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Katherine Heigl Opened Up About The Changes She's Made To Raising Her Adopted Kids After Admitting She Lived In A "White Bubble" And Didn't See Racism

"Because I was raised with adoption, looking beyond skin color was the norm for me and I just believed that love is love — it doesn't matter what we look like."

Posted on March 4, 2021, at 5:59 a.m. ET

Katherine Heigl has opened up about raising her two adopted daughters in light of the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement last year.

Kena Betancur / Getty Images

The actor shares 8-year-old Naleigh, who was adopted from South Korea when she was 9 months old, and 12-year-old Adalaide, who was adopted at birth in the US, with her husband Josh Kelley.

However, Katherine — whose sister was adopted from South Korea — has now revealed that up until last summer she was living in a "white bubble" and hadn't acknowledged or spoken about racism with her daughters.

"Because I was raised with adoption, looking beyond skin color was the norm for me and I just believed that love is love — it doesn't matter what we look like," she told Parents.

"But when I asked my sister if she had been treated one way when she was out in public with our parents and a different way when she was out by herself without them, she said, 'Oh yeah, all the time!'" she added.

"That made me realize that I had been so naive," she continued. "At first, I got very angry. But I had to calm down and realize, OK, this isn't about how it makes me feel. It's about how I need to protect my daughters and prepare them for the world because I can't change society in one fell swoop."

Katherine went on to explain that she has become committed to answering any questions her children may have about their heritage.

"They do have more questions as they get older," she said. "We have said to them, 'This is your story. We don't have any information about your biological fathers, but we do have a bit about your biological mothers. If you guys want to talk more about them, you can have as much or as little information as you want. Tell us what you're comfortable with knowing.'"

In the wake of the police killing of George Floyd last year, Katherine revealed in two lengthy Instagram posts that she felt her "whiteness" had prevented her from "internalizing the reality" of racism.

"My white bubble though always with me now begins to bleed," she wrote alongside photos of her daughter. "It has taken me far too long to truly internalize the reality of the abhorrent, evil despicable truth of racism."

"My whiteness kept it from me," she went on. "My upbringing of inclusivity, love and compassion seemed normal. I thought the majority felt like I did. I couldn't imagine a brain that saw the color of someone's skin as anything but that. Just a color. I was naive. I was childish. I was blind to those who treated my own sister differently because of the shape of her beautiful almond eyes. Or her thick gorgeous hair. Or her golden skin. I was a child. For too long."

You can read the full interview with Katherine Heigl here.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.

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