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Dedicated to Coparenting! Meet Hoda Kotb and Former Fiance Joel Schiffman’s Kids

Before Hoda Kotb and her former fiancé, Joel Schiffman, announced their shocking breakup, the pair built a blended family together. The financier was already a dad to adult daughter Kyle Schiffman prior to meeting the Today cohost. The couple adopted daughters Haley Joy and Hope Catherine during their relationship. 

Hoda and Joel began dating in 2013 after meeting at an event in New York City. They decided early on that they wanted to start a family together. During a March 2019 appearance on The Wendy Williams Show, Hoda recalled the heartwarming moment Joel told her he wanted to be a father again.

“This is what I did. I was scared because we were about to move in and I said that I cannot move in with him unless he knows that I have this voice inside — I have this feeling inside that I can’t push down anymore,” she explained. “I wanted to be a mom and I kept thinking today is the day and I went to Joel, and I said to him, ‘I need to discuss something with you and it’s very important.’”

She continued, “I said, ‘I want you not to answer me now. I want you to marinate. I want you to take a week, take a month, take as long as you need. And he looked at me like he was terrified. And I said, ‘There’s a feeling inside that I can’t quiet anymore, and I have to say it out loud and I’m going to say it.’”

Before she could change her mind, Hoda quickly asked Joel her burning question. “I said, ‘I want to explore adoption with you,’” she remembered. Hesitant about how her lover would feel about this, she patiently waited for his response.

“He said, ‘I don’t need a minute,’” Hoda gushed. “I cried on his chest and my mascara went down because in that minute he knew that there was nothing that could make me happier.”

The pair adopted Haley in 2017 and Hope in 2019. They got engaged in November 2019 but postponed their wedding several times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The television personality announced their split during an episode of Today in January 2022. 

“He’s a great guy. He’s a very kind and loving person, and I feel privileged to have spent eight years with him,” she said about the breakup during the episode. “We are both good and we are both kind of going on our way and our path. We’ll be good parents to those two lovely kids.”

There are so many things Hoda loves about being a mom, including traveling with her girls and watching them immerse themselves in new experiences. The broadcaster enjoys bringing Haley and Hope on trips to New Orleans. She formerly worked at WWL-TV in the city nearly three decades ago. 

“I want them to know New Orleans — to love the city and for this to be part of their lives because it’s such an important part of mine,” she told Southern Living in March 2023. “I want them to see what it’s like to be front and center at the parade.” 

The doting mom recalled bringing her kiddos to the Big Easy on St. Patrick’s Day in 2022. As they watched the parade, Haley and Hope caught beads that were being thrown from floats down St. Charles Avenue. Hoda shared a hilarious moment when her kids caught something they weren’t expecting. 

“My children caught underwear. Underwear!” she said. “Everything is light in New Orleans. ‘Normal’ is being free, and dressing the way you want, dancing in the street even if you’re the only one. New Orleans celebrates the individual. It’s full of characters, and I want my kids to meet them.”

Keep scrolling to learn all about Hoda and former fiancé Joel’s children.