Who Are Sarah Palin's Children?

Since 2006 when she became the first-ever elected female governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin has had the public's attention. Two years later in 2008, she quickly became a household name when John McCain selected Palin as his running mate during his presidential campaign. Her name was everywhere, from Tina Fey's iconic "Saturday Night Live" impressions to editorial pieces nitpicking her political stances. Thus, the Palins were launched into the spotlight, including her husband at the time, Todd Palin, and their five children.

Despite their loss to President Obama, the world was still captivated by her strong views and seemingly down-to-earth persona. Sarah Palin resigned from her position as Alaska's governor the following year, but the world wasn't done with her yet (via National Governors Association).

In 2010, TLC launched "Sarah Palin's Alaska," a reality show that focused on the family's life in the "Last Frontier." Although the show did well initially, viewers soon tuned out; but this was just one of many reality shows the Palins would be involved with (via Washington Post). In the fifteen years since her run as vice president, some of her children have become equally famous — some of whom grew up under the media's watchful eye. So without further ado, let's take a deep dive into who Sarah Palin's children are, why they've been targets of controversy since the early days, and what they've been up to in the last few years.

Trig Palin

Trig Palin is the youngest of Sarah Palin's children, born in 2008. Unfortunately, Trig was the subject of heated debates before he was even born. Sarah Palin had been hiding her pregnancy until she announced that she was seven months pregnant with her fifth child Controversy and rumors surfaced almost immediately, partly due to the fact that Sarah Palin was 44 years old at the time of the announcement. False claims spread that Bristol, Sarah Palin's daughter, was in fact Trig's mother, and that Sarah must have been trying to protect her from public ridicule (via Washington Post).

The rumors were vehemently denied, but Sarah Palin faced even more scrutiny when it was revealed that Trig had been born with Down syndrome. Between tabloids, talk shows, and social media, cheap shots were thrown at her and it seemed she'd never catch a break. In 2012, Sarah Palin wrote an article for Newsweek all about raising her son. She said: "My family knows that Trig will face struggles that few of us will ever have to endure, including people who can be so cruel to those not deemed "perfect" by society. The cruelty is more than made up for, though, when someone simply smiles at our son. Nothing makes me prouder."

Now, Trig is in high school and features regularly on his sisters' and mom's social media. He often posts pictures of the adventures he has with his family and seems to be living a happy, semi-private life.

Trig was the subject of his parents' custody battle

In September 2019, Todd Palin filed for divorce from Sarah Palin. She was reportedly devastated by this, however the divorce was finalized in 2020. Sarah Palin spoke about how her children were handling the news, saying: "No, they're mad because they have been brought up with that teaching that you have made a covenant with God" (via People). Unfortunately, with Trig Palin being the youngest child and his other siblings living away from home, he was the most impacted. Most of the files were sealed, however it became known that Todd Palin sought joint custody of Trig when he initially filed.

Neither Todd nor Sarah have confirmed the reason for their divorce, but some have speculated it could've been due to cheating or the fame finally getting to them. Regardless of the reasons, they now share joint custody of Trig and don't have any child support orders in place. Sarah Palin spoke to the New York Post in 2022, saying Trig is the only connection they share anymore. Referring to Todd, she said, "He spends his time with his girlfriend whom he's had for some time now."

However, it seems Trig is doing well despite the familial shift. In the same interview, Sarah Palin said, "Trig goes to public school at a really great special needs program at Wasilla Middle School." She added that while Trig is at school, she's working on her Congressional campaign.

Piper Palin

Piper Palin is the second-youngest of Sarah Palin's children and her youngest daughter. She has remained predominantly out of the limelight, only making occasional appearances on her sister's and mother's reality shows and on their social media accounts. A few years ago, Piper graduated high school and went on to get her certificate in assistant nursing, for which Sarah Palin proudly commended her on an Instagram post captioned, "So proud of America's future nurses!" Sarah goes on to say, "It takes such a special heart and soul to choose the nursing field. These dedicated students are on their way from Certified Nursing Assistant to vocations that will no doubt aid and comfort so many."

