Duck Dynasty stars Jep and Jessica Robertson welcomed a new addition to their family this week, Us Weekly Magazine reported.
The newest member of the Duck Dynasty clan — Jules Augustus — was featured on a recently-aired episode, showing the Robertson family welcomed diversity into their family by adopting a child of African-American descent. After introducing the world to baby Gus on his new television show, Jep took to his Twitter account to show the world another look at the newest Duck Dynasty family member.
— Jep Robertson (@JepDuckman) January 21, 2016
The reason the Duck Dynasty couple opted for adoption was health risks Jessica had experienced during her last pregnancy. Despite the issues with child-bearing, Jessica wasn’t ready to stop adding members.
“I had some health risks, so I wasn’t able to have another child, physically. It was on my heart so heavy. A year and a half ago, Jep came on board. He was like, ‘You know what, it’s a God thing. If it’s so heavy on your heart, this is something we need to do.'”
With Jep on board, the Duck Dynasty star was willing to jump head-first into the adoption process. Race or gender never entered the equation, Jep later explained.
“We went to the adoption agency and we said, ‘We don’t care what race, what gender. We just want to have a baby, so whatever happens, happens.’ So we got us a little Gus.”
The new parents had multiple adoptions fall through at the last moment, losing one child during the five-day waiting period because the parent wanted an open adoption. The Duck Dynasty stars decided against that, expressing their interest only in a closed adoption process.
“We just felt like for us, a closed adoption was the best thing that fit our family, and just the protection of our kids and even [Gus]. But [the process is] so worth it. We recommend it. It’s not the easiest journey, but it’s definitely worth it in the end.”
All of the family members appeared excited during the pilot episodes of A&E’s first spin-off from the Duck Dynasty series. The 30-minute program is called Jep & Jessica: Growing the Dynasty and aired on January 20.
Phil Robertson — the head of Duck Dynasty Robertson clan — had some questionable comments in the past regarding African-American individuals prior to the Civil Rights movement. While Phil has not made any statements about the new member of the Robertson clan, Jep took time on Good Morning America to explain how his father feels about baby Gus, BET reported.
“He loves him. He always said, and I guess this never got quoted, is that, ‘We’re all part of one race, the human race.'”
The comments that had placed the Duck Dynasty patriarch in trouble were about the treatment of African-Americans during the 69-year-old’s childhood in the south. He later attempted to clarify his 2013 statements and declared all individuals are “members of the human race.”
“I was just giving my experience. The point I was making was that even when our Black brothers didn’t have their civil rights, those people had that one thing the government couldn’t take from them: their faith. They would sing spiritual songs as they were going across those cotton fields.”
Despite his clarification, Duck Dynasty ratings took a hit. Soon after, Phil decided to step back from the show and have less appearances on Duck Dynasty.
The show Jep & Jessica: Growing the Dynasty is among a host of new shows coming to television — and streaming services — in 2016. Other highly-anticipated shows include Fuller House (a reboot of the 1980s classic Full House) and Luke Cage.
In its ninth season, Duck Dynasty has been one of A&E’s most popular shows. The reality TV programming focuses on the Robertson family — patriarch Phil, brothers Alan, Willie, Jep and Jase and their spouses — as well as other friends and family members who have been a part of family business.
What do you think of the Duck Dynasty stars adding a family member through adoption? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.
[Photo by Jerry Markland/Getty Images]