Barbara Walters has worked hard throughout her career to earn everything she has accomplished. But what’s the one title she may have worked the hardest to achieve? That of “mom.”
Walters is mother to daughter Jacqueline, whom she adopted with ex-husband Lee Guber in 1968 (per PopCulture). Walters and Guber had been trying to conceive since they married in December 1963. During those five years, Walters experienced three miscarriages. In the beginning, this was a very sensitive subject for her and she didn’t speak extensively about it. Throughout the years, however, Walters has opened up about her struggles with infertility and her decision to adopt.
In 2001, Walters made a big step to that end, hosting an ABC special about adoption, where other network personalities also spoke about their own experiences. In that special, Walters said that becoming a mom to Jackie “made my life complete.” Since then, Walters has made some more comments as to how she and Guber came to adoption and what they taught their daughter about their family.
Barbara Walters and Lee Guber happened upon the opportunity to adopt Jackie
During an interview with Oprah Winfrey for her Master Class series, journalist Barbara Walters recalled the conversation that made her dreams of becoming a mother a reality. “We had dinner one night with a couple we rarely saw,” she recalled. “The woman said that she had [the opportunity to adopt] a little girl who was blonde and blue eyed.”
Walters went on to explain that the couple was weighing the pros and cons, as they had their hearts set on a baby boy. “They had lawyers out of state who were looking for this little boy. They wanted a boy who was going to be tall and had blue eyes and fair hair. They didn’t want the girl. We said, ‘We’ll take the girl!'”
Walters and then-husband Lee Guber welcomed Jacqueline home when she was just four days old. In an interview, Jackie recalled learning about her adoption from her mom. “Mommies can have babies either from their tummies or from their hearts … So she had me from her heart,” she told ABC in 2006. “That ‘real parent’ is really a horrible label, because what makes a parent is not necessarily who gives birth to you. It’s the one that wipes your butt, it’s the one that takes a tissue and cleans up your tears. The one that is there for the good times and the bad.”
Barbara Walters has just one regret tied to being a mom
Barbara Walters has had an incredible career and a great relationship with her adopted daughter Jackie. That said, when she looked back on her life and career ahead of her retirement, Walters did have one regret.
“You know, on your deathbed, are you going to say, ‘I wish I spent more time in the office?’ No. You’ll say, ‘I wish I spent more time with my family,’ and I do feel that way. I wish I had spent more time with my Jackie,” the renowned journalist told ABC in 2014.
Around that time, Walters also admitted she wished she would have had more children. “I regret not having more children. I would have loved to have had a bigger family,” she told Piers Morgan (via CNSNews). “I have one daughter. I don’t have brothers and sisters. I had a sister that I loved and she was developmentally challenged, I guess, is how they put it. I wish I had a bigger family.”
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