"Adoption Isn't For The Faint Of Heart": 'Law & Order' Star Mariska Hargitay's Painful Road To Motherhood
One of the busiest leading ladies on television, Mariska Hargitay also has her hands full at home. The Law & Order star and her husband, Peter Hermann, have three beautiful children, and they've been through a lot in order to grow this big family.
Out of Mariska's three children, only one is her biological son. Little August was born in 2007 and became the couple's first child. He's a spitting image of his famous mom and dad, but Mariska and Peter wanted more kids.
In 2011, after several painful years of trying to adopt, the family finally welcomed Amaya Josephine and, a few months later, Andrew Nicolas.
Today, Mariska is perfectly happy with her family and can't imagine a better life for herself. As she told PEOPLE:
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.
Although the path to building her family was tough on Hargitay, her experience with adoption can serve as an inspiration to everyone.
Never give up hope
After giving birth to August, Mariska and Peter realized they wanted more kids, and their son asked for siblings. But the actress was already in her 40s, and understood that natural birth could be problematic. Hargitay shared with Good Housekeeping:
August wanted siblings, and Peter and I both envisioned this big family because we both come from that. Plus, we just had so much love to give. I was really letting the chips fall as they might, because I do think so much is up to God.
The family decided to adopt, but Mariska had no idea how tough it would be, saying that adoption "isn't for the faint of heart." When they finally found a mother that wanted to give them her child, Mariska and Peter had their hearts ripped out when the mother changed her mind immediately after giving birth, with them in the delivery room.
Mariska said it was incredibly difficult, but she was grateful to be a part of that miracle, nonetheless:
It was nothing short of devastating...I felt honored to be part of the process. It was a profound blessing to have been part of the making of a union; that God had picked me. I don't even want to say that I helped, but for some reason I was there, and I was part of a decision that was so beautiful and sacred.
But the couple's struggles weren't in vain. Not long after, they were overjoyed to finally have Amaya and Andrew join their family. They were finally complete, and Mariska felt serene.
The two that started it all
Happy parents Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann have been married since 2004. They met in 2001 on the set of Mariska's Law and Order: Special Victims Unit. Just like our heroine, Peter is also an actor, currently starring in the ongoing TV series Younger.
And, in addition to being perfect parents, they are definitely one of the best-looking couples in Hollywood!