Piper has also been incredibly supportive of her sisters, especially when it's come to being an aunt to their children. When her sister, Willow, had twins in 2019, she took to social media to sing Piper's praises. According to the Daily Mail, Willow said Piper never left the newborns' sides. The Palin sisters may have had a somewhat rocky public image over the years, but they haven't let this or their busy lives get in the way of being there for one another and have been present at each others' bachelorette parties, high school graduations, and family vacations.

Piper became known on her mother's bus tour campaign

The world had its first introduction to Piper Palin in 2008, as the youngest of the Palin clan. She was only seven at the time and didn't garner much attention. Three years after Sarah Palin's and John McCain's campaign came to an end, she set off on a bus tour she titled "One Nation" and visited several of America's historical sites. The public wondered if she was campaigning for the 2012 election, but she maintained that it was merely "part of our new campaign to educate and energize Americans about our nation's founding principles" (via The Guardian).

Piper, now ten-years-old, accompanied her mom on the road where she became recognized for her facial expressions, sporting an angsty glare when the press were around. She was also very protective of Sarah Palin during the tour, often trying to keep her mom from the cameras and pulling her away from reporters. This was especially apparent when Sarah was questioned about the controversy circling her own misled accounts of the history of Paul Revere (via The Daily Beast).

Granted, these are all pretty mild antics, especially for a ten-year-old girl who was suddenly thrust onto the public's radar. Given Sarah Palin's reputation at the time, it would have been difficult to have a normal childhood, yet Piper has managed to avoid much controversy herself, unlike her parents and siblings.

Willow Palin

Willow Palin (29) is the middle child of the Palin family and currently works as a cosmetologist and hairdresser. Like her sister Piper, she's kept a fairly low profile apart from her pregnancy announcements and her handful of appearances on her sister Bristol's reality show. Willow graduated from Penrose Academy in 2013, with Sarah Palin posting a congratulatory post on Facebook. She wrote proudly of her daughter's accomplishments, saying: "[Willow] decided to finish her high school requirements quite early and enroll in an academy for hair and skin, which allowed her to study abroad, visit the sets of major media productions, and work with the best of the best in the industry."

Willow Palin (now known as Willow Bailey) and Ricky Bailey got engaged in December 2017 and have been married since 2018. The wedding took place in Alaska and apparently occurred only one day after her eldest brother, Track, was arrested for domestic abuse. Despite this, the Palin family managed to keep the wedding a festive, enjoyable occasion. Sarah Palin shared some photos on social media of the family getting ready, showcasing Trig in a tux, and having a blast at the beautiful reception (via People).

Since then, Willow has been working hard on her professional career and as a loving mother of three. She's managed to more or less break away from the stigma of the Palin name and build a happy, fulfilling life for herself and her family in Texas.

Willow Palin welcomed her third child

In 2019, Willow and her husband, Ricky, welcomed twin girls named Banks and Blaise Bailey. In the weeks leading up to the girls' birth, Willow had been posting images and videos of her pregnant belly, sharing her excitement at becoming a mother and commending herself for carrying them so far. After her twin girls were born, several members of the family posted to social media to welcome the new additions to the family and show their support (via People).

Then in March of 2022, Willow and Ricky announced that they had welcomed their third child, a baby boy named Pace Bailey. Again, social media flooded with enthusiasm and joy for the couple, with Sarah Palin happily sharing photos on Instagram with the caption, "Heaven on Earth." The couple has their hands full with two toddlers and a young baby, but they seem over the moon. Willow often shares photos of wholesome family moments and outings, capturing how quickly her children are already growing up.

Bristol Palin

Bristol Palin is Sarah Palin's eldest daughter and quickly became a household name when the world met her during her mother's and McCain's 2008 campaign at 17. Bristol made headlines when she was introduced and saw her first (but certainly not last) taste of controversy when it was revealed that she was pregnant. This sparked backlash at Sarah Palin's abstinence before marriage policies, and a statement by John McCain's campaign team was released, claiming that her 17-year-old daughter would keep the child and marry the father (The Guardian).

After having her son, Tripp, Bristol became an advocate for abstinence for the Candie's Foundation. Many saw this as a hypocritical stance, as her engagement to Tripp's father, Levi Johnston, was broken off before the wedding and the couple called it quits in 2010. It was later reported that Bristol made hundreds of thousands of dollars for her advocacy work (via Vanity Fair). In 2015, she was engaged to a new man, Dakota Meyer, but they ended their engagement and Bristol announced a second pregnancy. The couple later got married in 2016, had their second child together, and finally divorced in 2018.

