Bethenny Frankel on Her Podcast, Adoption and a Possible RHONY Return: 'Never Say Never'

After reading about a 9-year-old boy in foster care who hoped to be adopted, Bethenny Frankel showed the story (featured on PEOPLE's Instagram in August) to her 10-year-old daughter Bryn.

″The boy's three wishes were 'family, family, family,'″ Frankel tells PEOPLE. ″My daughter is an amazing, beautiful, sweet kid, and she said 'You should adopt him, mama.'″

The story about Jordan from Oklahoma, who spoke with a local TV news outlet, prompted 5,000 adoption submissions from potential parents who saw the broadcast.

″I said, 'I'll look into it,' and I did,″ says Frankel. ″It's a complicated situation and Jordan was in Oklahoma and he had a sibling there and there were other concerns and it did not seem like the right path for him.″

Frankel, 49, says it wasn't the first time she considered expanding her family.

″I had looked into it [adoption] a few years ago because I was looking into adopting a 3-year-old,″ she says. ″I was surprised because it's not that easy to adopt an older kid.″

As for future possibilities, she says, ″I'm not proactive about it. It's not something I'm pursuing, but if the road took me there, I would be open to it.″

Known for her freewheeling candor, Frankel opens up in this week's issue of PEOPLE about her family, boyfriend Paul Bernon and her new podcast Just B with Bethenny Frankel. The podcast drops today on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and wherever you get your podcasts (and is already No. 4 on the Apple Podcast charts.)

The former Real Housewife and Skinnygirl entrepreneur, now more focused on her philanthropy work with BStrong, is excited to launch her podcast — all about self-made moguls and how they really got there.

″It's about how the sausage gets made. No fluff, no side dishes, no foreplay, no hand jobs,″ she says with a laugh. Among her guest, are pal Andy Cohen, (″he had to have a job every summer″) Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, Netflix Chief Marketing Officer Bozoma Saint John and Paris Hilton.

″I used to babysit her and her sister Nicky,″ Frankel says. ″And the least interesting thing about her is that she is attractive and grew up a Hilton.″

One of the common threads? ″I'm realizing we all have one thing in common. It's old-school hard work," she says.

Of leaving The Real Housewives of New York City over a year ago, Frankel says, ″I was able to leave the show and have a palette cleaner and refresh. Nothing's better than a new chapter.″

While she has no plans to return, she says, ″I'll be transparent. I like the humorous outlet. I don't think what goes on in the back of the house in that cultural environment is particularly healthy or representative of who I am. It's an amazing platform and I used it for everything it was worth. You don't walk away from a paycheck like that unless you don't feel great about it. Never say never, but it would have to be a whole different show. Money talks and the bullshit walks. It's all about the Benjamins, baby.″

Bethenny Frankel Reveals She 'Tried a While Back to Adopt a 3-Year-Old' Child

But it's not something she's focusing on, after a summer spent paddle-boarding and cooking with Bryn (″she makes pancakes and avocado toast,″ Mom says), and ″surfing and nesting″ with Bernon.

″He's very solid, very together, very caring. We're both sort of chill, believe it or not," Frankel says of the real estate developer and film producer, whom she's been dating since 2018.

″People who know me say I've never seemed more clear, more calm or more settled,″ she adds. ″I'm happy with the life and businesses I'm building. If loving something means you're going to be successful at it, it will be very successful because I really enjoy it."






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