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The real reason Sir Reginald only adopted 7 of the 43 babies in Umbrella Academy

When The Umbrella Academy's origins are revealed, viewers discover a shocking truth: There are far more "special" children than the seven Sir Reginald Hargreeves (Colm Feore) rounded up for his super-powered team. 

In total, 43 women around the world gave birth simultaneously, despite never showing signs of pregnancy until the moment they were suddenly in labor. On the show, that "mass birth" results in 43 children — only seven of which Sir Reginald adopted, either through "purchasing" them from their unexpected parent or via some other undisclosed means. But because of who those seven are and the shared nature of their births, the 36 other kids viewers never meet presumably also share a capacity for super-natural abilities. 

Netflix's The Umbrella Academy acknowledges the existence of these children not just through its telling of the fateful day on October 1, 1989, but also through season 1's main antagonist, Leonard Peabody (John Magaro). Born on the same day as the Umbrella Academy kids, Leonard — whose real name is Harold Jenkins — believes he's just like them, though their shared birthdate is entirely coincidental. While the show goes somewhat into detail relaying the story of how the seven Umbrella Academy children and Leonard either do or don't end up in Sir Reginald's charge, the series seems to avoid revealing exactly where the other 36 children are. 

That omission raises questions about why Sir Reginald only adopted seven of the 43 children, with some of the apparent assumptions being that he was unable to find the others, or that their parent was unwilling to hand them over. But neither of these things is explicitly expressed on the series, meaning the answer may lie in the events of The Umbrella Academy season 2 — or in the show's comics origins. 

The Umbrella Academy comics paint the best picture of why Sir Reginald couldn't adopt the other 36 other children

What happened to the other children is easily one of the more significant questions going into The Umbrella Academy season 2, even if it's not the biggest one the show has to answer. In an intentionally obscure sequence on season 1, episode 7, "The Day That Was," Klaus (Robert Sheehan) doesn't just have a significant conversation with his father –he also meets "God" as a young girl in the French countryside. There, she says she "made everything else" — so she must have made Klaus and his siblings. 

However, when showrunner Steve Blackman and Umbrella Academy comics author Gerard Way were asked about whether viewers would meet the other children to explain why Sir Reginald didn't adopt them, the two got coy. According to TV Guide, Blackman and Way told the outlet it's "a really good question that they couldn't answer." That sounds as if they can, but are holding out on a reveal until a later date.

As far as the show goes, the reason why Sir Reginald only adopted seven of the 43 children will remain a mystery for now. But what about Way's comics? Well, those who've read them know they're a bit clearer about the fate and location of the kids. According to a sequence in the comic, on the day of their births, "the children were either abandoned or put up for adoption... the ones who survived." One of the 43 children is shown to have died during birth, further proving some didn't live. Sir Reginald Hargreeves arrives soon after, with the comic telling readers that, "using methods undisclosed, [he] sought to track down and adopt as many of the children as he could. He only found seven of them."

So if The Umbrella Academy series chooses to follow its comics origins, the reason Reginald only adopted seven was that those were simply the only ones he could find, just as many fans have suspected.