In this day and age, adoption is becoming more popular as individuals are opening up to share their stories. It’s possible that you may know of someone that has either adopted children or was adopted themselves. Well, what about adopted celebrities? We usually hear about the ones who have adopted children, such as Angelina Jolie, Nicole Kidman, and Katherine Heigl, but what about adopted celebrities? Yes, even celebrities have been adopted! Many have used their platform and fan base to talk about their story and what their life was like as adopted celebrities.
Faith Hill was adopted right at birth on September 21st, 1967. Her adoptive parents had two sons prior to her birth. They were extremely supportive of Hill’s dream of dropping out of college to be a country music star and to figure out her identity. She was always curious and wondering about her roots, and when she became of age, she went searching for her birth family. Unfortunately, she really wasn’t able to get to know her birth parents well, but she was able to bond with her biological brother. Hill didn’t hold any resentment toward her birth mother; in fact, she understood her mother’s position. She said, “I know she must have had a lot of love for me to want to give me what she felt was a better chance.” Learn more about Faith Hill’s adoption story.
Nicole Richie was adopted by the famous Lionel Richie and his then wife, Brenda Harvey, when Nichole was nine years old. Originally, Richie and Harvey were only Nicole’s legal guardians and it was supposed to be a temporary placement. Her birth parents couldn’t support her financially and as the years went on, their relationship was deteriorating. Richie’s adopted parents and birth parents actually knew each other. It took some time for her to trust her adopted dad, but she was able to understand he really meant that “he wasn’t going anywhere”. Read more about Nicole Richie’s adoption story.
Marilyn Monroe was in and out of the foster care system from when she was a newborn until she married at age 16. She had an extremely complicated relationship with her mother due to her mother’s mental illness. Monroe thrived in her first foster home and her mother was working on keeping a relationship with her. However, at the age of seven, her foster mother thought that she should live with her mother permanently. Monroe’s mother was doing well mentally and financially until she was institutionalized a few years later. Monroe was bounced around from family friends and even an orphanage. She was abused sexually in various homes and her mother was inconsistently in her life. She married young as an escape from it all. Monroe still kept in contact with her mother throughout the years and her career until she passed away at age of 36. You can read more about Marilyn Monroe’s adoption story.
Jamie Foxx was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was only 7 months old because his parents didn’t feel competent enough to take care of him. Even though he was with family, Foxx’s parents didn’t form a relationship with him. Growing up, he struggled with the feelings of abandonment, anger, and hurt towards his birth parents. Thankfully his grandparents were extremely supportive in everything Foxx wanted to be a part of, and this caused him to thrive in school, his career, and beyond. After wrestling with the negative feelings and emotions for 45 years, he decided to try and connect with his birth parents. He was able to form a relationship with his mother and even let her live with him. Sadly, he wasn’t able to bond with his father. Foxx, however, is “keeping the door and his heart open”. You can read more about his story.
Steve Jobs was adopted at birth by a loving married couple who were struggling with infertility. His birth mother and father had met during college. It was almost like a Romeo and Juliet story. His maternal grandparents didn’t approve of the relationship and made it blatantly obvious that they didn’t like his father. Jobs’ mother felt that neither she or her boyfriend could support a child and decided to find a family to adopt him. She originally had a family picked and ready to go, but they backed out last minute. They were able to find Jobs’ adoptive parents who were extremely unprepared, but eager and excited. His parents weren’t rich by any means, but they were always extremely supportive of whatever he and his adopted sister wanted to do. Thanks to his adoptive father, Jobs became interested in electronics at an early age, thus cultivating his passion and success with the Apple company. Jobs’ parents were always open about his adoption and made it abundantly clear that he was special and chosen just for their family. Eventually he was able to meet his birth mother and even thanked her for choosing adoption instead of abortion. Jobs also discovered he had a biological sister and the two had a close bond after establishing a relationship. He didn’t want to meet with his birth father. Jobs’ death and legacy have left an impact in the realm of technology and electronics for years to come. Check out this article to read more about Jobs’ life.
George Lopez was raised by his grandmother and step-grandfather at the age of ten. Unfortunately for Lopez, his childhood wasn’t very stable. When he was only a couple months old, his father left him and his mother. After remarrying, his mother remarried and placed him in the care of his grandparents. However, this didn’t impact Lopez negatively as he became the comic and actor that we know today. He’s been open about his life experiences and will usually talk about it during his comedy routines. As for having relationships with his birth parents, they’re still rocky. Lopez has been unable to track his father, and he isn’t very close with his mother. Despite his rough upbringing, he has been a successful comedian, charity worker, and actor throughout the years. You can read more about his life growing up from his book Why You Crying?
