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Connie Britton Just Gave a Rare Update on Her Son

The actor is mother to 10-year-old Yoby and has been raising him as a single mom.

Any parent will tell you that once their child is born, it changes everything—and that's exactly what Connie Britton has to say about her son, Yoby. While she often keeps her family life private, usually just sharing little bits on Instagram here and there, in a new interview with United Airlines' Hemispheres magazine, Britton opened up about adopting Yoby a decade ago, becoming a single mother while relocating to start a new job, and raising a Black son in America. Read on to see what this self-proclaimed "mama bear" had to say and the rare photos she's shared of her and her son.

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Connie Britton welcomed her son when she was on her own.


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Britton knew when she adopted her son, Yoby, who was born in Ethiopia, that she was going to be a single mother. But the adoption came through when she was also experiencing a huge change in her life by moving to Tennessee to start filming the ABC series Nashville. According to People, there was a three-year wait between when Britton decided she wanted to adopt and when she welcomed Yoby, pictured here in an Instagram post in January.

"I feel like becoming a mother changes everything, in terms of how we look at life and how we know ourselves," Britton told Hemispheres. "But so much changed at the same time for me, because when I adopted Yoby, I then also immediately moved to Nashville and started doing that show. And that was a very ambitious, difficult show. It was extremely long hours, and I was a brand new mother, and I had no support system in Nashville."

Britton said that the situation "mostly taught me grit, frankly. And to rely on myself and my instincts."

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She has complex emotions about raising a Black son. 


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Britton certainly has plenty of happy moments with Yoby, like this photo she posted on Instagram from her birthday in March of 2020. But she's also clearly put a lot of thought into the fact that she is a white, privileged woman raising a Black son in America, and she knows that it's a complicated situation to navigate.

"Well, I have cried many tears. I could probably cry right now," Britton said when asked how she feels about raising a Black son in the U.S. "Aside from the interpersonal for us, and for me wanting to really nurture his love of who he is, his understanding of where he came from, and also to empower him as a Black person in America, I'm also aware that, as a white person, the reality of what he is going to face in this world is one that is so complex for me [to understand]."

Britton continued, "I am a fierce mother of a Black son. Period. End of conversation. Beyond everything, don't f*** with my kid. I will be a mama bear to the end. And when I see Black men and Black women and Black children being abused and destroyed by the system, and by this white systemic racism, I have zero tolerance. I'm enraged. That's a personal journey for me. So it's brought up a lot of complexities for sure."

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Britton previously shared why she decided to adopt.

Connie Britton at the 2013 White House Correspondents Dinner
Rena Schild /

During a January appearance on Watch What Happens Live, Britton shared how she decided to adopt as a single mother.

"It wasn't so much 'I can do this' as much as I knew that I wanted to be a mom," the 54-year-old actor said. "And, in truth, both of my parents had passed away within three years and suddenly I was like, 'Oh no, my family is no more'—I mean, I have a twin sister—but that was a big loss, losing my parents. And I wasn't in a relationship that felt like it was going to be a marriage relationship, and so I was like, 'What am I waiting for? I know I want to adopt, I can do this!'"

Though she admitted it's "really hard," she said she would "only encourage anybody to do it."

She also opened up about being a mom during COVID last year.


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On Mother's Day 2020, Britton posted a photo of her and Yoby, and reflected on motherhood in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. "I've been thinking of the moms who had to work 3 jobs even before the COVID crisis and now wonder how they're going to take care of their families," the White Lotus star wrote. "The health care and essential worker moms, the single moms, the moms combatting domestic violence, the homeless moms, the refugee moms, the moms of children taken at the border and still out of reach. I salute you all. I salute your precious hearts that beat only as a mother's can."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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