Actor Hugh Jackman, famous for his roles in a variety of films across a number of genres, is married to actress Deborra-Lee Furness. The couple share two adopted children, Oscar and Ava.
The 50-year-old Jackman and the 61-year-old Furness have been married since 1996. Their son Oscar Maximilian Jackman was born in May 2000 and daughter Ava Eliot Jackman was born in July 2005.
Here’s a look at Jackman’s two children.
1. Furness Suffered 2 Miscarriages Before They Adopted Oscar
In a 2004 interview on Enough Rope With Andrew Denton, Furness confirmed that she and Jackman adopted Oscar because she previously suffered two miscarriages. When she was asked how that affected her, she said it was not a “happy thing.” Furness explained:
It’s like this, we had some miscarriages and we tried, we did the IVF and we were always going to, we wanted to have a child and adopt a child. So we always had that plan anyway. So it just sort of changed the plans around. And then you know we were upset obviously when we didn’t get pregnant and we had the miscarriages. And then when we went to, oh well we’ll just adopt first, it was like what were we worried about, and it was it just happened so it was no big deal. But I, I didn’t, there must be something in the water, I just know that lately I, I come across so many women, cause I’ve been through it, they say talk to me about it. So many women having trouble you know getting pregnant.
At the time of the interview, Oscar was just four years old. Furness was asked if she would ever let Oscar meet his birth mother. “If he wants to,” she replied.
Last July, the family of four vacationed for a holiday in Greece. The children were 11 and 17 at the time of the trip. A number of pictures that show the family soaking up the sun were snapped by paparazzi.
2. Jackman Saved His Children From a Riptide in Australia
In March 2016, The Daily Telegraph reported that Jackman had to be a real-life superhero after 16-year-old Oscar and 11-year-old Ava got caught in a riptide on Bondi Beach in Sydney. Jackman was helped out by another man and they assisted the lifeguards to direct other beachgoers away from the waves.
“Hugh and his family are 100 percent fine,” Jackman’s rep told E! News. “It looks a lot more dramatic than it was.”
3. Jackman Says He Doesn’t Think of Ava & Oscar As ‘Adopted’
In a 2011 interview with Australia’s Herald Sun, Jackman said he doesn’t think of Ava and Oscar as adopted children.
“From the moment we started the adoption process, all the anxiety went away. I don’t think of them as adopted – they’re our children,” Jackman told the outlet. “Deb and I are believers in I suppose you could call it destiny. We feel things happened the way they are meant to. Obviously, biologically wasn’t the way we were meant to have children.”
Jackman said in 2011 that it was “painful” and “not easy” to learn that the couple could not have their own biological children.
“I think any parent can relate – trying to have children is wonderful and when you feel as though that’s not going to happen, there’s a certain anxiety that goes with it,” Jackman told the Herald Sun. “We thought we’d have a kid or two biologically and then adopt. But when we decided we’d had enough of IVF, we went ahead with adoption.”
4. It Was a ‘Deliberate,’ ‘No-Brainer’ Decision to Adopt Mixed-Race Children
Oscar and Ava are mixed race. In an interview with Barbara Walters in 2009, Jackman said this was a “deliberate” and “no-brainer” decision.
As he recalled to Walters:
“When we went first to talk to someone in Los Angeles about adoption, I remember, they said, ‘What do you want?’ I said, ‘Well, healthy would be good.’ And they said, ‘Well, what about the race?’ We’d ticked mixed race. And he said, ‘Now, listen. Please don’t, please don’t just tick that because you think it’s the right thing to tick.’ And he said to me, that we turn away children every month who are mixed race, because we can’t find families for them.
The couple splits their time between homes in Los Angeles and Australia.
5. He Constantly Talks to His Kids About ‘Respect And Gratitude’
Jackman is a strict parent because he doesn’t want his children to feel entitled, since they have celebrities for parents.
“I constantly talk to them about respect and gratitude,” Jackman told Parade in 2015. “I say, ‘Unfortunately, I’m going to be tougher on you than I would be if I wasn’t famous, because people are actually going to be less tough on you in life.’ In a way they have to be better behaved, be more respectful, have more gratitude than other kids. I try to keep their life as down-to-earth as possible. I really do.”
The Logan actor explained that his kids are what worries him the most because they are surrounded by fame and paparazzi. Jackman can’t quite give them the same environment his father gave him.
“We worry a lot,” he told Parade. “In some ways, they get a free pass from people when they shouldn’t be given a free pass.”