17 Single Moms in Hollywood

by Allie Gemmill
Aug 2, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. ET

There's a renewed focus on single mothers in Hollywood who are raising their children, both biological and adopted, on their own terms and in their own inspiring way, thanks to the potentially joyous news that actor Mindy Kaling might be pregnant. While she has yet to confirm the pregnancy (although her Wrinkle in Time co-star Oprah Winfrey may have taken care of that), Kaling's pregnancy looks like one that would end with her as a single mom, since she has also not commented on the father of the baby. If she is indeed pregnant, Kaling joins a club of single moms in Hollywood who are as amazing in their roles as mothers as they are in the roles they take in films and television shows.

So, let's celebrate some of the single moms in Hollywood who are raising children on their own. They all love their lives as moms, they love their kids, and regardless of how their children arrived in their lives, what matters is that they are a strong family unit. 

1 /17: Charlize Theron

1/17 :Charlize Theron

Charlize Theron adopted her son, Jackson, and her daughter, August, on her own in 2012 and 2015, respectively. At one point, Theron disclosed this about being a mother: "I always knew I would adopt. Always. You know, I don’t think any mother aims to be a single mom. I didn’t wish for that, but it happened." But if her words sound harsh, fear not. She's made it clear that she loves being a mother. "I do know that choosing to be a mom in my late 30s has been really great for me," she told W magazine. "It’s given me perspective."

2/17 :Sandra Bullock

Sandra Bullock chose to not only be a strong single mom but to adopt twice. First, she adopted her son, Louis, in 2010, following her divorce from TV personality Jesse James. She then adopted her daughter, Laila, in 2015. Bullock spoke to People in an interview celebrating the occasion of Laila's adoption. "When I look at Laila, there’s no doubt in my mind that she was supposed to be here," she said. "I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time." Bullock then remarked on the beauty of her family: "My family is blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding. That’s a family."

3/17 :Minnie Driver

Minnie Driver chose to keep the identity of the father of her son, Henry, to herself for years while raising him on her own. Of single motherhood, Driver said, "It is really challenging to be by yourself, to be the breadwinner, to make sure your child is having a complete and lovely childhood — and it’s all on you, sort of, on the day-to-day."

4 /17: Connie Britton

4/17 :Connie Britton

The Nashville star is currently a single mom to her son, Eyoub, whom she adopted from Ethiopia in 2001, when he was a baby. In a 2011 People magazine profile, Britton recounted the one rhetorical question that propelled her toward adopting: "What am I waiting for?" She had been in Ethiopia to work on a documentary and was also involved with the African Children’s Choir and Worldwide Orphans. When Britton went back to the country to adopt Yoby, "it was such a wonderful moment of completion," she told the magazine. "I was just grinning from ear to ear."

5/17 :Diane Keaton

Diane Keaton is the mother of two children and has notably (and inspiringly) chosen to remain a single mother her entire life. In her 40s and 50s, Keaton adopted her daughter, Dexter, and her son, Duke. "Motherhood was not an urge I couldn’t resist, it was more like a thought I’d been thinking for a very long time. So I plunged in," she told Ladies Home Journal.

About where her life was before and what led her to finally adopting, Keaton said, "I’ve had such an unusual life. Obviously career-oriented. I was happy to be a daughter well into my 40s. That was something that meant a lot to me. I didn’t think that I was ever going to be prepared to be a mother." 

6 /17: January Jones

6/17 :January Jones

January Jones gave birth to her son, Xander, in 2011 and has chosen to not reveal the identity of the father. Instead, the former Mad Men star embraced life as a single mom — and might even prefer it that way. Jones at one point commented that she doesn't feel the need to have a partner right now because her life is so full.

"I just don’t feel I need a partner," she said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. "Do I want one? Maybe. But I don’t feel unhappy or lonely. It would have to be someone so amazing that I would want to make room. Someone who would contribute to my happiness and not take away from it. I realize I have very high expectations and will probably have to compromise — but my life is so full. It’s not like, 'Aww, I wish I had a man.' After I had Xander, I went on a couple of dates and I was like, 'I’d rather be at home sleeping, or watching TV or hanging out with my kid.'"

7 /17: Padma Lakshmi

7/17 :Padma Lakshmi

Padma Lakshmi became pregnant in 2009 with her daughter, Krishna. While she didn't initially know who the father was (later revealed to be venture capitalist Adam Dell), she seemed open to single motherhood. "I was raised by a single mom. I was told I couldn’t have children, so every day I am kissing the sky with happiness about it."

8/17 :Sheryl Crow

After rising to incredible levels of success in music as well as winning a battle against cancer, Sheryl Crow adopted her sons. Of life as a single mother and the uplifting process of adoption, Crow said, "Being diagnosed with [breast] cancer was a showstopper, for sure. I think it dictated that I reevaluate my life and set up new guidelines for the way I want to live." She told People, "Adopting my boys — that’s just been the biggest everlasting event that has informed everything and really for the better."

