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Mariska Hargitay Relied on Faith When She Decided to Have More Kids at 47 Believing That ‘God Has His Timing’

Joe Akins
Feb 26, 2022
03:00 P.M.
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For almost two decades, actress Mariska Hargitay has been married to her "Law & Order SVU" co-star. However, the Oscar-winning star faced some challenges in her marriage, which her faith saw her through.


Among all her many roles, playing Olivia Benson on "Law and Order" would be one of the most cherished experiences for Hargitay. The famous series featuring breathtaking action and an intriguing plot has been a fan favorite since it aired.

However, while fans enjoy the show for its content, Hargitay will forever remember the show as it brought her to the love of her life, "Law and Order" co-star Peter Hermann.

Mariska Hargitay, Peter Hermann and family attend the Opening Night of Big Apple Circus on October 27, 2019 [left], Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann participate in a Hawaiian prayer before the start of a VIP dinner party hosted by Tori Richard on August 2, 2014 [right].| Source: Getty Images


The show went beyond solving compelling crime cases; it became a nest for one of the most recent Hollywood love stories. The duo began a relationship on the show and have built a beautiful world together.

However, neither would have suspected that things would be this way the first time they met on the movie set. At the time, Hargitay was already a successful actress with nothing to prove.


The "Jocks" actress did not have any contact with her co-star the first time she walked into the set. The duo met during the series's second season.

Their first real moment together came in 2002 after Hargitay shared an unpopular joke with the actor but did not receive the reaction she had expected.


However, things quickly progressed between the pair, and they discovered their similar interest in faith and decided to attend a church service together. During the church service sermon, the actress had a sudden realization. 

Hargitay realized her affection for her co-star sitting next to her, and during the church date, the actress got emotional and began to sob. Recalling the moment, she said, "It was like getting hit with a lightning bolt."

Hermann thought her emotional outburst was due to the impact of the service. However, he had no idea she was overwhelmed by the realization that he was the special one she had looked forward to.


The couple went on to build lots of memories together before walking down the aisle some years later. One of the most profound memories of their relationship was an unpleasant experience involving thousands of rats walking down the street.

Hargitay was left frightened by the scary scene, while Hermann felt embarrassed. However, they saw the funny side of things and still talked about it with a burst of hearty laughter.



Before becoming the couple they are today, Hargitay and Hermann once went through a period of doubt. The actress felt unsure that things were going to work between them. However, her friend and co-star, Christopher Meloni, always had faith in their love.

After dating for a long time, Hargitay came to the set one day, weeping from her doubts about things with Hermann. However, while the actress cried over her fears, Meloni had a deep assurance that they would be married within months.

Mariska Hargitay and Peter Hermann with their 3 children at the New York Knicks vs Boston Celtics game at Madison Square Garden on February 24, 2018. | Photo: Getty Inages


In 2004, the couple married, just as Meloni had foreseen. Their wedding was a spectacular occasion. The lovebirds looked their best on that day. Hargitay was dressed in a Carolina Herrera gown and was accompanied by her dashing husband.

The event was a full-blown family and friend affair with about 200 guests. The couple left their guests impressed by their strong bond.


Peter Hermann with Amaya and August at the opening night celebration for "Pip's Island" Benefiting the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp on May 20, 2019. | Photo: Getty Images


Hargitay had a busy schedule as an actress, but starting a family was always a priority. The actress got pregnant two years after their wedding and welcomed their son, August. Speaking of her excitement at the time, the actress said,

"Nobody wanted to be pregnant more than me. From the minute I found out, I was wearing full-on maternity pants. My stomach was totally flat, mind you, but I was just so excited."

Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay with their daughter, Amaya at the 20th Annual Playground Partners Family Party at Central Park, Heckscher Softball Fields on May 23, 2012. | Photo: Getty Images


Becoming a mom was not all rosy for Hargitay. The actress suffered health problems resulting from her weight. However, the 58-year-old made sure to stay positive about her physique. 

Motherhood, however, was a new experience for the on-screen star. Hargitay's priority changed soon after welcoming August, and the actress confessed that she could barely stay away from her family.



Soon after welcoming their son, Hargitay and her husband decided to expand their family and adopt more children. Their son, August, wanted more siblings, so they set out to grow their clan.

However, things were not as easy as they thought. The couple faced several failures and disappointments in their journey to adopt a child.

The family attempted a closed adoption three times before finally succeeding. Unfortunately, they had the child for two days before the biological mother requested the child be returned to her.

Mariska Hargitay, Peter Hermann and family attend the Opening Night of Big Apple Circus at Lincoln Center with Celebrity Ringmaster Neil Patrick Harris on October 27, 2019. | Source: Getty Images


The experience was a huge blow to Hargitay and her family. However, the actress has always been a person of faith. According to her, she believed that God's timing was always right for her.

She once said, "I believe that God has His timing. I think things happen when they're meant to happen, and you have to trust that. Without a doubt, along with Peter, August is the greatest thing that has happened to me. "

Hargitay further added, "There really are no words for the emotions and the highs that I feel. I've never experienced anything like this before." Soon after their first disappointment, the couple experienced a breakthrough.


Peter Herman and Mariska Hargitay attend Entertainment Weekly's party celebrating their 10th Anniversary Oscar Party with a host of celebrities at Elaine's | Source: Getty Images

Fortunately, an African-American mother agreed to entrust her child to them. Although they were of different ethnicities, the new mom was confident in their parenting abilities. 


Hargitay adopted her daughter, Amaya, and she couldn't have been prouder. The movie star said she was glad her prayers were answered. She said, "We were considering both international and domestic adoption, and we're thrilled that this is the way our prayers were answered."


Shortly after welcoming her daughter, she adopted their second son, Andrew. The "Law and Order" actress confessed that she never planned to have a third child, but their son, August, requested a brother, and they made a move.

In her words, "A miracle happened and our second son, Andrew, fell out of the sky and into our home." The actress is glad to have a home filled with her little ones. However, she admitted that adoption is not for the faint-hearted. 


Peter Hermann and Mariska Hargitay pose at the opening night of "The Music Man" at Winter Garden Theatre on February 10, 2022 | Source: Getty Images


Hargitay enjoys being a mom to her kids. However, she admitted that it's not easy being a mother to three children while juggling a hectic career.

However, the actress draws strength from the lessons and love she received from her stepmother to find the family-work balance. Speaking about how she finds the balance, Hargitay said,

"It's hard. I'm not going to say it's easy, it's hard. I'm learning to [balance]. I try to be super present with where I am. When I'm at work, I'm at work. When I'm with my kids, I'm with my kids."


Also, Hargitay praised her husband, Hermann, for being supportive and caring. Having a hands-on dad by her side, who also helps with her career, makes motherhood a thrilling experience.

Hargitay says motherhood might be chaotic at times, but it's not an experience she's willing to give up. Speaking to People, the actress said, "The thing that's made me a better parent is my kids. Because they taught me to really listen. My husband is my North Star, and my kids are my teachers."


Peter Hermann with wife, Mariska Hargitay and their children attend the ceremony honoring Mariska Hargitay with a Star on The Hollywood Walk of Fame on November 8, 2013 | Source: Getty Images


Most celebrity marriages end in divorce, so fans are often curious about how Hargitay and her man have kept their romance up and running for almost two decades. 

The couple believes their marriage works because they adhere to the fundamental principles of being kind, respectful, and supportive of each other. Despite the demands of their careers, the lovebirds still make time for each other.