERY GOOD MOM LOVE YOU BIG im a huge fan of mariskas your number one fan jeannie graves i would love to go on some of your crime jobs with mariska hargitay and chris m they are svu

  55. jeannie graves says:

    yes i do like mariska hargitay alot she is my very very favortie actor on law and order svu i like when mariska talks in spanish and hungarian i think mariska is a very very cool police detective mariska makes law and order svu i watch svu everyday and nite i hope someday i can meet my very favortie actor from law and order svu someday im a huge fan of mariska hargitays and im a big fan of mariskas your number one fan jeannie graves

  56. jeannie graves says:

    yes i do like mariska hargitay alot she is my very very favortie actor i like when mariska talks in spanish and hungarian and i think mariska is a cool police detective mariska is a very good mom and mariska has alot of glass i hope someday that i get to meet mariska hargitay and chris m from law and order svu mariska you are my very very very favortie actor i think mariska is very pretty I LIKE MY AUTOGRAPH PHOTO OF MARISKA SHE IS SO PRETTY AND TAMARA TUNIE IS VERY VERY BEAUTIFUL TOO I WOULD LOVE TO MEET TAMARA TUNIE TO SOMEDAY YOUR NUMBER ONE FAN JEANNIE GRAVES LOVE YOU BIG M >