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Hugh Jackman & 13-Years-Older Wife Proudly Raise Their Mixed-Race Kids after 'Painful' Miscarriages

Esther NJeri
Jun 05, 2022
11:30 A.M.
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When Hugh Jackman and actress Deborra-Lee Furness married, they knew they wanted kids. However, after trying for some time and failing to get pregnant, they decided to adopt. Follow along on their journey to parenthood.

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Hugh Jackman and his wife, Deborra-Lee Furness's love story is somewhat a storybook classic. They met on "Corelli," an Australian TV series that featured Jackman as a prisoner and Furness as the prison psychologist.

Jackman was straight out of drama school, while Furness had already made her mark as a big star. But when "The Wolverine" actor first laid his eyes on the beautiful actress, it was love at first sight.

Hugh Jackman and Deborra-Lee Furness at Hollywood & Highland Center on November 18, 2018 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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Unfortunately, Furness was not looking for love at the time. She had especially made a resolve not to date an actor or anyone under 30. Jackman failed to check all her boxes. He was a 26-year-old actor.

Owing to their undeniable chemistry onset, Jackman decided he would pursue Furness and threw a group dinner at his place. While there, Jackman confessed to having a crush on the actress, and Furness sealed the deal when she said she felt the same way.

Their ensuing romance became an open secret at work, and 11 months later, they exchanged vows on April 11, 1996. Furness was 40, while Jackman was 27. They knew they both wanted kids, and immediately after the wedding, they started trying to expand their family.

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TRYING FOR LITTLE ONES

Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-Lee; Van Helsing Premiere; Universal Amphitheatre, Universal City in 2004 | Source: Getty Images

Blissfully married, the couple was looking forward to having kids. And due to Furness's age, they began trying right away. They planned to have two biological kids and then adopt some more. Sadly, they soon learned they could not conceive naturally, and as the "Logan" actor would say:

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"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."

Actors Deborah-lee Furness and Hugh Jackman attends the "Kimchi Chronicles" launch party at Spice Market on June 1, 2011 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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He described how painful it was trying to navigate the emotions of learning they could not conceive naturally, despite the time and effort they had put into it.

The couple then tried to conceive via in vitro fertilization (IVF). Still, Furness suffered several miscarriages, and after some time, they decided to give it a break.

The actor disclosed that they went through the grieving moments in secret as miscarriages are not an often-spoken-about topic. However, he advocates that people should speak out more because it is more common than people realize.

SETTLING ON ADOPTION

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Actor Hugh Jackman and his wife Deborah-Lee Furness at the George Street Greater Union Cinemas on November 18, 2008 in Sydney, Australia. | Source: Getty Images

Adoption had always been in the cards for the couple, even though they wanted to have their biological children first. However, after their numerous failed attempts at conceiving naturally and through IVF, they decided it was time to try other options. Jackman recalls saying to Furness:

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"We were always going to adopt — let's just adopt now."

Despite the hurdles, Jackman and Furness picked themselves up and started the adoption process. Jackman says the moment the process began, all their anxiety went away. They felt they were meant to be adoptive parents all along and that it was destiny.

Oscar Jackman, Ava Jackman, actor Deborra-Lee Furness, and actor Hugh Jackman visit a general store on September 28, 2009 in Easton, Connecticut. | Source: Getty Images

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Their first was an open adoption, meaning they already knew and remained in communication with the child's family. Their second, however, was a closed adoption. Today, they don't consider their two children adopted.

FURNESS AND JACKMAN'S KIDS

The "The Son" actor and his wife adopted two beautiful babies, Oscar Maximillian, of Croatian/Bosnian ancestry, and Ava Eliot, who has Mexican roots. Born in 2000, Oscar is the family's first child who brought joy and fulfillment to the stars after many disappointments.

Since Oscar came into the stars' lives, the young boy and his dad shared an unparalleled bond, and it keeps growing stronger as Oscar grows older.

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Actors Deborra-Lee Furness, Hugh Jackman and their children Ava Jackman, and Oscar Jackman visit the Silverman Farm on September 28, 2009 in Easton, Connecticut. | Source: Getty Images

The proud father disclosed that he is his son's wingman, helping him talk to girls by letting them know he plays Wolverine in the X-Men movies.

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Ava is no different and shares a special bond with the actor. Do not be mistaken, though. She remains unfazed by his fame and celebrity status and even banned him from her dance classes for stealing all of the girls' attention.

Deborra Lee Furness and children Ava and Oscar attend the handprint and footprint ceremony honoring Hugh Jackman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 21, 2009 in Hollywood, California. | Source: Getty Images

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The "Missing Link" actor shared that adopting mixed-race children had always been a priority because that was where the need was. He shared that they looked around and talked to people when they started to think about adoption. He explained:

"A lot of people go into [adoption thinking] it's really important to them for the kid to look like them, and honestly, for Deb and I, that just never even was an issue."

RAISING THEIR MIXED-RACE BABIES

Parenthood has never come easy, but the journey has been eye-opening and fulfilling for the actor and his wife. Thanks to her children, the "Angel Baby" actress shared that she is more brilliant than she ever thought.

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Actor Hugh Jackman, wife Deborra-Lee Furness and their children Ava Jackman and Oscar Jackman at Grauman's Chinese Theatre on April 21, 2009 in Hollywood, California.. | Source: Getty Images

The parenting journey has been fascinating, and Furness has discovered that her children always shine a light on her flaws. They push her to always look at herself and be a better person.

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Having adopted from different heritages, Furness also shared that her house has become a cultural hub. Her background, coupled with her children's and her husband's Australian descent, is a lot, but they have learned to embrace their uniqueness and incorporate each culture in their day-to-day lives.

They bought their son a Croatian/Bosnian cookbook which he was proud to carry around when he was younger. And because their daughter is Mexican, the whole family has visited the country to learn about the culture.

Hugh Jackman walks with his son Oscar Maximillian and daugther Ava Eliot on the streets of Manhattan on May 18, 2009 in New York City. | Source: Getty Images

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Initially, adjusting to his new lifestyle as a dad to teenage kids was a challenge for Jackman, and the conversations were not always pretty. However, after a lot of readjusting, Jackman says:

"It went from 'Hey, guys, these are the rules, we don't do that,' to having to give them reasons why."

The actor also enjoys his time with the kids more as they can all watch movies together without watching children's films back-to-back. Focusing on the kids and their well-being has put everything in perspective, and as he says, fatherhood has taught him a lot.

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