In 1964, a 21-year-old Joni Mitchell, then Joan Anderson, found herself pregnant, dirt poor and unable to take care of a child. She gave birth to a daughter, Kelly Gale Anderson, in February 1965 and decided to place the baby for adoption.
Years later, though her adoption story remained a secret, Mitchell penned a song about her experience called “Little Green.” Mitchell sings, “Child with a child pretending/Weary of lies you are sending home/ So you sign all the papers in the family name/ You’re sad and you’re sorry, but you’re not ashamed./Little Green have a happy ending.”
Mitchell and her daughter, renamed Kilauren Gibb, reunited in the late ‘90s after she took her search for her daughter public. Little did she know, Kilauren was looking for her too. The two have since been reunited.
Read more of their story on Joni Mitchell’s website.
In 1977, a time when pregnancies outside of marriage were considered taboo, Kate Mulgrew found herself unexpectedly pregnant by a man she did not wish to marry. The Orange is the New Black actress, whose acting career was just beginning to blossom, knew adoption was the best choice for her daughter.
About her adoption experience Mulgrew says, “Though I’m always going to feel the hurt, at least I know my child is alive and that she is happy somewhere growing up surrounded by love.” Mulgrew was reunited with her biological daughter in 2001.
While married to another woman, Clark Gable conceived a child with Loretta Young. In order to protect their acting careers and avoid scandal, Young hid her pregnancy by traveling to Europe for several months and later claiming to be ill. After giving birth in November of 1935, Young placed her baby girl, Judy Lewis, in an orphanage. Lewis spent nearly two years in various “hideaways and orphanages” until Young brought her home claiming to have “adopted” the girl.
Though she bore striking resemblance to Gable, it wasn’t until Lewis was 31 that she learned the true identity of her birth father. At this point, Gable had been dead for five years and Lewis had met him only once when she was 15 years old.
David Crosby had a son with a woman in 1962, but the two decided to place the baby for adoption. In 1994, while preparing for a liver transplant, Crosby learned that his son had been looking for him. The two have since reunited and have performed and recorded together many times, even releasing the album “Croz” together in 2014.
At the age of 17, shortly after being released from a mental institution, Roseanne Barr gave birth to a baby girl whom she placed for adoption. They have since reunited, and her daughter even worked on the set of Barr’s TV show, Roseanne.