|Madonna adopted from Malawi twice|
Of the approximately 130,000 or so adoptions that took place in America last year (of which, more than a third consist of a stepparent adopting a stepchild), surprisingly, less than 10,000 involved children from overseas. The majority of the remainder, according to Adam Pertman, executive director of the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute, are adoptions from foster care, and — despite the little ones we see celebs taking home — those children are rarely babies.
Over just the past year, stars including Denise Richards, Kristin Davis, Viola Davis and her husband, actor Julius Tennon, and Mariska Hargitay and her husband, actor Peter Hermann, have introduced the world to their newly adopted infants. So does that mean they received special treatment because they're rich and famous? Indeed, celebrities may wind up with an advantage when it comes to adoption, but the benefits usually stem from being rich, not famous.
"Adoption outside of foster care, particularly so for infant adoptions and international adoptions, has come to be quite expensive and that locks a lot of people out," explains Pertman, who is the author of Adoption Nation. "Does power, influence, money make a difference? Yeah, it does in every realm that we're aware of, but a wealthy surgeon probably gets the same sort of treatment as a wealthy movie star, just that nobody's following the surgeon around with cameras."