All About Rosario Dawson's Daughter Isabella Dawson

Rosario Dawson welcomed her daughter, Isabella, via adoption in 2014



Rosario Dawson made her film debut in 1995 in Kids and has held dozens of roles since, yet she still defines being a mother as the “best role” of her life.

Dawson adopted her daughter, Isabella, 21, in 2014 when she was 11 years old. In a December 2018 appearance on PEOPLE Now, the Ahsoka star described motherhood as “the most incredible thing."

She added, “I say kids don’t listen, they emulate, so it’s been a huge mirror. I really feel like my daughter, as she keeps getting older, she’s like ‘Look I can lift this mirror! It’s even bigger, want to see that?’ ”

Related: Rosario Dawson Reveals 18-Year-Old Daughter's Real Name After Years of People Calling Her Lola

Over the years, Dawson has come to recognize that as mother and daughter, they are “always growing” and “always learning.” The actress explained, “For me, it’s what I would imagine as my first marriage almost. It’s a real commitment for life and it’s really powerful that she was old enough to choose me back, so it’s really, really beautiful.”

When reflecting on how she and her daughter were able to meet and understand each other prior to the adoption, Dawson emphasized the importance — and common thread — of “chosen family,” who she said are often “even more pivotal sometimes than actual blood family members.”

“I’ve done that Rent thing of having family that are really important to you but you met them at 10 and 20 and 30 [and] it’s the same thing,” she said. “I got to meet my daughter and she met me and it was really clear from the get. It’s remarkable. We are family. She is absolutely my kid, I am absolutely her mother.”

Isabella is currently expecting her first child. Dawson shared the big news with Page Six in December 2023.

Read on to learn more about Rosario Dawson’s daughter, Isabella.

She was adopted in 2014

<p>Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage</p>

Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/WireImage

Dawson adopted Isabella at the age of 11 in 2014. Speaking to Health for its March 2021 issue, the actress explained that she didn’t go through an adoption agency or center. Dawson said she knew Isabella's biological mother, and after finding out that Isabella was in foster care, she sought her out. “It wasn't even a question; it was clearly meant to be," Dawson said.

"I'm grateful for her development, our maturation and our connection," she explained in her cover story for the magazine. "To have a young person move in with you and to have to really consciously work through triggers and that kind of stuff is a really different thing than being pregnant and having your baby grow up in front of you — to be able to see how we're getting closer and closer. We are a family, and it's beautiful."

She was named after her grandmother

In a November 2021 episode of ​​Parents magazine's We Are Family podcast, Dawson shared the sweet sentiment behind her daughter’s name, explaining, "She's named after my grandmother, so my grandmother was Isabel. My mom's Isabel Celeste, I'm Rosario Isabel."

Dawson said her daughter has several nicknames and previously enjoyed being called Bella, but now prefers Isa. However, for years after Dawson adopted Isabella, she was incorrectly referred to as Lola in the press and in public. Dawson set the record straight on the We Are Family podcast, explaining, “When I adopted her, I didn't put her name out. It wasn't like I did a press release or anything, and I don't know where it came from, but somebody decided that her name was Lola and then everyone just kept running with it.”

"I was like, 'I'm not correcting it because I don't need everybody to know my kid's name,' " she added. "Then as she got older, she was like, 'Mom, we go out places and people are like, "Lola, Lola," and I don't like this.' So I had to finally tell everyone. So her name is Isabella. It's not that far off."

She looks like her grandmother

<p>E. Charbonneau/WireImage</p>

E. Charbonneau/WireImage

Though Dawson adopted Isabella, she said on PEOPLE Now in December 2018 that an “uncanny” resemblance exists between her daughter and her mother, Isabel Celeste.

“When we walk down the street, no one ever questions whether or not we’re family,” Dawson said. “She’s Puerto Rican and the island is small, so maybe we are somehow related, but it’s kind of remarkable.”

