Celebrities posing for paparazzi on red carpet Over the years, many celebrities have shared their stories about being adopted. They love to talk about adoption so they can help shed light on how adoption changed their lives. Here are the stories of 10 famous adoptees.

1. Simone Biles

Simone Biles and her sister, Adria, grew up with a birth mother who struggled with alcohol and drug addictions. When their biological mother was in jail, the girls’ biological grandparents, who already had two teenage sons, stepped in to care for them and then legally adopted the two girls a few years later. Biles credits her grandparents with saving her life. Today she freely talks about how grateful she is that she was adopted.

2. Kristen Chenoweth

Kristen Chenoweth wrote in a blog about adoption, “If anything, I would thank my birth mother for loving me enough to make such a huge sacrifice. It’s a great gift for me to be able to say: “I know that I came from love, and I know that I have love.” Kristen was adopted when she was one week old, and her parents have always shared this information with her and made her adoption story positive and loving. Her first performances were singing in churches.

3. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was an American designer, inventor, co-founder, and chief executive of Apple Computer. When he was an infant, he was placed for adoption and raised in California. At twenty-seven years old, he found his biological parents. They had married and had another child, Jobs’s biological sister, Mona.

4. Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick is an American football quarterback and civil rights activist. He was adopted when he was five weeks old by adoptive parents who already had two children. Born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Kaepernick’s birth mother was only 19 when he was born. Today, Kaepernick says his adoptive family is very important to him.

5. Jenna Ushkowitz

Actress, singer and podcaster, Jenna Ushkowitz has performed in Broadway musicals like The King and I and Waitress plus popular television comedy, Glee. She was adopted from Seoul, South Korea when she was only three months old. Adoption is very important to Ushkowitz. Today, she’s the co-founder of Kindred: The Foundation for Adoption, which gives adoptees and their families support, resources, and other services.

6. Faith Hill

Faith Hill is one of America’s most-loved famous adoptees. Songwriter and country singer, Hill, was adopted when she was an infant in Mississippi. She grew up singing in the Baptist church, which influenced her life and put her on a lifelong journey into country music.

7. Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie was raised and adopted by Lionel Richie and his wife when she was nine years old. As a young child, her parents’ relationship was in trouble, so Lionel and his wife offered to take care of Nicole until her biological parents could settle things. Time passed, and she ended up becoming their adopted daughter.

8. Nelson Mandela

When he was twelve years old, Nelson’s father died of lung disease. He was adopted by a high-ranking leader of the Thembu people, Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo. He left his small village and lived in the capital city with his new family, where he was groomed to become a leader of his people.

9. Lana Condor

Well-known actress Lana Condor was adopted from Vietnam when she was four months old. Today she’s an advocate for adoption and uses her platform to talk about it. Lana believes it’s important to not tiptoe around adoption but to speak freely about it to help break its stigma. She wants other girls who were adopted to watch her journey and know you can be just as successful as she is. She encourages adoptees to celebrate their adoption.

10. Snooki

Snooki, best known for her reality television role, was six months old when she was adopted from Chile by her adoptive parents. She hopes to meet her biological parents someday but says that her adoptive parents are her real family. Snooki feels blessed to have had such an amazing life with her adoptive family’s love and support.
Whether a child is adopted from birth or as an older child, they will understand they were placed for adoption out of love. Studies have found that adopted kids are more likely to thrive in environments where the adoptive parents display warmth, sensitivity, and responsiveness. Although adoption is no predictor of celebrity success, a child who grows up in a warm, loving home environment can grow into happy, productive adults.

Heidi Keefer
Written by Heidi Keefer

Heidi Keefer is a Content Creator for Lifetime Adoption and has 15 years of experience in the field of adoption. An author of thousands of blog posts over the years, Heidi enjoys finding new ways to educate and captivate Lifetime’s ever-growing list of subscribers.

Heidi has a keen eye for misplaced apostrophes, comma splices, and well-turned sentences, which she has put to good use as a contributor to Lifetime’s award-winning blogs. She has written and published hundreds of adoption articles which explore the various facets of domestic infant adoption today.