Katherine Heigl’s Children: The Actress Talks About Raising Adopted Kids

Katherine Heigl is sharing new realizations about her adopted children and her own perceptions of racism that she’s come upon in light of the recent Black Lives Matter protests.

Heigl shared some of those thoughts and worries about preparing her daughters for the world and understanding their own backgrounds in a March 3 cover story for Parade magazine, seen below.

“It’s a family affair,” Katherine Heigl tweeted as she shared two images from the story.

Katherine Heigl On Her Children And Race

Katherine Heigl shares her children with her husband, musician Joshua Kelley. The couple adopted Nancy-Leigh “Naleigh,” 12, from South Korea when she was nine months old, and Adalaide, 8, from within the U.S. when she was born. In addition to their two adopted children, Heigl and Kelley also have a biological son, Joshua, 4.

Heigl’s sister Meg was adopted from South Korea three years before Heigl was born. That led Katherine to want to also adopt.

“Because I was raised with adoption, looking beyond skin color was the norm for me, and I just believed that love is love — it doesn’t matter what we look like,” Heigl told Parade. “But then when I asked my sister, Meg, if she had been treated one way when she was out in public with our parents and a different way when she was out by herself without them, she said, ‘Oh yeah, all the time!’ That made me realize that I had been so naïve.”

Heigl said she got angry at first but then realized, “this isn’t about how it makes me feel. It’s about how I need to protect my daughters and prepare them for the world, because I can’t change society in one fell swoop.”

You can read more of what Heigl has said and posted about race and her children, particularly her daughter, who is Black, in light of the police shooting of George Floyd in May 2020, below.

Heigl also shared photos of her multicultural family in discussing her anger about Floyd’s murder.

Katherine Heigl On What Her Children Are Like

Heigl, who most recently starred in the hit Netflix show “Firefly Lane” and is best known for playing Izzie Stevens on “Grey’s Anatomy” and acting in movies like “27 Dresses” and “Knocked Up,” has spoken before about how she curtailed her acting career a bit after adopting Naleigh in 2009 and later having more children.

“I wanted my own family to resemble the one I came from, so I always knew I wanted to adopt from Korea,” Heigl told Parent & Child back when Naleigh was three years old. “We have talked about having biological children as well, but we decided to adopt first. I just wanted to be a mom.”

Naleigh (pronounced NAY-lee) had a heart condition that was corrected after birth and before she came to the U.S. Today the tween is a budding video editor, as seen below in this birthday video she made for mom Heigl.

While she may be adept with technology, Naleigh isn’t allowed to have her own phone.

“She’s only one of two kids in her grade who doesn’t have their own phone,” Heigl told Parade. “So she’s been sneaking my iPad and creating TikTok videos without my permission. I know she thinks I’m being a tyrant, but I worry about the effect of social media on kids her age.”

Heigl’s second oldest child, Adalaide, loves to ride horses. In November, Heigl shared a video on Twitter of her practicing (note: profanity ahead).

“She’s my pistol, all piss and vinegar,” Heigl told Parade. “She is fearless. She actually wants to start barrel racing [a rodeo event where horseback riders compete to weave through barrels at top speed]. And she loves to make Naleigh laugh.”

Heigl describes her 4-year-old biological son, Joshua Jr., as a “clichéd study in boyness” with his love of superheroes, vehicles and dinosaurs. Here’s a video Heigl shared of Josh Jr. wearing a Spider-Man costume and homemade robot helmet.

Katherine Heigl On The Uniqueness Of Her Household

Both Heigl and Kelley frequently share glimpses into their home lives and proud parent moments of all their children. Heigl, an animal lover and advocate, has spurred on the family’s adoption of multiple cats and dogs.

“I’m sorry but I am 100% winning in the mom department right now,” Heigl joked on Twitter in December 2019. “I gave my kids kittens for Christmas! Kittens! Oh and puppies!! Puppies!! On another note I am at negative 100 in the wife department. @joshbkelley is debating moving out … if he does I will be left with four kids, two cats and far too many dogs. Crap … I didn’t think this through.”

Heigl also told Parade that if her daughters want more information on their biological parents, they are open to that.

“We have said to them, this is your story,” she said. “We don’t have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers. If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want. Tell us what you’re comfortable with knowing.”