She occasionally appears on her mom's Instagram

<p>Rosario Dawson Instagram</p>

Rosario Dawson Instagram

Though Dawson has been notoriously private about her daughter both in public and in interviews, she’s shared glimpses of Isabella on social media over the years. On several occasions, Dawson has shared snaps of her daughter posing with the actress’ stepfather, Greg Dawson, to mark Father’s Day.

To celebrate the holiday in June 2023, Dawson shared a photo of her stepfather posing with Isabella. Previously, in June 2021, she posted a carousel of images of the grandfather-granddaughter duo throughout the years, including a sweet snap of the trio together.

Related: Rosario Dawson on Bond with Daughter, 17, and Why Adoption 'Wasn't Even a Question': 'Meant to Be'

During the holiday season in 2022, Dawson and Isabella took a moment to pose in front of an Avatar: The Way of Water display at a movie theater. Years prior, the actress also captured a fun mother-daughter moment in August 2019, posting a video on Instagram of her and Isabella singing Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” in the car together.

She wasn’t allowed to have a cell phone to protect her mental health

Dawson opened up to Laverne Cox during a panel at Tribeca TV Festival in September 2018 about the dangers of cell phones and social media for children and teenagers, Page Six reported. Dawson shared that she didn't allow her then-teenage daughter to have a cell phone due to its negative effects on mental health. She said it was “critically important” for adults to monitor their kids to ensure they were not “going down dark alleys without some kind of information.”

“I think this is a critical time for kids to be developing themselves,” she said at the event. “They can present themselves online as opposed to develop themselves online. That’s a really different thing. We didn’t grow up looking in the mirror all the time. We just didn’t. We didn’t look at ourselves all day long and this is what these kids are doing.”

She and Dawson bond over art

<p>Michael Buckner/Variety/Penske Media/Getty</p>

Michael Buckner/Variety/Penske Media/Getty

One of Dawson and Isabella’s shared passions is art. Speaking to PEOPLE in December 2017 during Art Basel in Miami, The Mandalorian actress shared that her daughter “loves art,” adding that the duo have been to art exhibitions and events together, including Refinery 29’s 29rooms, where Isabella met Janelle Monáe.

“She grew up around artists,” Dawson explained “My mom sings and writes music. My grandmother, who is in her 80s, is an artist. And I act, write and produce. Art is part of our lives.”

Dawson explained that she was glad her daughter had creative interests. “She needs to develop critical thinking skills," she said.

She made a rare public appearance with Dawson in 2017

<p>Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock </p>

Kristina Bumphrey/Starpix/Shutterstock

Since adopting Isabella, Dawson has seldom shared photos of her daughter or attended red carpet events together. In a rare joint appearance in New York City in September 2017, Dawson and Isabella attended Refinery29′s 29Rooms: Turn It Into Art event.

At the event, the mother and daughter held hands as they posed for photos in their printed ensembles. While Dawson wore a black top and jacket with a black-and-white patterned skirt, Isabella donned a jewel-toned red-and-green-printed collared dress.

She keeps Dawson on “her toes”

In an exclusive interview with PEOPLE in August 2023, Dawson opened up about what her daughter is like behind the scenes. According to the actress, Isabella "always keeps me on my toes,” thanks to her vibrant personality.

"I love her so much and she's such a good person,” she said. “I love that she's very girly. She's always been that since very romantic and you know, she loves her jewelry and you know, playing dress up."

Still, it doesn’t sound like Isabella should be counted out for other activities. "But she's always been the girl who likes to get dirty and like in there in the mud and that's my kind of girl," Dawson added.

"That one ... I'm never bored," she said. "When you have an Aquarius child, you're never bored."

She is currently expecting her first baby

Dawson will become a "Glamma" in 2024. During an interview with Page Six in December 2023, the Trance star revealed that Isabella is expecting her first child.

"It's very exciting," she told the outlet.

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