Wed. Jul 17th, 2024

Mariska Hargitay was seen in a rare picture of her hugging her only daughter, who is now 12 years old.

Years before Amaya Hermann was adopted, Mariska Hargitay went through a painful experience in which a mother who was to give her child to the actress changed her mind.

However, after an African-American mother entrusted the actress with her child, she became a doting mom to the sweet little girl. She now feels blessed to have her multiracial family.

Mariska Hargitay, 59, is an accomplished actress widely known for starring in the popular series “Law & Order.” Outside of her career, she is a doting wife to fellow actor Peter Hermann, 55, and a beloved mother of three, August, Andrew, and Amaya Josephine Hermann. Typically, the actress keeps her family life private and prefers her children to remain out of the limelight.

However, on July 1, a close friend of the actress took to Instagram to post two pictures of her hanging out with Mariska Hargitay and a few members of the star’s family at the Chiltern Firehouse restaurant. The first picture showed the friend and actress posing together and smiling. The second picture showed Mariska Hargitay, her husband, one of her sons, and her daughter Amaya, who just turned 12 years old this year, cuddled together.

The first time Hargitay became a mother, she was 42 years old. An age that falls within a medical category that denotes a heightened risk of experiencing pregnancy complications. She gave birth to her firstborn son, August, and a few years later, at her son’s request and as a result of both her and her spouse’s desire to have a big family, talks of another baby coming into the family began.

After deciding to take the adoption route, the couple began to explore their options with adoption agencies. They found what Hargitay described as a fantastic intuitive adoption lawyer who helped them embark on their journey.

The family grew one more time with the addition of baby Andrew, who was a surprise.

The adoption proceedings included a mandatory comprehensive five-hour house visit, and the overall process was not always easy on the couple, as they had to endure a lot of false starts. Hargitay disclosed:

“There were several cases that didn’t work out. A lot of different kinds of complications.”

However, a small glimmer of hope came sometime after patiently waiting and enduring the various rounds of visitations and letdowns. The hopeful parents caught word of a young pregnant woman who was set to give birth to a baby girl, which ideally suited Hargitay’s dream of having a daughter one day.

This case was approximately the third time they had attempted to adopt and extend their family, so naturally, the “Leaving Las Vegas” talent tried her best not to get her hopes up. Nevertheless, as soon as she met the mom-to-be, she couldn’t help but be excited, as she described the mother as bright, incredible, and intelligent.

August, and Peter Hermann, Mariska Hargitay, and Tshidi Manye backstage at the Broadway musical production of "The Lion King" in New York City, 2010 | Source: Getty Images

Following their visit, which went exceedingly well, and after about a month of ongoing communication, the mom, who was now in labor, rang Hargitay on the “Law & Order SVU” set and alerted her to come to the hospital immediately.

After the birth, the couple was handed what was supposed to be their bundle of joy, and they had the opportunity to bond with the newborn for two days, even going so far as to name the little girl. But then, Hargitay recalled:

“The birth mother changed her mind. It was nothing short of devastating.”

Tragically, the married couple was left with no ethical or morally-sound choice but to hand the newborn baby back to her biological mother. However, their luck, fortunately, changed for the better when their lawyer and social worker brought them some great news which made Hargitay cry tears of joy.

They had managed to locate a mother who was expecting and willing to give her baby up for adoption. The feeling that this would finally be the time when adoption would work out for the anticipating couple could not be denied, even by their administrative team, who described this new mom as amazing.

After an excellent initial phone conversation between the birth mother and the couple, the three met in person, and Hargitay recalled being blown away by how wonderful the woman was.

Mariska Hargitay, and Amaya Josephine Hermann on the "Law & Order SVU" set in New York City, 2011 | Source: Getty Images

Though they were unbelievably excited about becoming parents for the second time, the couple couldn’t help but remain slightly worried and fearful over the same situation happening again.

However, the biological mom assured Hargitay that she had no doubt she would become her child’s mother. Though the woman was African-American, both parties involved had no qualms about the racial factor. Hargitay expressed:

“We were excited to have a multiracial family because that’s what the world is, and we want our family to reflect a realistic microcosm of the world.”

Baby Amaya, whose name translates to princess, warrior, and night rain, was welcomed into the Hargitay-Hermann family in April 2011. Soon after Amaya arrived, Hargitay divulged how ecstatic she and the whole family, including her then four-and-a-half-year-old son, August. She said:

“I’m deliriously happy. From the minute she was born, she was just surprisingly alert and so full of love… [August] is over the moon; he calls her his baby because he says the whole thing was his idea, [and] he always talks about how he’s going to protect her.”

Amaya, August, and Andrew Hermann, and Mariska Hargitay at The Children's Museum Of The East End 5th Annual Family Fair in Bridgehampton, 2013 | Source: Getty Images

The family grew one more time with the addition of baby Andrew, who was a surprise. During a check-up call to see how Hargitay and her husband were fairing with their new baby, their lawyer informed them that there was another baby (this time, a boy) they stood a good chance of adopting if they were interested.

Without hesitation, the couple expressed emphatic interest in adopting him, and baby Andrew joined their family shortly after his older sister, Amaya. During a sit-down interview, Hargitay, while speaking of her and her husband’s decision to expand their family, stated:

“It’s funny, I always get so private about our kids, but I think that the easiest way or the easiest answer is we just wanted a bigger family, and we feel incredibly blessed.”

Despite their challenges while attempting to adopt, Mariska Hargitay and Hermann’s endurance proved successful. The couple feels blessed to live an amazing life with their beautiful multiracial family.