Hoda Kotb Says She and Joel Schiffman Will Continue as 'Loving Parents' to Daughters amid Breakup

Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman share daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4

Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman are keeping their girls front of mind amid their breakup.

On Monday, the Today co-anchor, 57, announced during TODAY with Hoda & Jenna that she and her longtime boyfriend will be going their separate ways, after getting engaged in November 2019.

As she explained their decision during a candid conversation with co-host Jenna Bush Hager, Kotb said that she and Schiffman will continue to be "loving parents to our adorable, delightful children," daughters Hope, 2, and Haley, 4.

"Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and meaningful conversations over the holidays and we decided that we're better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple, so we decided we are going to start this new year ... on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends," said Kotb.

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"It's not like something happened. They say sometimes relationships are meant to be there for a reason, or a season or for a lifetime. And I feel like ours was meant to be there for a season," she added.

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Hoda Kotb Instagram
Hoda Kotb Instagram

Of Schiffman, 63, Kotb said, "He's a great guy. He's a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him. We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We'll be good parents to those two lovely kids."

The couple welcomed both of their daughters via adoption: Haley in 2017 and Hope in 2019.

Kotb and Schiffman, a financier, began dating quietly for a couple of years before going public in 2015. The couple announced their engagement in November 2019, when Schiffman popped the question while they were enjoying an intimate dinner by the beach.

Hoda Kotb adoption
Courtesy Hoda Kotb

In October, Kotb opened up about parenthood with Schiffman on the first-ever episode of PEOPLE's podcast Me Becoming Mom, where she discussed her journey to adopting Haley and Hope and how her then-fiancé offered early support in the process.

"I was terrified," Kotb recalled of bringing up the topic of adoption to Schiffman for the first time. " 'How am I going to say this?' I don't know his reaction. I think what I was probably the most scared of was that I knew I was going to do it anyway."

"I looked him in the eye and I said, 'I would like to explore adoption with you.' And there was like a second in there, I was like, 'This is the end of a relationship or the beginning of a family.' This is happening in a snap, in an instant," she added.

Upon realizing how supportive he was of the idea, "I knew in that moment I chose right because it was the thing that would make me the happiest on earth ... He made all the decisions so easy and clear," Kotb said. "I said, 'I chose right. I chose a man who chose my happiness over his convenience maybe in that moment.' "

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