Sandra Bullock has a message for everyone talking about her “adopted” children

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Kayleigh Dray
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Sandra Bullock prefers to keep her children out of the limelight – but, if the world must talk about them, she has a simple request… 

Sandra Bullock is an award-winning actress, producer and philanthropist, posing on countless red carpets and appearing in some of the world’s absolute favourite movies: think Miss Congeniality, Practical Magic and Crash, to name but three.

However, while her professional life forces her to live much of her life out in the public eye, she has fought hard to keep her two children – eight-year-old Louis and five-year-old Laila – away from the glare of the media. Fans will no doubt remember that Bullock kept her son’s adoption under wraps until the end of awards season in 2010, and was forced to deny expanding her family while going through the adoption process a second time around with her daughter.

“When you adopt a child, there’s a placement period, and if something goes sideways, they have the right to take the child away,” she tells InStyle.

“It’s a tenuous, strenuous six months… [at one point] we had an allergy scare that sent us to the emergency room, and we were followed by the paparazzi, so the word was out that I had another child. And everyone wanted photos. It was heart-breaking. Louis would hear a helicopter or drone, and he’d run to get his sister and drag her across the lawn and hide her under the trampoline. So poor Laila had PTSD. But it took the bounty off once we did those official photos [for People magazine].

“Everything’s a learning experience.”

With that in mind, Bullock has a message for everyone who has ever spoken about her “adopted” children – and called for a change in terminology.

“Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids’,” she says.

“Don’t say, ‘My adopted child’. No one calls their kid their ‘IVF child’ or their Oh, s**t, I went to a bar and got knocked-up child’.

“Let’s just say, ‘Our children.’”

“Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids’,” says Sandra Bullock.

Bullock – who describes her family as “blended and diverse, nutty, and loving and understanding” – has previously stated that she used to worry so much as younger woman, but now her focus is on her children.

She said: “Am I living my authentic life, am I good enough, working hard enough, am I able to keep my [children] safe?

“Worrying used to be very paralysing for me, and now I can talk myself off the ledge. [My children are the ones] who snapped me out of it.”

With this in mind, it makes sense that the award-winning actress can’t imagine life without her family.

“When I look at Laila [and Louis], there’s no doubt in my mind that [they were] supposed to be here,” she told People.

“I can tell you absolutely, the exact right children came to me at the exact right time.”

Image: Getty


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.