Proud mom Mariska Hargitay beamed as she appeared with her husband and three children for a public outing together

Hollywood actress Mariska Hargitay made a rare appearance with her children at a Benefit Gala.

She and her husband, American actor Peter Hermann, have one biological son and two adopted children.

After facing challenges during the adoption process, the mother of three is now more open to showcasing her kids.

Attending the 2023 Stuttering Association for the Young Benefit Gala, Hollywood actress Mariska Hargitay and her husband, Peter Hermann, made a public appearance to show support. While the presence of the stars drew attention, what was even more pleasantly surprising was the appearance of their seldom-seen children.

As Hargitay and Hermann took the spotlight on the red carpet, their three kids—August, Andrew, and Amaya—accompanied them for the special event.

Posing for a family photo, Hargitay looked stunning in a pastel green wrap-around dress, her luscious brown hair flowing freely. She protectively held onto her daughter Amaya’s shoulder, who looked gorgeous in an off-the-shoulder floral dress. Amaya stood beside her big brother, Andrew, dressed in a dapper suit matching his father’s attire.

The eldest son, August, was positioned in the middle of Mom and Dad, sporting a blue long-sleeved t-shirt with a big smile on his face. His father lovingly placed an arm around his shoulders. August was born in 2006, while his siblings were adopted five years later, within six months of each other.

The “Welcome to 18” star has been married to her husband, Hermann, for 18 years, and their relationship remains strong. When asked about the secret to their long-lasting marriage, Hermann attributed it to creating moments of joy and laughter:

“I never thought I would have this much laughter in my life. Not just actual laughter but also the way that Mariska is just the embodiment of laughter – of joy.”

Creating happy moments is crucial for the Hargitay-Hermann clan, and the family actively prioritizes engaging in various enjoyable activities together. However, the family’s journey hasn’t always been smooth, as Hargitay revealed they faced challenges during the adoption process for both Amaya and Andrew.

Having lost her mother at a young age, Hargitay was primarily raised by her father and stepmother. Through this experience, she came to realize that a family could be formed in diverse ways, beyond the conventional nuclear model, especially as she gained half-siblings.

Hermann proposed by getting down on one knee, presenting a stunning weathered platinum band set adorned with nine round diamonds. The couple tied the knot in 2004.

Opening up about the sometimes “devastating” moments she and her husband experienced during their adoption journey, Hargitay emphasizes that adoption is not a process for the faint of heart. The couple’s family plan always included having more than one child, and after giving birth to their first son at the age of 42, they knew they wanted to expand their family.

Growing up with a stepmother and half-siblings, Hargitay had always harbored a desire to adopt. This inclination was further reinforced during a family vacation in Thailand when she was 9 or 10 years old. Observing children alone in the streets, she felt a strong maternal instinct, expressing, “I want to take them all home!”

After marrying Hermann in 2004, the couple decided to embark on the adoption process around 2010. Their journey involved trial and error, including a five-hour-long home visit that didn’t lead to success. Hargitay reflects on several cases that didn’t work out, with complications and disappointments. However, she describes the hardest disappointment as also being the most significant moment in building their family.

The emotional toll on the couple was evident as they faced repeated setbacks and disappointments during the adoption process. Instances such as birthmothers changing their minds at the last minute took a considerable toll on the couple, causing intense pain. Despite the challenges, with perseverance, resilience, and mutual support, they ultimately succeeded in building their family.

The Hargitay-Hermann clan joyfully welcomed baby Amaya Josephine Hermann just a few weeks before her anticipated due date in the United States. Mariska Hargitay and her husband were ecstatic about her arrival and instantly fell in love with the beautiful little girl. Following this, her baby brother, Andrew Nicolas, joined the family four to six months later, being born two months premature.

Andrew was an unexpected addition, as the couple initially thought they were finished with the adoption process. However, when their lawyer called again, asking if they were interested, they found it impossible to resist. Reflecting on the situation, Hargitay shared the perspective of their protective big brother, August:

“August thinks this was all his idea! He said, ‘I want a baby sister,’ and Amaya came. Then he said, ‘I want a baby brother,’ and Andrew came. August is feeling pretty good and pretty powerful!”

As the family’s leaders, Hargitay and Hermann emphasize the importance of building a family grounded in love, joy, and cultural inclusivity. Their approach to parenting provides insight into their identities as individuals and as a couple.

Hermann, born in New York and raised in Germany until the age of 10, returned to the United States, where he mastered the English language at Yale University. Initially an English teacher, he later transitioned to acting after discovering his passion. Hermann made a guest appearance on the second season of the critically acclaimed series “Law & Order: SVU,” where he met his future wife, the series regular Mariska Hargitay.

Before tying the knot in 2004, the couple embarked on their first date after meeting on set. Hargitay recalls feeling an instant certainty about Hermann being the one for her the moment he invited her to church for their initial date:

“I just knew, and again it just, you know, listen, the story of having your husband invite you to church for the first date, you’re like, ‘Really Peter? Really?’ It was so perfect [and] I just started sobbing. Peter thought I was crying because I was so moved by the service [but] no, it was because I was just overwhelmed realizing he was the one.”

On Hermann’s end, he describes the moment he knew Hargitay was the one for him in a more philosophical manner. According to Hermann:

“It was Mariska’s 40th birthday, and I actually saw Mariska with all of the people that she loved around her [and] it was like seeing this person who was now in the soil, that she was just dying to be planted in. Which was this abundance of people and this abundance of love, and I thought, ‘I want to be part of that soil.’ And that was the moment when I had not just parted the soil, but [became] a lot of the soil.”

Hermann proposed by getting down on one knee with a stunning weathered platinum band set adorned with nine round diamonds, and they exchanged vows in 2004. The couple has remained happily married, with Hermann attributing the sustenance and strength of their relationship to their ability to always find their way back to each other, navigating both good times and challenges:

“It’s the way we find our way back to each other. It’s this fantastically, wonderfully ridiculous way that we can swing back and forth any number of times [on] any given day, but fundamentally we know we have the same destination. We know where we’re headed, and it’s good, and we know we’ll get there together.”

Hargitay and Hermann have successfully built their dream family with their three adorable kids. Despite facing challenges while building their desired family, they navigated those hurdles together and emerged thriving on the other side.