‘Yellowstone’: Why Did John Adopt Jamie Dutton?

jaime and john 2

We all know that the Dutton family of the ‘Yellowstone’ series has always been one of the most dramatic families on television, and there are good reasons for that. Of course, every person in this family is unique, including Jamie Dutton, whose personality and professional background may differ a bit from what we’re used to when we look at John Dutton and the rest of the family. In fact, he isn’t quite the same as the rest of the Duttons – he was adopted. But why did John even adopt him?

  • Article Breakdown:
  • John Dutton adopted Jamie when he was just a baby because he believed that this child needed a second chance in life.
  • Jamie Dutton’s real parents were messed up and struggling to make ends meet, with his mother struggling with drug addiction.
  • Jamie’s biological father killed his biological mother out of anger, and that was how he ended up in the care of the Dutton family.

Jamie Dutton’s real parents

One of the ‘Yellowstone’ characters fans have come to love is Jamie because he has built his own life after working hard to become a lawyer and a politician. Of course, fans love Jamie because he has a complicated relationship with his father, but he was still able to prove that he can carve his own path in life even though John Dutton seemingly didn’t love him as much as he loved his other children. On top of that, John thought that Jamie would ruin the ranch if he touched it.

jamie and john

As the storyline of ‘Yellowstone’ progressed, it became clear why John and Jamie had a complex relationship. That’s because he eventually discovered he was adopted after seeing his birth certificate. In that regard, it was clear that John and Evelyn were not his real father, and that was why there was a weird relationship going on between John and Jamie throughout their entire lives.

Jamie Dutton’s real parents were actually Garrett and Phyllis Randall. In fact, Jamie was born Michael Randall. It was only after he was adopted at the age of three months that his name was changed to Jamie.

Garrett was a struggling man who couldn’t make ends meet as he didn’t have a proper job that allowed him to support his family. What made things worse was the fact that Phyllis was a struggling drug addict. That changed Jamie’s life when he was still three months old.

After coming home from work one day, Garrett saw Jamie crying while sucking on a crack pipe because he was hungry. His mother was not caring for him because she was more interested in hooking up with another man and doing drugs. Garrett didn’t want to see his son suffering at the hands of a mother unwilling to take care of him. 


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Out of anger after seeing his son put in a dangerous situation, Garrett murdered his wife. He subsequently spent 30 years in prison for what he did to Phyllis, but he knew he had to do what he did to keep his son safe from his irresponsible mother.

Why did the Duttons adopt Jamie?

After Phyllis died, Garrett was sentenced to three decades in prison. At that time, the Dutton family was already prominent in the area. They were also known for giving second chances to people in need because the family went through a lot to become as prominent as they were.

The Duttons were also familiar with the Randall family because they knew Phyllis before she married Garrett and became a drug addict. As such, John and the Dutton family must have felt compassion for the young Jamie, who didn’t have anyone else to care for him after his parents were gone. John adopted Jaime to give the child a good home that would have protected him.

John talked about Phyllis to Jamie by saying:

“When he married the woman who gave birth to you, we begged her not to do it because we knew. But I guess she thought she could save him. I don’t know how to explain the chemistry of attraction, the thing that drives us to kill ourselves.”

In that regard, while Garrett said that he killed Phyllis out of love for Jamie, the Dutton family never trusted him, as they even tried to stop Phyllis from marrying him. As such, Phyllis’ life likely spiraled out of control only after she married Garrett.

Did Jamie meet his real parents?

Of course, Jamie wanted to learn more about the truth behind his parentage. That was why he went out to find his real father, as he met up with him after Garrett was released from jail following a 30-year sentence for killing Phyllis when Jamie was still just a baby.

jaime and garrett

Garrett, however, hated the Dutton family because he held a grudge against John for never testifying for him in court. He thought he would have never gone to jail if John had only testified on his behalf. That was why Garrett ordered attacks on the Dutton family, even though he had 30 years to try to forget about his grudge.


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But because Beth found out about it, she blackmailed Jamie. So, while Jamie thought he had found an ally in his real father, he decided to kill Garrett even though they had already bonded. The pressure was too much for Jamie as he had to end the father’s life, who claimed he was only saving him from an irresponsible mother 30 years ago.

This event turned Jamie into an even more complex character as the dynamic between him and the Duttons has now changed into something much more complicated than it was before. That’s why Jamie has become one of the favorites of fans around the world, as he has always had one of the most intriguing storylines in ‘Yellowstone.’

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