Hugh Jackman speaks at his star ceremony at the Hollywood...

Hugh Jackman speaks at his star ceremony at the Hollywood Walk of Fame in Los Angeles. ( Dec. 13, 2012) Credit: AP

"Les Miserables" star Hugh Jackman Tuesday described the emotional high of parenthood, and his and wife Deborra-Lee Furness' struggle to conceive before adopting.

"Until you go through it," Jackman told Katie Couric on her syndicated talk show, "you realize [infertility is] not talked about a lot. And, by the way, to be clear, Deb and I always wanted to adopt, so that was always in our plan. We didn't know where in the process that would happen but biologically, obviously, we tried and it was not happening for us. And it is a difficult time. We did IVF [in vitro fertilization] and Deb had a couple of miscarriages," he said. "The miscarriage thing, it apparently happens to one in three pregnancies. But it's very, very rarely talked about. It's almost secretive, you know, so I hope Deb doesn't mind me bringing it up now."

Furness, an adoption activist who serves as a director of the Worldwide Orphans Foundation, has spoken about her miscarriages in past interviews. The couple, who married in 1996, adopted son Oscar, 12, as a newborn in 2000 and daughter Ava, 7, as a newborn in 2005.

"It's a good thing to talk about," Jackman said. "There's a grieving that you have to go through. So the moment Oscar was born, you know, all the heartache just -- hoo! -- melted away!"

Of becoming a parent, he said, "You can't even explain how incredible it is, and that avalanche of emotion that comes and how it opens up your heart, how it frustrates you, how it angers you, how . . . all of a sudden how alive you are as a parent."

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