Amanda Rollins, SVU
Credit: NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via

With her grand return to Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — and third pregnancy — it’s understandable why viewers have questions over if Kelli Giddish is pregnant in real life and how much Amanda Rollins’ pregnancy on SVU mirrors the actor’s off-screen reality.

Law & Order: Special Victims Unit — also known as SVU — is NBC’s procedural drama series following the personal and professional lives of detectives at the New York Police Department’s 16th precinct’s Special Victims Unit, which investigates and prosecutes various sexually oriented crimes. The unit is lead by Olivia Benson, the Captain and Commanding Officer of the Manhattan Special Victims Unit. Giddish plays Amanda Rollins, a detective with the Manhattan special Victims Unit, who joined SVU in Season 13 and left in Season 24.

In an interview with Variety in December 2022, Giddish explained why she left SVU after almost a decade on the series. “I started playing her in my late 20s, so I’ve played her in three decades of my life, which is nuts. It’s insane,” she said. “This is a show unlike any other. Shows don’t last 12 years, much less getting to play a character. With playing someone as multi-faceted as Rollins, I got to play all kinds of different things — down and out, on top, joyful, doubtful, scared, triumphant. I got to do the gambit.”

Giddish made her grand return as Rollish in Season 24, Episode 21, “Bad Things” — and to the squad’s surprise, she was also pregnant! The episode made viewers wonder: Is Kelli Giddish pregnant in real life? Read on for what we know about if Giddish and Rollins are both pregnant at the same time.

Is Kelli Giddish pregnant in real life?

Amanda Rollins, SVU

Is Kelli Giddish pregnant in real life? The answer is yes. A representative for Giddish confirmed to People on May 31, 2023, that the Law & Order: Special Victims Unit star is pregnant with her third child. The baby is Giddish’s first child with her husband, Beau Richards, whom she married in November 2021. She also shares sons Ludo and Charlie with her ex-husband, Lawrence Faulborn.

Giddish’s third pregnancy also comes at the time as her SVU character Amanda Rollins’ third pregnancy in Season 24. She was also pregnant at the same time as Rollins for both of their first two children. Rollins gave birth to her first child — a daughter named Jesse with  New York Police Department Captain Declan Murphy — in Season 17, Episode 9, in 2015. At the time, Rollins was also pregnant with her first child, Ludo. Rollins welcomed her second child, daughter Billie with ex-boyfriend Al Pollack, in Season 20 in 2019. Rollins revealed she was pregnant with her third child with her husband, Assistant District Attorney Dominick Carisi, in Season 24 in 2023.

In an interview with E! News in 2015, Giddish confirmed that Rollins was the first character who was ever pregnant on SVU. (Mariska Hargitay, who plays Olivia Benson, was pregnant while filming in Season 8, but SVU used desks, folders and headshots to hide her pregnancy.) “Mariska had somebody come in…I looked it up—I looked up when I first got pregnant what other TV shows did and…I guess on The X-Files, she went away. She got abducted by aliens,” Giddish said. “So I was like, ‘That can’t happen on SVU. Can’t pitch that idea.'” Still, Rollins trusted how SVU would write in her real-life pregnancy. “I feel so comfortable in their hands,” she said.

Giddish also explained how Rollins’ pregnancy on SVU — which didn’t reveal who the father of her child was at the time — would affect her as a character and a gambling addict. “Well, now she’s got another challenge. This one is more natural, or better, I guess, than the gambling addiction,” she said. “What’s going to be really fun is getting to see who the father is—I do know. I got to pick…I kind of did, yeah. I was like, it can’t be Danny [Pino], that would mean he would have three baby mamas. He’s got two kids from two different mamas!”

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter in 2015, SVU showrunner Warren Leight explained why the series decided to write in Giddish’s real-life pregnancy. “I didn’t want to have deal with fern plants in front of her and fax machines and file folders.,” he said. “I just thought we would play the reality of what happens to a working detective who finds herself pregnant and how does she adjust to it. Obviously for Kelli’s character, there aren’t a lot of people in her life.”

He also explained how Rollins becoming a mother would change her character. “First of all, we’ll see that instead of bringing her closer together with her family, it’s another chance for her family to malfunction and let her down and feel betrayed by her,” he said. “She’s going to have to summon inner strength and we’ll see the squad taking care of her and rallying behind her. But she’s on her own, and on the other hand, this is someone who, like Benson, can use a little more balance in her life.”

He continued, “She gets in a little too deep with the serial killers and the psychopaths. She’s always been sort of almost tom boy-ish. She’s interacted less with baby Noah than any of the other squad members, and its just going to be interesting to see a maternal side come out in her because she hasn’t been leading with that for the last four years.”

Leight also responded to concerns that Rollins’ pregnancy on SVU was too soon after Benson adopted her son, Noah. “It’s different. Benson basically rescued baby Noah and adopted him, and Amanda’s at an age where if you do get pregnant, you’re not cavalier about it,” he said. “You’re just at the point where you go to the doctor, the doctor says, “I have to tell you this is less likely to happen as you get older,” and you start getting those speeches. So I just decided, OK, Amanda will figure it out.”

He continued, “And we will find out who the father is at some point early on in the season, and this is her choice. I thought, either we hide the pregnancy, which was hard to do because we had a three-month break between episodes three and four, so that was just going to look ridiculous. It just seemed like, [she could] deal with it. In real life, it happens. I’ve had a number of friends in real life have this happen to them. They didn’t see it coming and they make the best of it. The first thing she does is to tell her boss, “It’s not going to affect me at work in any way. I’m fine.”

He also told The Hollywood Reporter about how Rollins and Benson both becoming mothers would positively affect their relationship. “They’ll have this in common, but it’s also going to add, I think, stress to their dynamic,” he said. “Its one thing if you have the job and you don’t have the responsibility of a child. She just had that dog. There will be times it brings them closer together, and there will be times where Benson feels like, can anybody in this job come through for me?”

He continued, “She’s not going to be mad at Rollins for being pregnant, but Amaro’s gone, Rollins is pregnant, Carisi is still learning the ropes, Fin doesn’t want to step up and be sergeant so she’s not getting the support she needs. She would like to delegate and it doesn’t seem like there’s anybody around to delegate to.”

Law & Order: SVU airs on Thursdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.

For more on SVU, check out our gallery on who the Law & Order franchise’s stars are dating and married to in real life