How does Adoption Affect a Family?

Jane Fonda has been in the media for many years, as an actress, activist and fitness guru. She’s always been incredibly open about her life, from her three marriages and her sex life to her plastic surgery. But her relationship with her adoptive child Mary Williams has always been closed off to the media, until Mary recently published her memoirs, giving everyone a shock. Fonda took in Mary more than 30 years ago, when she was a troubled teenager from a broken home, and raised her as her own daughter. While Mary was in no way kept a secret, the situation was one of the few things Fonda chose not to broadcast to the papers. Mary details her journey from being the daughter of Black Panther members to a Hollywood star’s child in her new book, titled The Lost Daughter.


Families work in a number of ways – the traditional 2:4 family is a rarity in today’s multidimensional world. Mary’s story of her journey from a troubled background to comfort and stability is inspiring and speaks volumes of Fonda’s attitude towards improving one’s life and staying committed. Mary describes her as a world away from the Hollywood royalty that we know her as, stating that family life was domestic and as normal as one could expect from someone so prominent in the media’s eye.


Following her difficult childhood, Fonda inspired Mary to visit a therapist to discuss the issues and emotional trauma she’d faced, as well as inspiring her to pick up her grades at school and explore new places whenever she’d visit Fonda on set. The chance meeting of these two people sparked a lifelong bond and changed Mary’s life for the better, for good. While the news of adoption can sometimes cause rifts in families, it’s important to remember that the people who raise and care for you are your family beyond any label – this is something that Mary feels strongly about, claiming that while she still sees her birth mother, she considers Fonda to be her real mother.

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