Sandra Bullock adopted a baby?! How did no gossip sites pick up on that? Isn't it kind of hard to hide a baby?
—Kristi W., via Facebook
Have you seen the size of celebrity handbags these days? There are Balenciagas that could smuggle Brangelina's entire family back and forth across France, for God's sake. But in all seriousness, Sandra Bullock did keep a remarkably tight lid on her adoption plan—her four year long adoption plan—and subsequent parenthood. Until now anyway (see photo, courtesy of People).
Do I have the details on how just such a clandestine operation likely took place?
You bet I do:
At first glance, you might assume that Bullock probably found her son, Louis, via a private adoption, much like Sharon Stone did when she adopted her first son, Roan. (Roan's mother was a Texas teen who chose Stone to raise the boy after putting him up for adoption.)
In fact, many celebrities prefer such adoptions because they don't involve agencies or other outside parties. But adoption experts tell me that's likely not the case with Bullock. The numbers involved—four years of planning, three-month-old baby—point to the involvement of an adoption agency, says Kathryn Dickerson, family attorney with SmolenPlevy.
Why? Because with an agency, it takes a year just to get started.
"If she was working through an agency, she would spend the first year submitting all the information, having them do all the home visits, interviewing all the family members and then waiting," Dickerson explains.
Now, you'd think that an A-lister such as Bullock would want to steer clear of agencies, what with all the people who work in them and the temptations to leak paperwork to nosy tabloids.
But then again, you wouldn't be thinking of the kinds of agencies an A-lister would use. And they do exist; Angelina Jolie went through an agency called Adoptions From the Heart when seeking out son Pax. For Zahara, it was an outfit called Wide Horizons.
"There are some services where, if you're willing to pay enough, they're willing to be discreet enough," Dickerson explains.
In other words, there are your average adoption agencies, which may employ dozens of folks processing thousands of adoptions, and there are Cadillac agencies, which retain only a handful of meticulously screened employees. Such high-end services charge more—Bullock likely paid in the six figures, as opposed to the typical four or five paid by average adoptive families—but they also handle fewer adoptions.
"I would imagine it's about more personalized service," Dickerson posits. "You get the undivided attention of the agency," plus, of course, the types of highly paid adoption agents who aren't likely to spill secrets so easily.
Once Bullock brought Louis home from New Orleans in January, it was actually easier to keep him secret.
Sure, she was bringing home an acting award pretty much every other day, but you don't bring babies to the Vanity Fair party or Governors Ball anyway. All it took was a loyal group of friends—and Bullock's pals are notoriously tight-lipped—and avoiding being seen with the baby in public. And since Sandra has plenty of other places to be, that wasn't much of an issue.
Keeping a secret for four years could hardly have been easy for Bullock, especially given how joyful the plan was. But now that it's out, Bullock can redirect her energy on the fun stuff—enjoying baby Louis, and kicking her dirtbag of a husband to the curb.
So many Celebrity Adoptions! Check out the gallery.