17 Adopted Celebrities Share Their Stories – TODAY

There are many ways to form a family, and there’s no better time to celebrate that than November’s National Adoption Month.

From Olympic athletes to Oscar-winning actors to Here are 17 adopted celebrities who have talked about their own stories.

Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth spoke with Hoda and Jenna about her adoption, which she said was never a surprise. Her parents were always open about her history.

“My dad always says ‘Man, did we win the lottery’ and I always say ‘No, I won the lottery,’” Chenoweth said.

Faith Hill

Faith Hill shared that she had a “yearning” to meet her biological parents.Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for WarnerMedia

Faith Hill was adopted as an infant. She was able to find her biological mother and brother when she was in her 20s.

“I have a lot of respect for my birth mother and no feelings of anger or any of that,” Hill told Good Housekeeping in 2007. “I know she must have had a lot of love for me to want to give me what she felt was a better chance.”

Ray Liotta

Ray Liotta was adopted as an infant and raised in Union, New Jersey. He told Sunday TODAY’s Willie Geist the story of how his mother passed away while he was filming “Goodfellas.”

Jamie Foxx

Jamie Foxx was adopted by his grandparents, according to USA Today. In his book, “Act Like You Got Some Sense: And Other Things My Daughters Taught Me,” Foxx wrote about how his biological parents haven’t been there for him, which may be why he places so much importance on being a dad himself.

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi

Nicole “Snooki” Polizzi was adopted from Santiago, Chile, when she was 6 months old. She always knew she was adopted, but her parents were reluctant to give her information about her biological family. She finally discovered the truth as an adult: Her birth parents had other children and couldn’t afford to raise her.

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs‘ biological parents were young and unmarried when he was born, so he was adopted by Paul Jobs and Clara Hagopian. Abdulfattah John Jandali and Joanne Simpson eventually got married and had a daughter, but they divorced when she was 4 years old. Jobs was close to his biological sister, and he was in touch with his biological mother, but he never reached out to his father, Jandali confirmed in an interview with the New York Post in 2011.

“I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t sadden me to have not been part of my son’s incredible journey,” he said. “What father wouldn’t think that? And I would think that even if he was not the head of a hugely successful company.”

Keegan-Michael Key

Keegan-Michael Key says that adoption has influenced his comedy.Theo Wargo / WireImage

In 2021, Keegan-Michael Key talked about his adoption with The New York Times, explaining, “I’m adopted; so to say that I spent a lot of time trying to get my parents’ approval is kind of an understatement. I’ve been acting since I was born, you know what I mean? I’ve been putting my tap shoes on for people’s approval for a long time.”

Nicole Richie

Nicole Richie’s father, Lionel Richie, first saw her onstage with Prince when she was just 2 years old. Lionel knew Nicole’s biological parents, and when they experienced financial hardship, he and his first wife began caring for Nicole. They officially adopted her when she was 9.

Debbie Harry

Debbie Harry said she confronted a fear of abandonment in her memoir.Nina Westervelt / WWD via Getty Images

Blondie standout Debbie Harry was adopted as a baby and raised in a small town in New Jersey, she confirmed to The Guardian: “I guess somewhere in my subconscious, a scene was playing on a loop of a parent leaving me somewhere and never coming back.”

Lana Condor

Lana Condor was adopted from Vietnam and returned as an adult.Stefanie Keenan / Getty Images for WIF

Lana Condor of the Netflix franchise “To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before,” discussed her adoption on “Live with Kelly and Ryan.” She and her brother were adopted by an American family at a very young age. As part of an initiative with the Obama family, Condor was able to visit the Vietnamese orphanage she came from as an adult.

Simone Biles

When she was a toddler, Simone Biles was placed in foster care along with her three siblings because her mother could no longer care for them. Eventually, her mother’s parents adopted her and her younger sister. The older siblings were adopted by their father’s sister.

“I feel like I wouldn’t be where I am unless that turning point happened,” she said in her Facebook Watch series.

JC Chasez

The *NSYNC member was adopted as a child.Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic

JC Chasez spoke to E! about the fact that he was adopted when he was 5 years old. The couple who fostered his biological mother took him in at her request.

Melissa Gilbert

Melissa Gilbert wrote about her adoption in her memoir.Valery Hache / AFP via Getty Images

Melissa Gilbert was adopted when she was just one day old by a well-known Hollywood family. In her memoir, “Prairie Tale,” she wrote that she had received differing accounts of her arrival from her adopted mother and never knew the full story.

Liz Phair

Liz Phair shared that she and her brother “always knew” they were adopted.Steve Jennings / Getty Images

“I don’t think you can be adopted without being a little bit screwed up,” Liz Phair told Women’s Health in 2006. She described her adopted parents as being “perfect” about raising Phair and a brother that was adopted from a different family.

Colin Kaepernick

Colin Kaepernick has been open about the dynamics of interracial adoption.Kym Illman / Getty Images

Former NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick has shared criticism of the white parents who adopted him at 6 weeks old. On VH1’s “Dear Mama,” Kaepernick said, “You have a family that you love but you know you don’t look like” and described the process of trying to understand one another as “a constant journey … but we’ve been very loving in the process.”

Frances McDormand

Frances McDormand was adopted and adopted a child herself.Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

Frances McDormand was the ninth child to be taken in by a religious couple who could not have children of their own; she was one of three children that they officially adopted, according to a 2017 interview in The New York Times Magazine. As a teen, she was offered the chance to meet her birth mother but declined.

George Lopez

“This women never left me when others abandoned me,” George Lopez wrote of his grandmother.Tim Mosenfelder / Getty Images

George Lopez was raised by his grandmother, Benita Torres Gutierrez. He posted a Facebook tribute to her in 2018: “Thru abusive relationships and thru turbulent relationships with her biological children this women never left me when others abandoned me. Our relationship was never one you would consider functional but when I needed her she was there.”

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Ava Grey

Hi there! I'm Ava Grey, an enthusiastic article writer with a passion for the arts, fashion, and staying informed about current events. As a journalism student at the New York Academy of Art, I'm driven to use my writing to create positive change and spark meaningful conversations. I'm particularly interested in contemporary art and sustainable fashion, and I love exploring how people use these mediums to express themselves and communicate their values. I believe that staying informed and hearing different perspectives is essential for personal growth and learning, and I'm always eager to engage in lively debates and discussions.

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