Republican House Speaker’s “Adopted” Son Speaks Out, Highlighting the Impact of Family

In a recent interview with, Michael Tirrell James, the “adopted” Black son of Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson, publicly shared the profound influence Johnson has had on his life. James admitted that without Johnson’s intervention, his life would have taken a drastically different path, potentially leading to incarceration.

Having faced numerous legal troubles over the years, James credits the Johnsons for providing him with stability and support during his tumultuous teenage years. Homeless at the age of 16, Johnson and his wife took custody of James and raised him as their own son in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Despite his subsequent run-ins with the law, including convictions for drug possession, retail theft, and violating a restraining order, James emphasized the unwavering love and acceptance he experienced within the Johnson family.

Reflecting on his journey, James expressed deep gratitude for the Johnsons’ unwavering support. He acknowledged that they have been there for him during his lowest moments and have never shied away from helping him, even when he made mistakes.

For Johnson, his decision to take in James was driven by a strong belief that their meeting was part of God’s plan. While the pair never underwent a formal adoption process due to its complexity, Johnson and his wife treated James as their own son. Johnson described James as an integral part of their family, regardless of his past transgressions.

Regarding James’ absence from Johnson’s political career, Johnson’s communications director explained that James had requested not to be involved in their new public life as he was already an adult with his own family.

This heartwarming story of resilience, redemption, and the transformative power of family echoes themes seen in “The Blind Side,” a critically acclaimed movie where a white couple takes in a Black teenager, ultimately changing his life. James’ account showcases the profound impact that caring and committed individuals can have on the lives of those they welcome into their families, regardless of blood ties.


1. Did Mike Johnson formally adopt Michael Tirrell James?

No, due to the lengthy adoption process, Johnson and his wife did not undergo formal adoption procedures. However, they treated James as their own son.

2. Why has James not participated in Johnson’s political career?

James, who is now an adult with his own family, requested not to be involved in Johnson’s public life.

3. What role did Johnson’s faith play in his decision to care for James?

Johnson, a committed Christian, believed that it was part of God’s plan for James to be a part of their lives.

4. What movie does Johnson compare their experience to?

Johnson has drawn comparisons between their story and “The Blind Side,” a movie in which a white couple takes in a Black teenager, changing his life.