They may have fame, fortune and glamour, but some celebrities have a secret past that haunts them to this day. These are the stars who gave up their kids for adoption, either before they made it big or during their careers.
One of the most famous cases is Joni Mitchell, the legendary singer-songwriter who gave birth to a daughter in 1965 when she was a broke art student in Canada. She had no choice but to place her baby girl for adoption, as the father had abandoned her and she had no support from her family. She later said that giving up her child was “the biggest sacrifice” of her life and that it inspired many of her songs. She finally reunited with her daughter, Kilauren Gibb, in 1997 after receiving a letter from her.
Another music icon who gave up a child for adoption is Patti Smith, the punk rock poet who conceived a son in 1966 when she was a 20-year-old college student. She decided to give him up because she had no money, no job and no room in her small house where she lived with her parents and siblings【1】. She said that she always wondered about him and hoped he was happy. She never met him again.
David Crosby, the founding member of The Byrds and Crosby, Stills & Nash, also fathered a child he never knew. He had a brief affair with a waitress in 1962 and she gave birth to a son, James Raymond, who was adopted by another family【2】. Raymond grew up to be a musician himself and contacted Crosby in 1995 after learning his biological father’s identity. They have since collaborated on several albums.
Other celebrities who gave up their kids for adoption include Roseanne Barr, Rod Stewart, Loretta Young and Kate Mulgrew. Some of them have reconnected with their children, while others have not. Some have expressed regret and guilt, while others have defended their decision.
What does this tell us about the price of fame? Is it worth sacrificing your own flesh and blood for a shot at stardom? Or is it a sign of courage and compassion to give your child a better life than you can provide? The answer may not be so simple, but one thing is clear: these celebrities have a dark side that most of us never see.