They Found Love In A Better Place: Celebrities Who Were Adopted
We’ve all heard and read about the number of celebrities who have adopted their children from across the United States and beyond, including Viola Davis, Sandra Bullock, Angelina Jolie, and Charlize Theron, but what about celebrities who themselves were adopted? Here are 14 celebrities who were adopted and have gone on to find plenty of success and love.
Jamie Foxx, born in Terrell, Texas as Eric Marlon Bishop, was adopted soon after he was born. His mother’s adoptive parents, Esther Marie and Mark Talley, adopted him and his biological parents were not part of his childhood. Today Jamie is a huge proponent of adoption and urges people to adopt closer to home instead of adopting children from other countries.
Eartha Kitt was conceived after her mother had been raped and for years was unaware of who her real mother was. After being shunned by her family because of her light complexion, a woman named Anna Mae Riley took her in and took care of her until her death. When Ms. Riley died, Eartha was sent to New York to live with Mamie Kitt, who Eartha did not know was in fact her biological mother.
In 1969, Gary Coleman was born in Zion, Illinois to a homeless woman. Shortly after he was born, Gary was adopted by Edmonia Sue and W.G. Coleman who worked as a nurse and a fork lift operator. Sadly the relationship wasn’t perfect and in 1989 Gary sued his adoptive parents for $3.8 million for misappropriation of funds and won a partial amount of this money back. Rifts within the relationship continued until his death in 2010.
Country music star Faith Hill was adopted during infancy after she was born in Star, Mississippi. Faith was adopted by Ted and Edna Perry who, at the time, were looking to add a new family member to their existing family. While growing up Faith had always wanted to connect with her birth parents and in the early 1980s she was able to meet her biological mom, father, and brother. The meeting provided closure for her but also brought to light a failing marriage. She has since gone on to win five Grammy Awards.
Born as Darryl McDaniels, the hip-hop mogul better known as Run DMC was adopted when he was only 3-months-old. His mother, who was a teenager when she gave birth, decided that giving him up for adoption was the best option for her and her child. Byford and Banna McDaniels became his adoptive parents and Run DMC wasn’t aware of his birth mother until he turned 35. In 2006, VH1 released a documentary entitled DMC: My Adoption Journey which gave an insight to Run DMC’s journey to finding his biological mother.
Daunte Culpepper was born in January 1977 to Barbara Henderson, a single mom who was serving time in jail for armed robbery. Just one day after he was born, Daunte was adopted by Emma Lewis Culpepper, who worked at the jail where his mother was serving time. During his childhood he lived in Ocala, Florida and found plenty of success with high school football and beyond.
Snooki, also known as Nicole Polizzi, was born in Santiago, Chile in November 1987. When she was six months old, she was given up for adoption and raised by Italian American parents who lived in upstate New York at the time. Snooki says that she has no interest in finding out about her biological parents but loves them all the same.
Rarely do we hear about Presidents having been adopted. In fact, Bill Clinton stands as only the second U.S. President who has been adopted, aside from Gerald Ford. Bill was born to a mother who was widowed after his father died in a car accident three months before his birth and was sent to live with his grandparents in Hope, Arkansas.
Reverend Jesse Jackson
Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, South Carolina to a mother who was 16 years old and a father who was 33 and married. One year after he was born, Jesse’s mother married Charles Jackson, a post-office worker, who officially adopted Jesse as his own son. Even after being adopted, Jesse maintained a relationship with his biological father and family. Jesse says that during his youth he had a father surplus opposed to a deficit.
Bo Diddley was born in McComb, Mississippi with the name Ellas Otha Bates. He, along with three of his cousins, was adopted by his mother’s cousin, Gussie McDaniel. His family was made up of poor sharecroppers who eventually moved to Chicago in the 1930s. Bo Diddley was raised as Ellas McDaniel and in his teenage years he found his love for guitar.
Allan “apl.de.ap” Pineda Lindo Jr.
Allan Pineda Lindo Jr., better known as Black Eyed Peas member “apl.de.ap,” was born in the Philippines. Though he lived most of his early life in the country, he was given up for adoption when he was 14 through the help of a program known as the Pearl S. Buck Foundation. After coming to the U.S. to meet Joe Ben Hudgens, his adopted father, he was sincerely interested in staying in the U.S. Soon after he permanently moved to Los Angeles.
Sarah McLachlan was born in 1968 in Nova Scotia, Canada. Shortly after her birth she was adopted by Jack and Dorice McLachlan, an American couple who already had two adopted sons. When she was 9 Sarah found out that she was adopted but to her it wasn’t a big deal. She eventually met her biological mom, who she learned was only 19 when she gave birth to Sarah.
Back in February 1955, Steve Jobs, who was then known as Steven Paul, was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs after his unmarried parents gave birth to him. After being adopted Steve grew up in Los Altos, California. Once he was old enough, Steve retraced his family history and discovered that his parents married after giving him up for adoption and had a daughter named Mona, who is his biological sister.
Tommy Davidson was born in Washington, D.C. in 1963. When he was 2-years-old, he was adopted by a Caucasian family. Though his living situation was definitely different and a bit weird, Tommy knew and accepted his adoptive parents as family. Despite his different upbringing, Tommy has gone on to become a successful comedian.