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'Empire' Creator Lee Daniels Speaks About Being A Foster Parent

His children are now 21 years old.

On Wednesday night, NBC’s hit show “This Is Us” and "Empire" director Lee Daniels were honoured at an annual gala hosted by the Extraordinary Families, a not-for-profit foster care service.

Jess Rosenthal, executive producer of the show, was honoured with the Luminary Award trophy for the amazing work that they’ve done at creating a television show that accurately portrays foster families.

NBC Entertainment president, Jennifer Salke, who handed the award to Rosenthal, praised the show as being “insightful, emotional and influential.”

"This Is Us," it tells the story of two siblings, their adoptive brother and their parents as their lives intertwine with one another.

As for Daniels, he was honoured with the Visionary award for his influential work in television and film, as well as for being a proud foster parent.

Daniels has two kids, Clara and Liam, who are now 21 years old. Both of them were born to his brother and his girlfriend, and were adopted by Daniels and his then-partner Billy Hopkins when they were three days old. According to an interview he did with GQ in 2015, his brother had left the two kids on their mother’s doorstep. He was reportedly unable to raise them because he was going to prison.

When accepting his award, Daniels spoke honestly about his experience saying, “I took them in, and I raised them and I’m really proud that I did. My partner and I at the time were the first same-sex couple to adopt in Pennsylvania.”

In an interview with W Magazine back in 2010, Daniels admitted that at first he didn’t want to have kids because “I was just beginning to make money and have fun with my life, and I didn’t want to grow up, but then the universe said ‘Time!’ I was forced to get my shit together because I wanted them to look up to me.”

Foster parenting comes with its own set of challenges, such as having to deal with unexpected behavioural issues, and so we’re happy to see Daniels be more outspoken about his experience and to have shows like "This Is Us" depicting foster families on television as part of the norm.

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