Oscar winner Sandra Bullock opened up about what a “traditional family” looks like and adopting her daughter Laila in an interview with PEOPLE for the December issue.
Bullock claims she has a “very traditional family” depending on how you look at it. “I have no idea what a ‘traditional family’ looks like anymore,” the 51-year-old actress told PEOPLE.
“If a traditional home is one that is filled with lots of love and poop jokes, no sleep, schedule books filled with more kids’ social events than adults’ and lots of yelling over who touched who first…then I have a very traditional family.”
When asked if she would ever remarry, the mother of two (5-year-old Louis and 3-year-old Laila) said, “I don’t think so, but I can see myself in a committed, safe relationship where there is lots of love and laughter, and ‘making memories’ is No. 1 on the to-do list.”
The star also opened up about her daughter’s adoption for the first time and posed on the cover of the magazine with her two children. It wasn’t until Wednesday that the world even knew about her daughter. And she explained to PEOPLE how and why she was determined to protect her daughter’s privacy.
“From the ruse I had to construct so that Louis didn’t have to lie to his friends at school, to the stories I constructed for friends and coworkers as to why I was absent all the time, the subterfuge was pretty elaborate,” she said. “But there is always the chance that the bonding process wouldn’t happen or that the CPS [Child Protective Services] workers would feel I wasn’t a suitable match. So I had no problem lying and fabricating stories to keep things on lockdown.” Bullock said she feared that her celebrity status would interfere with the adoption process.
Keeping Laila hidden from the public’s eye was very difficult. “It felt very much like witness protection,” she said. But she worked hard to keep her family away from the cameras.
The reporter who inquired about her adoption had probably seen photos of them, according to E!, that had been taken in an emergency room visit before the adoption. “Unbeknownst to me, a photographer had followed us and taken a photo of us in line,” Bullock told PEOPLE.
“The next day, I learned that a photo of her was being shopped around for sale to every outlet around the world. I had promised and legally agreed to protect her from something like this, and here I was chasing down lawyers–having them begging them to keep her safe–and tabloid outlets were claiming so many things that were inaccurate. All this just for money. I had to make sure CPS knew what was fact and fiction.” She said that she was sure her girl would be taken from her and the “one person who should be protecting her above all else had put her in harm’s way.”
And as for the reporter who asked questioned her adoption? “Thank God I was asked the way that it was, because she wasn’t adopted at that time. So all I said was that there was only one adopted child in my home, and if there ever was a second child who was officially a Bullock, I would be screaming it from the rooftops. So at the end of November, National Adoption Month, the courts granted the adoption, with my attorney Louis Bardo Bullock answering all of the court’s questions, and now I can officially stand on my roof and start screaming,” Bullock said.