9/17 :Hoda Kotb

The Good Morning America co-host adopted her daughter, Haley Joy, in 2017 at age 52. Kotb said of this momentous occasion, "It’s one of those things where you think you’ve done it all, you think you’ve felt it all. But I just didn’t know that this kind of love existed."

10/17 :Angelina Jolie

Jolie's first child, Maddox, was also the first child she adopted. Traveling to Cambodia, Jolie spoke in 2003 of the healing and renewing effect becoming a single mother was. She also recalled to People how Maddox seemed to bond with her immediately while discussing how he came into her life. "Somebody told me that if you’re going to adopt an orphan, you should adopt from a country you love, because that’s the only history you’re going to share with them," she said. "I went into an orphanage and decided I’d not go for the cutest child but just go to the one that connected to me." Jolie said of Maddox, "He was asleep, and he woke up and smiled. As soon as I saw him smile, I felt like this kid wasn’t uncomfortable with me. He seemed OK in my arms."

Jolie became a mother multiple times over after that. She adopted her daughter Zahara in 2005 with then-boyfriend Brad Pitt, and she and Pitt adopted their son Pax in 2007. Soon after that, Jolie gave birth to her three youngest children: Shiloh, Knox and Vivienne. 

Jolie is once again a single mother following her divorce from Pitt. 

11/17 :Meg Ryan

After her divorce from Dennis Quaid and before she began dating singer John Mellencamp, Meg Ryan adopted her daughter, Daisy, in 2006. In a 2007 People article, Ryan said, "I am convinced, completely convinced that there was nothing random about [the adoption]. She is the daughter I should have." Ryan additionally opened up about how she felt so compatible with Daisy and how that strengthened her bond with her daughter: "I never felt like I was on a rescue mission or anything like that. I just really wanted a baby; I was on a mission to connect with somebody, and Daisy and I got to meet each other in this way at this time. We are so compatible." 

12 /17: Kristin Davis

12/17 :Kristin Davis

The Sex and the City star adopted her daughter, Gemma Rose, in 2011. Davis told People at the time, "This is something I have wanted for a very long time. Having this wish come true is even more gratifying than I ever had imagined. I feel so blessed."

13 /17: Edie Falco

13/17 :Edie Falco

In an interview with Anderson Cooper, Nurse Jackie star Edie Falco open up about why she wanted to adopt her son, Anderson, and her daughter, Macy. "At that time I was single and the idea to adopt came to me. I just knew at a certain point it was time to raise kids." Of course, as Falco joked at the time, she joked that her son thought adoption was the way all children related to their parents, implying that her children's perception of their family was just as normalized and celebrated as other families. "I don't know if they know that not every one of their friends is adopted. My son says, 'So then the lady has the baby in her belly, and then I [say], 'And when the baby comes out, she gives the baby to the mommy.'" 

14 /17: Calista Flockhart

14/17 :Calista Flockhart

In 2001, Flockhart adopted her son, Liam. Of the joyous occasion, Flockhart said, "I have always wanted to adopt a child and I am overjoyed that I have been blessed with a beautiful and healthy son. I'm completely enchanted and awe-struck." 

15/17 :Mia Farrow

While actor Mia Farrow also has five biological children with ex-husbands André Previn and Woody Allen, she has always kept her home and heart open to the nine children whom she has adopted. Sadly, while three of her adopted children have passed away from health-related issues, what is consistent is Farrow's deep and abiding love for all of her children. She has and always will be a warm and attentive mother. 

16 /17: Sharon Stone

16/17 :Sharon Stone

Sharon Stone reportedly survived multiple miscarriages and, through those unimaginably painful events, came out the other side with her heart open to adoption. That's how she became a mom three times — in 2000, 2005 and 2006 — to sons Roan, Laird and Quinn. 

Earlier this year, her sons presented her with the Mother of the Year Award on Wednesday at the Associates for Breast and Prostate Cancer Studies Mother’s Day Luncheon. As she accepted that award, Stone told the audience that "motherhood didn’t come easily, but it came lovingly to me by angels. We’re a happy and lucky family. That is the credo we stand for." She went on to say, "We have a choice about what we teach our children — we have to stand tall and say yes to love."

17 /17: Denise Richards

17/17 :Denise Richards

After having two children with her now ex-husband, actor Charlie Sheen, Denise Richards decided she wanted to adopt in 2011. That's how Eloise Joni Richards came into her life. About the decision to adopt Eloise, Richards said, "I felt like I wasn’t done having children, and I’ve always wanted to have a large family. And so after my divorce I felt like, 'Oh well, I’m sure I'll soon enough get remarried and have my family [grow]', and that wasn’t in the cards at the time, so I decided to expand my family on my own."