Joni Mitchell started out as a folk singer who practiced around bonfires with groups of friends in Saskatoon, Canada, but she eventually became a household name with her unique brand of husky vocals and storytelling-style lyrics. She was married twice and had a string of public romances, but did Joni have any kids of her own?

Who Are Joni Mitchell’s Kids?

Joni only gave birth to one child, a daughter named Kelly Dale Anderson. The child was the product of Joni’s relationship with Brad McMath, a student at the Southern Alberta Institute Of Technology in Calgary. Joni was studying there to pursue a career in illustrating, but she began singing in a local coffee shop called The Depression, where she met Brad.

After discovering she was pregnant, Joni and Brad left college and moved in together, but Brad ultimately decided he didn’t want to continue the relationship and moved to California.

Black and white photo of Joni Mitchell
Michael Ochs / Getty Images

“My daughter’s father left me three months pregnant in an attic room with no money and winter coming on and only a fireplace for heat. The spindles of the banister were gap-toothed fuel for last winter’s occupants,” Joni wrote in the album notes for her song “Moon at the Window.”

She continued, “He left behind a doodle of a pregnant woman seated at a window, looking at a crescent moon and on it he wrote, ‘The thief left it behind, the moon at the window.’”

Joni Mitchell Placed Her Daughter For Adoption

On February 19, 1965, Joni gave birth but didn’t believe she could provide for her daughter and put her up for adoption.

“I had no money nor diapers, no room to take her to. There was no career on the horizon,” she told CBC in 1996.

Two weeks later, David and Ida Gibbs adopted Kelly and renamed her Kilauren Gibbs.

Does Joni Mitchell Have a Relationship With Kilauren?

Joni’s daughter didn’t find out she was adopted until she was 27 years old, and Joni didn’t publicly reveal the information herself. Instead, one of the “Big Yellow Taxi” singer’s roommates sold the story of Kilauren’s adoption to a tabloid magazine shortly after Kilauren learned of her adoption herself. However, Joni previously hinted at having a child in some of her song lyrics.

“Your kids are coming up straight / My child’s a stranger / I bore her / But I could not raise her,” sang Joni in her song “Chinese Cafe.” The lyrics didn’t garner much attention when the song was released.

In 1997, Kilauren and Joni met for the first time. Throughout the years, Kilauren and Joni have had a tenuous relationship with several ups and downs. However, Kilauren has spoken positively about her birth mother in the past.