25 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Adopted
Families form in many different ways. These celebrities not only understand the beauty of adoption, they’ve lived it.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of family is “a group of individuals living under one roof and usually under one head.” Of course, we know that family is so much more than that. It’s a dynamic full of ups, downs, triumphs, and struggles. And there isn’t a singular way to become a family, either. The path to finding one’s “people” can be a journey in and of itself. For these 25 celebrities, adoption led them to the folks who would be the most formidable of their lives. The stories of these 6 foster kids finding their forever home will melt your heart.
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Adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a couple who had been unable to have children, Apple founder Steve Jobs grew up in the part of Northern California now known as Silicon Valley with his adoptive sister Patti. Though he never met his birth parents, he did meet a biological sister, Mona Simpson, when he was 27. He even went on to describe Simpson as “one of my best friends in the world,” according to The Telegraph. However close he became with her, the tech icon was always quick to point out that Paul and Clara were the only parents he ever knew. This is the one quality Steve Jobs always looked for in employees.
Academy Award winner Frances McDormand was adopted at 18 months of age. Her parents, Noreen McDormand and Rev Vernon McDormand worked as a nurse and an evangelical preacher, respectively, according to The Guardian. The McDormands adopted two other children as well and moved around the country frequently to help reinvigorate congregations that needed assistance. These stories about people who came from nothing and now give back will make your day.
A Michigan native, actor Keegan-Michael Key was adopted at a young age by two social workers and raised in Detroit. When he was 25 years old Key found his biological mother. “Finding her was something that had always been in my mind,” he told Chicago Now. “My parents always said, ‘That’s a possibility for you.’ That was one of the most unexpected and crucial and significant and foundational things that has happened in my life.” These 27 quotes about hope will instantly lift you up.
Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi
Beyond her former hard-partying Jersey Shore personal, Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi has an interview story to tell: She was adopted from Santiago, Chile at the age of 6 months old. “[My parents] flew all the way to Chile to come pick me up and they said that right when they saw me I was like, ‘Mama. Dada.’ So it was, like, meant to be. I could tell because, you know, things just work out that way. It’s called fate,” Polizzi shared in a YouTube video about adoption in 2018. These 15 stories prove that it’s never too late to change your life.
Musician Liz Phair has been very vocal about being adopted, applauding the way her parents relayed the information to herself and her brother, also adopted. “My parents were very responsible,” she told Women’s Health. “They said, ‘We wanted you more than anything in the whole world.’ They were perfect about it.” Phair has never tried to find her biological parents. Interested in adopting? These are the costs everyone needs to know.
As a child, Faith Hill’s parents told her she was adopted, but the story behind how and why that happened was misconstrued, likely to spare her feelings. Hill’s biological parents went on to marry and have another child after she was given up for adoption. “I was adopted into this incredible home, a loving, positive environment, yet I had this yearning, this kind of darkness that was also inside me,” she told Good Housekeeping. She eventually did find and meet her birth parents as well as her biological brother. Read the stories of eight adoptees who found their biological parents through DNA kits.
‘N Sync’s JC Chasez keeps a relatively private life, but he has quietly discussed being adopted at the age of five. “I was aware of the whole thing (the adoption),” Chasez said during a radio interview. “I know who my mother is. She raised me up until I was 5. I have a very clear idea of who she was. She knew who my parents were because she was actually fostered by them at one point because she had been through a lot in her life at a young age. That’s how I ended up being adopted. She reached out to the people she trusted.” These are 10 things parents of adopted children really wish you knew.
If you’ve ever seen the interactions between Nicole Richie and her dad Lionel Richie on her reality show Candidly Nicole, they are like two peas in a pod. The “Hello” singer adopted Nicole at a young age, when he noticed her biological parents, who weren’t getting along particularly well at the time, were seemingly struggle to care for the little girl. “I knew her mother and father… and I said, ‘While you are having difficulty the kid is sitting in limbo. Put her in my house, when the tour is over we will sort this out’,” Lionel said in an interview with Piers Morgan. Not more than a year after that he went on to legally adopt Nicole. Try these 10 little ways to encourage your kid to learn gratitude.
At the age of four, Blondie frontwoman Debbie Harry learned she had been adopted as an infant. In an interview with MOJO magazine, Harry admits that the relationship she shared with her parents wasn’t always smooth, particularly when she decided to pursue music as a career. ”Unfortunately for me, or unfortunately for my parents, I was determined to be an artist,” she says. “And of course they weren’t artists and the whole idea of it was barbaric. My mother came from a family that thought artists were the slime of the earth. I think it was frightening for them, because they, of course, were trying to protect me.”