Walt Disney and Adoption


With summer coming just around the corner, you may be wanting to plan a vacation with your family. Perhaps you are thinking about somewhere with a beach, an amusement park, or even Disney World- a place filled with endless joy and happiness, especially for the young kiddos.

We can trace this Disney World back to the famous Walt Disney- a renowned entrepreneur and producer who is recognized as one of the most successful pioneers in American animation. However, below the surface of all his successes, he has a personal life that most are not aware.

Walt Disney is also an adoptive parent! Walt and his wife, Lillian Disney, had a daughter named Sharon Mae who was adopted as an infant. Lillian struggled with infertility, and as a result had several miscarriages. The reason most may not be aware of the adoption is because the Disney’s chose to keep their adoption away from the public to prevent any backlash. They also didn’t want their daughter to carry the stigma of being separate from their family. Despite all this, the couple cherished their adopted daughter beyond belief.

Today, adoption is more often viewed as acceptable or an admirable act. However, the idea was taboo and unacceptable back in Disney’s days. This was another reason the family kept the adoption private. Although Walt Disney chose not to be public with the adoption, you may have noticed that the producer made many movies regarding the matter. Tarzan, The Jungle Book, and even Lilo and Stitch are some of the movies that honor their ideologies and perceptions about adoption. What a creative way to share their story (without exactly sharing it directly). So, next time you hear the name “Disney”, see a Disney film, or go to Disney World, don’t forget that Walt Disney, too, was a successful adoptive parent.

Photo Credit