Michael Oher was adopted when he was a junior in high school after having a rough home life and being in and out of the foster care system. If the name sounds familiar, it may be because you’ve either seen or heard of the movie The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock, Quinton Aaron, and Tim McGraw or you’ve watched him play football for various professional teams. For those of you who have never watched the movie, it’s the story of how Oher (played by Aaron) was taken in by Leigh Anne (Bullock) and Sean (McGraw) Tuohy, overcame his battles with never having a stable home and school life, and how he fell in love with football. However, Oher said that he felt that the movie “was a poor representation of his life and… that the film did more damage than anything else”. That being said, the movie itself has been praised as being excellently done and that the story is beautiful. Oher also doesn’t have any negative feelings toward the moviemakers and actors involved with The Blind Side. He gave a more accurate depiction of his life before, during, and after his adoption called I Beat the Odds: From Homelessness, to the Blind Side, and Beyond. You can also read about the differences between the movie and what actually happened in Oher’s life here.
Eleanor Roosevelt was in the care of her maternal grandmother as a child and the beginning of her teenage years. Her parents passed away within a couple years of each other. Around the time her mother succumbed to diphtheria, one of her younger brothers also died. After her father passed away, she and her other younger brother went to live with her grandmother. Roosevelt was taught privately until she was 15. At this point, she went to a boarding school for girls in England, and this is where she thrived. When she came back to the United States, she immersed herself in volunteering and working. At the age of 20, she married Franklin Delano Roosevelt, thus starting her role as a politician’s wife and eventually, first Lady. Roosevelt took this time as an opportunity to work in social justice and be an advocate for women, people of color, those affected by the Great Depression, and many more. Even when her husband’s presidency and life came to an end, she was still heavily involved in politics and human rights. You can read more about her story here.
Lana Condor was adopted from a Vietnamese orphanage when she was an infant. The To All the Boys starlet can relate to her character, Lara Jean, in many aspects. Condor was adopted by a white, American couple and has an Asian brother, while Lara Jean is biracial. Lara Jean’s Korean mother passed away when she was young, and Condor felt emotional filming that scene since she has often wondered about her birth mother. Since she was adopted as a newborn, she never formed a relationship with her birth mother. It’s unclear if she has any information on her mother’s whereabouts. She appreciated the effort her parents put in to make sure she learned about her Vietnamese heritage by eating the food, wearing traditional garb, and doing other activities. Condor has struggled with comments from other people claiming that she really isn’t Asian because she was raised by two white parents in America. She has been very open about her adoption and shaking off the judgmental comments. She stated in one interview, “My Asian American experience is different from someone else’s Asian American experience, and that’s okay.” You can read more about Lana’s story here.
Simone Biles was bounced around in the foster care system ever since she was very young. Her mother was in the throes of substance abuse and her father was nowhere to be found. She also had three siblings experiencing the unfortunate circumstances with her. Biles’ grandparents took her and one of her sisters in when Biles was three and officially adopted them a few years later. During this time, she had no contact with her birth mother, as per her grandparents’ request. After her mother was able to get her life back on track and beat her addiction, she was able to have contact with her children again. Biles says that her relationship with her birth mother is “steady, but distant” as they only communicate and visit a few times a year. After having such an unstable first few years in life, she was able to rise above the ashes to become the successful young woman she is today. With the help, love, and support from her adoptive parents, it’s no surprise that she used that to drive her passion and determination into gymnastics.
Every one of these stories are unique and special in their own way. Some adopted celebrities had rough beginnings that caused them to grow up and mature a lot faster than the average child. Regardless of their upbringing and struggles with identity and abandonment, it’s obvious that these adopted celebrities used their lives as fuel to feed the fire of their passions and work. These are just a few great examples of adopted celebrities and what to do with life experiences in a healthy manner. No matter what, these adopted celebrities were able to push through the cards they were dealt by their adoptive parents, support systems, and determination to become the amazing singers, actors, comics, athletes, activists, and innovators they are today.
Emily Perez is a stay-at-home mama to 2 sweet boys and wife to a handsome electrician living the small town life in Idaho. She has a BS in Elementary Education from Eastern Oregon University and loved teaching 2nd grade. When she was younger, her parents did foster care and adopted 5 kiddos from all walks of life to be her siblings. She hopes to do foster care and adoption in the future. Along with adoption, her other passions include advocating for mental health and special needs. Emily enjoys being with family and friends, snuggling her babies, playing the piano, singing, reading, and writing. Coffee is her go-to drink for fuel and she loves anything chocolate!