Amaya Josephine Hermann is the adopted daughter of Law & Order’s Olivia Benson and Mariska Hargitay. She is 12 years old and the first of the actress’ 2 adopted children with her husband Peter Hermann.
A couple of years before the birth and adoption, Amaya Josephine’s adoptive parents welcomed their first and only biological child. Her older brother is August Miklos Friedrich Hermann.
6 months after her adoption, Josephine Hermann’s parents adopted another child – her younger brother, Andrew Nicolas.
Amaya Josephine Hermann was Adopted Upon Birth
A week after Amaya Josephine was born, she became legally part of the Hermann family, on April 7, 2011. The SVU actress was there when Amaya’s biological mother gave birth to her. She was the one who pulled her first adopted daughter out of her mother.
Amaya’s 2 mothers, in their excitement, hugged and her biological mother stated that she knew the baby was meant to be with Mariska.
According to Mariska, Amaya was alert and full of love from birth, and the actress was overwhelmed with joy.
When it came to choosing a name for her, it wasn’t difficult as the American actress loved the name ‘Maya’. However, she wanted her children to have uniform initials and so she added the ‘A’ to make Amaya.
Hargitay gushes a lot about her only baby girl stating that she completed her family. She also mentioned that when she and Peter, decided on adoption, they wanted an interracial child. Amaya fits that bill as she is of African-American descent.
Amaya Josephine is the only female child of the actors but she is not the first, neither is she the last child.
She has 2 Brothers – an Older and a Younger
Amaya was born and adopted 4 and a half years after her parent’s first child was born. Her older brother is August Friedrich.
August Miklos Friedrich (17) was born on June 28, 2006, to Mariska and Peter. He is the only biological child of American actors and was born when Hargitay was 42 years old.
‘August’ the name has been part of his father’s family for centuries. Miklos was Mariska’s late father’s name while the last name ‘Friedrich’ is the family surname.
About 6 months after Amaya’s birth, she welcomed a baby brother named Andrew Nicolas. Her parents started looking to adopt another child as soon as they adopted Amaya.
Andrew Nicolas (12) was born in October 2011, prematurely. As soon as he was born, just 6 months after Josephine’s birth, Mariska and Peter received the call for his adoption.
The actors believed that Andrew was an angel that fell from the sky because of the way he was introduced into their lives.
The family of 5 has made Mariska and Peter very happy as they have fulfilled their desire of raising a multi-racial family.
Amaya Josephine Hermann, her brothers, and her parents, though private about their personal activities, spend a lot of time together. They even make it to industry events together as well as to fun places like Disney World.
Hargitay has severally admitted that her children are all different and she treats each differently. Becoming a parent has changed her because it has made her a better parent and listener.
About Her Parent’s Marriage and Reason to Adopt
Law & Order: SVU actors, Hargitay and Hermann met on set of the series and played on-set couple. 2 years down the line, they took the romance off-set and got married on August 28, 2004, in Santa Barbara, California.
Amaya Josephine Hermann’s parents have been married for 15 years now.
Mariska Hargitay’s decision to adopt children stemmed from a couple of reasons. One of them was the fact that she grew up with half-siblings after her mother died while she was still a toddler. Her father remarried and so she grew up with a stepmother and half-siblings and so was open to having kids from different places.
Another reason for her decision was her visit to Thailand and India when she was about 10 years old. At that age, she realized that there were kids who had no parents and at that time she knew she wanted to do something different. Her motherly instincts kicked in even as a child and she decided that she would one day adopt.
The third reason for Mariska’s decision to adopt was the fact that she had complications while giving birth. She was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and eventually needed to undergo a C-Section to have August. This was an unfortunate development as she wanted to have a normal birth. Amaya’s mother had to choose between a normal birth and having a healthy child and she chose the latter.
Mariska and Peter wanted to adopt more children but they were not lucky anymore. At a point, they had their hopes high for another adoption but it was eventually dashed.