Anyone who has ever had the privilege of adopting a child knows that the process is not always as smooth as it should be. Unfortunately, we live in a society where it can take an awful lot of time, money, and court dates to simply offer a loving home to a child who is so desperately in need.

It doesn’t seem fair, but it IS the system that is in place— and it sure is a STRONG one. Don’t believe us? Well, wait until you hear how difficult the adoption process can be, even for a celebrity like Sandra Bullock.

You see, back in 2015, the megastar actress was on top of the world in her career, but behind the scenes, she was fighting to prove to Child Protective Services that she was a good match for a toddler who she was fostering.

Bullock, who already had an adopted son, Louis, at the time, was in the process of officially adopting a little girl named Laila. Although the actress was clearly a great candidate — she could literally offer anything in terms of education and support — the powers that be were not convinced that the attention surrounding her was healthy for a child.

In a December 2015 interview with People, Bullock described the months leading up to Laila’s transition from a foster child to an adopted child as being akin to being part of the “witness protection program.”

The actress explained that as part of her foster parent agreement, she would keep Laila out of the limelight, a tall order for someone as famous as Bullock. It caused her to have to go into self-imposed hiding until the adoption went through, but then one day, a potentially disastrous situation transpired: she had to take Laila to the emergency room.

“Unbeknownst to me, a photographer had followed us and taken a photo of us in line,” Bullock remembered. “The next day, I learned that a photo of [Laila] 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.”

Yep, our jaws are pretty much flat on the floor, too. The nerve of some paparazzi!

Luckily, Bullock’s legal team was able to calm the situation and she became an official mother of two in late 2015. These days, the actress has finally been able to go back to work and live as normal of a life as she can with Laila and Louis.

As a matter of fact, she has even used her influence to challenge us to re-think the way we look at adoptees. This past month, Bullock told People that she thinks people should stop using the phrase “adopted children.”

“Let’s all just refer to these kids as ‘our kids’. Don’t say ‘my adopted child’.” Bullock urged. “No one calls their kid ‘my IVF child’ or their ‘Oh s–t, I went to a bar and got knocked up child’. Let’s just say ‘our children’.”

Good point!

To learn even more about Sandra Bullock’s difficult adoption process, be sure to watch the video below. As a bonus, you’ll be able to scope out some of the actress’ most iconic red carpet looks. Win-win!

We’d love to hear your thoughts on Sandra Bullock’s adoption journey. Were you surprised to hear her harrowing story? Do you think fame should be a factor in adoptions? Do you have an adoption story that you would like to share?