Sandra Bullock's 'bombshell' adoption: Strategic?

The besieged star surprised America with news that she's adopted a baby boy. Some cynics find the announcement too convenient

Sandra Bullock's "People" cover
(Image credit: People Magazine)

Since tabloids broke the news of her husband's serial adultery, Sandra Bullock's kept a low profile, but, yesterday, the actress dropped a "bombshell" of her own: "Meet My Baby!" proclaimed her new People magazine cover. In the photo, a ring-less Bullock holds Louis Bardo, a 3-and-a-half-month Jewish African-American infant she quietly adopted from New Orleans. Though media reaction has been mostly positive, some question the timing of the "baby blindside." Was the announcement calculated to overshadow Bullock's impending divorce? (Watch a Celeb TV report about Bullock's new baby)

The adoption was hardly a stunt: Bullock can hardly be accused of cooking up an adoption "as a 'distraction'" from her "messy breakup" with James, says Liz Kelly at the Washington Post. The adoption was clearly underway long before James' indiscretions reached "Tiger Woods-ian proportions." In any event, Bullock is a "survivor," while James and his mistresses will "forever inhabit a certain ring of Hollywood hell."

"Why we love Sandra Bullock"

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It's inevitable that questions would be asked: When the easiest way for white stars get "great" publicity is by "adopting a baby of African descent," says Ronda Racha Penrice at TheGrio, it's no wonder People's cover is prompting "knee-jerk" reactions. Factor in her husband's (and his mistress's) rumored ties to white supremacy, and "the fact that little Louis is black and Jewish does raise eyebrows."

"Why Bullock's baby is a public relations blessing"

The announcement was surely strategic - but who cares? By going public now, "Bullock is, of course, deflecting a modicum of the intense scrutiny she's been under," says Mary Elizabeth Williams at Salon. But America's sweetheart is "also making a strong case for keeping calm and carrying on." Rather than "slinking into self-loathing and shame," Bullock has cast herself as a strong, "radiant" reminder that "life still goes on" — a "refreshing reminder" that "happiness is always an option."

"Sandra Bullock's triumphant new role: Single mom"

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