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Barbara Walters Got Her Daughter 'From Her Heart' & Not Her Tummy after a Couple Rejected the Girl

Junie Sihlangu
Jan 22, 2022
02:20 P.M.
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Barbara Walters struggled to get pregnant until she opted for adoption. When her daughter was a teenager, she and Walters had a rocky relationship, but the star still loved her.

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Barbara Walters only had one child in her life, daughter Jackie. While being interviewed on a previous episode of Oprah Winfrey's "Oprah's Master Class," Barbara expressed how much she loved her daughter.

Jackie was born in June 1968 and was adopted by the creator of "The View." Until the television personality welcomed her daughter, she thought she had everything she needed in her life.

Barbara Walters at the "Traditional Home Magazine" 25th Anniversary Dinner and Classic Woman Awards on October 27, 2014, in New York City, and her with her daughter Jacqueline Guber at the Sixth Annual Television Academy Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony on January 7, 1990, at 20th Century Fox Studios in Century City, California | Photos: John Lamparski & Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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HOW BARBARA VIEWS JACKIE

Barbara only learned the true meaning of love when she welcomed Jackie into her life. Speaking during the Oprah's Master Class interview, the star expressed her love for her child, stating:

“I adore my daughter. To know that you can have this kind of love that I feel for her …”

Barbara Walters and her daughter Jacqueline Guber at the American Museum of the Moving Image Salute to Barbara Walters on March 19, 1992, in New York City | Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd./Ron Galella Collection/Getty Images

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The TV anchor's thought process trailed off as she thought about her daughter. She laughed and explained that Jackie had recently asked her if she'd come down and live next to her when she had Alzheimer's.

Barbara said she took the request as a compliment. Jackie was a miracle for the television show host who'd always dreamt of being a mother but had a tough road to reach her wishes.

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WHY WALTERS CHOSE ADOPTION

Barbara ended up talking about her adoption during an episode of "The View." At the time, she and the other co-hosts were hosting author Joe McGinniss, the writer of a controversial book on Sarah Palin.

The star was not a fan of the book, and when McGinniss asked her if she'd been pregnant and in labor before, Barbara confessed that she'd never been in labor. Elisabeth Hasselbeck urged McGinniss to ask a different question.

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KNOWING WHAT IT'S LIKE TO BE PREGNANT

The legendary host was wound up at that point. She asked the author if he wanted to delve into her personal life; this was especially shocking because Barbara was known for her privacy, before saying:

"Just because you've brought it up, I've had three miscarriages but I know what it's like to be pregnant."

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DISCUSSING THE ADOPTION

During an October 2002 interview with "Dateline" NBC's Jane Pauley, Barbara opened up a bit more about becoming a parent without giving birth. She confessed about her miscarriages and noted that they were never reported.

The star said she'd take a few days off after each one and then go back to work as if nothing happened. After being with her second husband, Lee Guber, for five years and trying to get pregnant but failing, the pair decided to adopt.

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Jackie was named after Barbara's sister, Jacqueline, but there was no press release or announcement about the development. The host said she kept it a secret partly because she didn't want the biological mother to know they'd adopted Jackie.

She explained that back then, people kept adoption secret. Barbara also confessed that she went right back to work after the adoption and didn't bother taking any maternity leave.

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HOW ADOPTION HAPPENED

During her "Master Class" interview, Barbara opened up further about her adoption journey. The then-85-year-old recalled how she and her husband had dinner with another couple they rarely saw decades ago.

The woman revealed to Guber and Barbara that they had an opportunity to adopt a little blonde girl with blue eyes. It also came up that the couple had actually wanted to adopt a boy instead of a girl.

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The couple was willing to do all they could to get a little boy. Barbara shared how they wanted their son to have fair hair, tall, and blue eyes, and they didn't want the baby girl.

However, the star did, and she and her husband told the couple they'd take the little girl. Guber and his wife took Jackie home when she was four days old, and she's been the light of her mother's life ever since.

Barbara Walters and her husband, businessman, and theatre producer Lee Guber relax at home in New York, 1966 | Photo: Rowland Scherman/Getty Images

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FANS THOUGHT THEY KNEW ABOUT PREGNANCY

Barbara told Pauley that she started getting mail when people found out she had a baby. She recalled how they'd told her they "knew" she was pregnant before the birth and could see it when she was on the air.

She [Barbara Walters] said she was so busy with her career instead of spending time with Jackie [Danforth].

The star only responded, saying it was wonderful to have such a blessed event. Even though Barbara wasn't open about the adoption, she told Jackie as soon as the child was able to understand.

Jacqueline Danforth in a handout photo provided by the Collier County Sheriff's Office after her arrest on charges of driving under the influence on May 19, 2013, in Naples, Florida | Photo: Collier County Sheriff’s Office/Getty Images

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"SHE HAD ME FROM HER HEART"

The television personality explained to Pauley that she told Jackie that there were two ways a mother could have a baby. She talked with her daughter when she was still just a little girl, with Jackie recalling:

“She used to say that some mothers have babies from their tummies, and some have it from their heart. And you came from my heart.”

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In May 2006, Jackie spoke to ABC News about being adopted by Barbara and what she told her about her adoption as a child. She said the term "real parent" felt like a horrible label to her because parents weren't only the ones who gave birth to you.

ROCKY RELATIONSHIP

Even though both parents wanted Jackie, she and her mother still had some difficult times. When she was 15 in 1984, she ran away from home, hoping that would solve all her problems.

Barbara Walters at the "Gigi" Broadway Opening Night at Neil Simon Theatre on April 8, 2015, in New York City | Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

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She often did run away, but her mother didn't call the police for help. She was gone for a month, and Barbara didn't want headlines for either one of them and didn't know what her daughter would do if the news became public knowledge.

WALTERS' BIGGEST REGRET

In May 2014, Barbara revealed in an ABC News special that her biggest regret in life was not spending enough time with her daughter. She said she was so busy with her career instead of spending time with Jackie.

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