Layne Beachley and Adoption

Layne Beachley at the film premiere of Horrible Bosses, 2011



Australian Sportswoman

Beachley was born to an unmarried 17-year-old Scot living in Australia and placed for adoption at birth. She was adopted by a couple with a born-to son living in Manly, near Sydney. From an early age she was a water baby and soon began surfing. In 1998 she won the world women's surfing championship in France, and is also acknowledged as the world's pre-eminent big-wave woman surfer.

When she was nine her adoptive mother died of a post-operative brain hemorrhage. She and her brother were not put into care, but a family friend helped care for them for the rest of their childhoods.

In 1995 she began to search for her birth mother, but in the end it was her mother who traced her first. They are in contact but her mother lives in California and keeping in touch is difficult. She has no desire to trace her birth father.


Wilmoth, Peter. "Spirit of the Beach," The Age, 18 March 2000, Saturday Extra magazine section Who's Who in Australia 2001. (Melbourne: Information Australia Group, 2000) Griffith, Rob. "The Hard Yards Pay Off: Layne Beachley, 1998 World Champion." [Includes portraits]. Available at: Hilgers, Laura. "I'm Going Big. Anyone Care to Follow?," Outside, November 1998, p. 42+ "Layne Beachley." [Includes portrait]. Available at: