How Katherine Heigl Fields Questions from Her Daughters About Their Biological Mothers

Katherine Heigl poses with her family for Parents, where she talks adoption, tween growing pains — and whether she'll add another child to her brood

Katherine Heigl Parents
Katherine Heigl, Josh Kelley and their kids for Parents. Photo: William Shirakawa for Parents

Katherine Heigl is an open book when it comes to sharing her girls' life stories with them.

In her cover interview for Parents magazine's April issue — in which she poses with husband Josh Kelley and their kids Joshua Bishop, 4, Adalaide Marie Hope, 8½, and Naleigh Mi-Eun, 12 — Heigl says that the girls, who are adopted, "have more questions as they get older" about their origins.

"We have said to them, 'This is your story. We don't have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers,' " the Firefly Lane star, 42, said of Naleigh and Adalaide.

" 'If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want,' " she added of their conversations. " 'Tell us what you're comfortable with knowing.' "

Heigl was "raised with adoption," having a sister, Meg, who was adopted. And while she feels she was "so naïve" about Meg's experience when she was younger, "I had to realize, okay, 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."

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Katherine Heigl Parents
Katherine Heigl, Josh Kelley and their kids for Parents. William Shirakawa for Parents

In the meantime, Naleigh is "one of two kids in her grade" at school without a phone of her own, which has been frustrating for the preteen even if her mom insists it's for her own good.

However, Heigl's oldest child has "been sneaking my iPad and creating TikTok videos without my permission," she said. "I know she thinks I'm being a tyrant, but I worry about the effect of social media on kids her age. I watched The Social Dilemma. So I'm like, 'Go ahead and hate me. I'm trying to save you!' "

Currently, Joshua is "obsessed with Spider-Man and the Hulk," while Adalaide is all about the great outdoors. As the Grey's Anatomy alum joked of her "fearless" middle child, "She's my pistol, all piss and vinegar."

"She actually wants to start barrel racing," Heigl shared of Adalaide's love of riding horses on their ranch. "And she loves to make Naleigh laugh."

Katherine Heigl and her kids. Katherine Heigl/Instagram

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Heigl admitted she "was so relieved" when she found out Joshua was a boy while she was expecting, saying, "It was actually a big reason why I was vacillating between trying to get pregnant or adopting again, since with adoption you can specify the sex."

"I just thought, another girl could mean lifelong therapy for all of us," she joked.

As for whether she and musician Kelley, 41, plan to add any more kids to their brood (which also includes five dogs and three cats!), the 27 Dresses actress told Parents that she initially "thought that we needed one more child to complete this home," whether it be biologically or via adoption or foster care.

But since the COVID-19 pandemic hit, "I have completely changed my mind," Heigl said. "I am very content with my three!"

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