Jayne Mansfield, Mariska Hargitay’s mother, was killed in a terrible automobile accident in 1967, when she was only 34 years old. This was the beginning of a difficult beginning for Mariska Hargitay. Hargitay was just 3 years old at the time, and unfortunately, she and her brothers Miklós (Mickey Jr.), and Zoltán Hargitay were in the car at the time of the event.

To our great good fortune, all three of the children survived with very minor wounds. We can only image how traumatic it must have been to actually be there when the disaster happened. But, despite the tragedy that she endured, Hargitay has managed to pull through and go on with her life. Instead, she has continued the heritage that her mother left behind while also creating her own.

Santa Monica, California is where Hargitay began her life. Her father was Mickey Hargitay, a Hungarian-born former Mr. Universe who died away in 2006 at the age of 80. Mickey Hargitay was her father. Hargitay was reared with her brothers and half-siblings by her father and his third wife, Ellen Siano, after the passing of her mother. Her father had previously been married twice.

When it came to her appearance, Hargitay competed in beauty pageants much as her mother did. She went on to win the title of Miss Beverly Hills USA and participate in the Miss California USA pageant before going on to study acting at a prestigious academy. Her role as Captain Olivia Benson on the NBC drama series “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” brought her the most attention and made her a household name. Because of her performance in this part, Hargitay’s uncanny likeness to her own mother became readily obvious.

Hargitay has just given birth to her first child. She and her husband Peter Hermann’s first child, a boy they called August, entered the world in the year 2006. The next year, in 2011, the couple ultimately adopted two children, spaced a mere six months apart. After the birth of their daughter Amaya, their son Andrew, who was born prematurely, arrived shortly after. Continue reading to find more about the difficulties and successes Hargitay had throughout the adoption process.

Hargitay, who is now 59 years old, said in an interview with PEOPLE that the similarity to her mother is both an honor and an homage to her, and that it makes her feel as though “she is still with me.” She was only three years old when the accident occurred, so she does not remember it. Nevertheless, she does have a scar on the side of her skull that serves as a constant reminder of what happened.

Hargitay reflected about her career in relation to that of her mother many years after it had ended and a lifetime after she had lost her mother. “My mother was this fantastic, beautiful glamorous sex symbol — but people didn’t know that she played the violin and had a 160 IQ and had five kids and loved dogs,” Hargitay said in an interview with PEOPLE. “My mother was this amazing, beautiful glamorous sex symbol.” She was a role model to look up to, she had a zest for life, and I like to believe that I have the same zest for life.”

In addition to her successful career as an actress and her striking good looks, Hargitay is the founder and former president of the Joyful Heart Foundation, a charity that is very near and dear to her heart. The Joyful Heart Foundation offers support to survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse.

She has spent the most of her life being compared to her mother, and as a result, she has come to terms with the parallels between the two of them. She remembered that someone had told her that in order to remember her mother, all she needed to do was gaze in the mirror. “All you have to do is look in the mirror,” the person had stated. She is happy with both her private and professional lives as a result of her marriage to the actor Hermann, whom she first met on the set of “Law & Order: SVU.”

Both Hermann and Hargitay had three children together; in 2011, they adopted two of their children. Although though they are joyful and fulfilled today, there were obstacles on their path to starting a family that they had to overcome.

At the age of 42, Hargitay gave birth to the couple’s first child, a son named August, through caesarian section. She said the following to SheBuysTravels:

“Everything was different after August! You know, I believe that everything in life has taken on a deeper significance for me since since I became a mother later in life. Every day brings new depths, new riches, and new depths of soul.”

Once some time had passed, Hargitay and Hermann decided that they wanted August to have a brother, but the decision to adopt meant that they would face some challenging circumstances along the road. Hargitay reflected on the highs and lows of the adoption process in 2012 and related them to the year. “I’m not going to lie,” she said. “I promise.” “There were times that were quite difficult. I often tell people, “Adoption is not for the faint of heart,” because it really is true.”

The pair remarked that while they already had August via biological means, adoption was something that they had always wanted to accomplish. “Since I believe that God is ultimately in control of so much, I decided to stop trying to control the outcome and instead let things happen naturally. I constantly maintained that “I have no idea how this is going to turn out.” I have no idea whether or if I will get pregnant and have more than one child. I really don’t know…’ On the other hand, I never for a second doubted that Peter and I would one day bring a child into our family via adoption. It was always going to be a component of the strategy, “Hargitay was transparent.

Unfortuitously, the path they took to expanding their family was fraught with obstacles and setbacks at every turn. Hargitay said: “There were several instances in which things did not go as planned. A significant number and variety of distinct sorts of difficulties. Later, after a series of letdowns, the great dream arrived, but it was ultimately destroyed as well. But, despite the fact that it may seem paradoxical, the most difficult letdown was also the most significant event in terms of what it means to contribute to the formation of a family.”

A pregnant young lady who was willing to place her unborn child for adoption was finally located via the assistance of an adoption attorney who was placed in touch with the couple. They were in contact with her over the preceding month leading up to the delivery, and on the day of the birth, the newborn was delivered to Hargitay and Hermann. On the other hand, only two days later, the lady had a change of heart. In spite of the fact that she was inconsolable, Hargitay was able to find some good in the circumstances that had transpired.

She said the following to Good Housekeeping: “However… here’s what I’ve learned about life: it was most likely the best and happiest conclusion that could have been imagined. I mean, it was such a difficult time for us, but it must have been really joyous and completely appropriate for her.”

In 2011, the couple welcomed their daughter Amaya into the world, fulfilling what seemed to be destiny’s plan all along. Once another six months had passed, in an unexpected manner, their son Andrew entered the picture. “Other than the fact that it was an obvious choice, I’m not really sure what else to say about it. Both Peter and I had the same thought: Let’s give it a go! I’m in!” Hargitay stated. “That was almost… a miracle that happened. And please understand that I do not use that term flippantly. I’ve never made a larger choice so soon. Everything took place over the course of a total of two days.”

The elated mother has contributed the following to the charitable organization Joyful Heart Foundation:

“A miracle took place, and our second son, Andrew, landed in our backyard after falling out of the sky,”

Hargitay is a loud proponent of the idea that she believes there is a greater force looking out for everyone and everything, and she couldn’t be happier with her brood of children. “In my opinion, God is in charge of everything. Completely. Every day demonstrates that He is in control of everything,” she stated, adding, “I believe that God is very much a part of us.” The importance of faith in our lives cannot be overstated. And I believe that there is a meaning behind everything that takes place.”

In 2018, Hargitay shared her thoughts with PEOPLE magazine on her cherished family:

“My children have helped me become a better parent by instructing me to pay more attention to what they have to say. My kids are my instructors, and my spouse is the compass that guides me through life.”

In the year 2023, the five members of the family are all doing well emotionally and physically.

By Elen

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