Bristol's career has taken many forms, from her advocacy work to featuring in a couple of reality shows,and most recently, working as a real estate agent. In addition to her professional efforts, she's also put her focus into being a caring mother to her three children, Tripp, Sailor, and Atlee (via The Sun).

Bristol Palin has been a controversial figure for 15 years

It's clear Bristol Palin has seen her fair share of controversies over the years, having remained in the spotlight consistently since 2008. Having had very public ups and downs, everything about her has been scrutinized. In late 2010, after giving birth to her son Tripp, Bristol competed on "Dancing With the Stars" and finished in third place, despite consistently seeing low scores from the judges. This led viewers to question the legitimacy of the show's voting system (via People).

2012 kicked off with Bristol writing an open letter to President Obama, describing her disappointment that he hadn't called to console her after Bill Maher made some misogynistic comments towards her (via Patheos). Only a couple of months later, she made controversial remarks about Obama's decision to support gay marriage (via Politico).

Then, Bristol's own reality show aired on Lifetime, titled "Bristol Palin: Life's a Tripp." However, this experience was short-lived as it was pulled from the air after only 14 episodes. In the same year, she was invited to reappear on "Dancing With the Stars" for the all-stars season. She took a break from television until 2018 when she replaced Farrah Abraham on "Teen Mom OG," which sparked a feud between the two. Bristol quit the show after only one season, saying she was unhappy with the way she and then-husband, Dakota Meyer, were portrayed. The cameras were present for many of their disputes, ultimately showing their marriage unravel (via CNN).

Track Palin

Track Palin is the oldest of Sarah Palin's children. He enlisted in the army before his mother's vice presidential campaign, with some theorizing the reasons were related to his behavioral issues. He was deployed to Iraq in 2008, where he served as an air guard. According to U.S. News & World Report, Track aimed to keep a low profile during his service (which is understandable, seeing as how famous his mom was at the time).

Track was the first of Sarah Palin's kids to get married when he wed his high school sweetheart, Britta Hanson, in 2011 (via Daily Mail). When they had their daughter, Kyla, only three months later, critics were quick to point out (yet again) Sarah Palin's hypocritical stance on abstinence before marriage — something she was an advocate for throughout her political career. Although it wouldn't be the first or last time Sarah Palin would face backlash for her children's choices, she maintained that she was incredibly happy for her son and daughter-in-law. The couple split up after less than two years of marriage, with Britta reportedly taking custody of Kyla and Track keeping their collection of guns.

Track Palin later had a second child, Charlie, in 2016 with then-girlfriend Jordan Loewe, but the relationship ended when Loewe filed domestic abuse charges against Track and took full custody of their son (via Daily Mail). Unfortunately, Track Palin is no stranger to run-ins with the law, with this incident being just the tip of the iceberg.

Track Palin has a long criminal history

Between 2016 and 2018, Track Palin was arrested on three separate occasions, each on domestic violence charges. He was first charged in 2016 for an assault on his girlfriend at the time and mother to his son, Jordan Loewe. There were reportedly several assaults, but things came to a head one night after a drunken dispute, when officers discovered Track with a gun and Loewe hiding underneath the bed. Loewe spoke publicly a couple of years later about the abuse she suffered in light of the #MeToo movement (via Daily Mail).

Then in 2017, Track was arrested for assaulting Todd Palin, his father. He had apparently broken into his family's home and hit his dad over the head. Sarah Palin called the police to report the incident, and eventually, Track was released on bail. In 2018, Track was arrested for a third time after reportedly assaulting a female friend, for which he served one year (via Washington Post).

Most recently, in August of 2022, Track was arrested for a DUI. It's uncertain what exactly sent Track Palin down this unfortunate path, but his mother has an idea. While endorsing Donald Trump, Sarah Palin addressed her son's 2016 arrest and said, according to Politico, "So when my own son is going through what he goes through coming back, I can certainly relate with other families who kind of feel these ramifications of PTSD and some of the woundedness that our soldiers do return with..."