13 Celebrities Who Were Adopted That You Probably Didn't Know of ...


13 Celebrities Who Were Adopted That You Probably Didn't Know of ...
13 Celebrities Who Were Adopted That You Probably Didn't Know of ...

These days, it’s pretty common to hear about celebrities adopting children, but did you know that there are quite a few celebrities who were adopted themselves? What many consider to be a “typical” family is much less common than before and there are so many more families with adopted children and blended families. Whether one is adopted or is raised by their birth family, it has no bearing on your future These thirteen celebrities who were adopted prove that being orphaned or adopted doesn’t stop you from being successful, famous or both!

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Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie One of the more well-known celebrities who were adopted is fierce fashionista Nicole Richie. Her famous father Lionel Richie and his then-wife Brenda were friends with Nicole’s birth parents, who decided that the Richies would be able to provide a better future for her. Nicole is said to have been taken in by the Richies at the age of three but legally adopted at age nine.


Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs Apple co-founder Steve Jobs is another celebrity who was adopted. When he was an infant, his unmarried parents put him up for adoption. He later found out that his biological parents got married and had a child, Mona Simpson, whom he had developed a close relationship with.


Steve Jobs's adoption story harbors layers of emotional intricacies. His biological parents, Joanne Schieble and Abdulfattah Jandali, were two young university students who felt they weren't ready to raise a child. Thus, Paul and Clara Jobs, a couple unable to have children, adopted Steve and raised him in California. Despite the separation, destiny had a unique plan. Jobs's drive for connection led him to his sister Mona Simpson, an acclaimed novelist. Their bond transcended genetics, highlighting the profound connections that can form in adopted families. Through his journey, Jobs underscored that family can flourish beyond traditional definitions.


Faith Hill

Faith Hill Country singer Faith Hill was adopted when she was only one week old to a family with two boys. Similar to Steve Jobs, her birth parents were an unwed couple when they had her but later got married and had another child. In 2004, she conducted a three-year search for her parents and later developed a close relationship with her biological mother.


Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx Comedian and actor Jamie Foxx was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was only 7 months old. Foxx’s mother, who is also adopted, was divorced from his birth father and didn’t feel she could raise him on her own. Foxx reports having the love of a mother and father but through a different generation and he was heavily encouraged and influenced by his grandmother to pursue his dreams.


Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe Marilyn Monroe is best known for being a movie star and glamour girl, but she’s also a celebrity who was adopted. Known as Norma Jeane Baker in her early days, her widowed mother was reportedly committed to a mental institution in Monroe’s early life, which left her going from foster home to foster home until she was taken in by a family friend when she was 11 years of age.


Despite the instability of her early years, Marilyn channeled her experiences into her work, becoming an icon of beauty and vulnerability. Her status as an adopted child is often overshadowed by her legacy as a silver screen legend. Yet, for those familiar with her biography, it adds a poignant layer to her story of resilience and transformation from a forgotten orphan to a beloved cultural symbol whose impact continues to resonate today. Monroe's journey is a testament to overcoming personal obstacles and achieving greatness against the odds.


Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton Former U.S. President Bill Clinton is another one of the famous people who were adopted, but he’s not the only president who was adopted. Like President Clinton, President Gerald Ford was also adopted by his grandparents as a young child. His birth father died in a car accident before he was born and his mother went to New Orleans to study to be a nurse and left him with his grandparents. She later returned for her son and remarried; however, he does not have fond memories of his stepfather.


Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth was adopted when she was only five days old by a couple in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma. Unlike many other celebrities on this list, she reports knowing the background of her birth parents but having no interest in getting to know them. Chenoweth is very open about being adopted and is a huge advocate of adoption organizations worldwide.


The Tony and Emmy Award-winning talent has often expressed immense gratitude towards her adoptive parents for their love and support throughout her life. She credits them with instilling in her a strong work ethic and a passion for music and performing. Chenoweth has also been involved with charities that support adoption, using her voice to encourage others to consider providing a loving home to children in need. Her personal story continues to inspire many within the adoption community and beyond.


Nelson Mandela

Nelson Mandela Revered world leader and civil rights activist Nelson Mandela was initially raised by his birth parents but later adopted at age nine when his father died from tuberculosis. He was adopted by a Thembu king as a favor to his deceased father, who was a former counselor to the tribal chiefs.



Sarah MCLACHLAN Singer Sarah McLachlan was adopted in 1968 by a Canadian family who previously adopted two boys. She reports finding out about being adopted around age nine but never felt that it was a big issue. She doesn’t feel like she was abandoned and is glad her birth mother placed her for adoption. McLachlan later met her biological mother but thinks of her adoptive mother as her mother.



Snooki Snooki was adopted in 1987, when she was only six months old. She was born in Santiago, Chile and was adopted by Italian American parents, which likely explains why people think that she's Italian. She then moved to upstate New York with her new family, she doesn't know her biological parents, and she seems to express no interest in getting to know them.



D.M.C The rapper DMC, Darryl McDaniels, didn't learn that he was adopted until he was 35 years old. He was trying to gather information to write his autobiography when he called his mother to ask information about his birth. After he spoke to his mother, both parents called him back to inform him that he was adopted a month after he was born.


John Lennon

John Lennon John Lennon was adopted when he was about five years old by his aunt and uncle. His parents split up when he was about three years old. After this, his father virtually disappeared and his mother realized that she couldn't take care of John by herself. John's aunt and uncle took over raising him after she made her difficult decision.


Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta Ray Liotta's parents adopted him when he was six months old in Newark, New Jersey. They also adopted a little girl named Linda after Ray. His adopted parents both unsuccessfully ran for local office and they were hard working middle-class people. Ray's adopted parents pushed Ray to go to college as well as follow his dreams.

Sometimes we think of celebrities as people who live these charmed lives, but many have been through some really tough times. Do you know of any other celebrities who were adopted?

This article was written in collaboration with editor Lydia Sheehan.

Sources: mom.me, huffingtonpost.com, womansday.com, entertainment.howstuffworks.com

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Wow I ever knew such great names were adopted, enthralling

That was an interesting read! I'm from South Africa and had no idea Nelson Mandela was adopted. You learn something new everyday! Thank you!

I believe troubled young actress Dana Plato was also adopted.

Totally shocked with Steve Jobs. That made me feel great about being adopted lol thanks!

It just shows that good parenting is the key to nurturing a child & making them blossom!

Well not attitude way

Snooki , I'm just like her .

Whaaat? Seriously?

Per the Gerald Ford Museum, his mom divorced his birth dad, moved to Michigan, and then "Les King Jr" was adopted by his step-dad and became "Gerald Ford Jr". He was not adopted by grandparents. So either the story above is wrong or Ford's Museum is wrong... hmmm. But otherwise very interesting article if the rest is accurate

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