Did you know these celebrities were adopted?

Hands up if you enjoy finding out random facts about famous people? Me too, me too.

Unfortunately, in my experience, celebrity factoids are not terribly useful in day-to-day life (except during pub trivia nights), but they're a nice reminder that Hollywood stars, politicians and brilliant thinkers are people just like us, with histories and quirks of their own. 

Knowing that Marilyn Monroe, Nelson Mandela and John Lennon were raised by people other than their parents won't get you a pay rise, but it's worth storing this article in your mental files just in case you find yourself on Millionaire Hot Seat one day.

(NB: If this does in fact happen, and a question about adopted celebrities sees you winning millions, the iVillage team humbly requests a cut of your fortune. Thank you.)

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Marilyn Monroe

Marilyn Monroe, born Norma Jean Mortenson, went to live with a family friend at age 11, having lived in at least nine foster homesduring her childhood. Marilyn's biological mother, Gladys Baker, was psychologically unstable and was eventually committed to an institution in Norwalk. 

John Lennon

The iconic musician's parents separated when he was 3 years old. His father disappeared while on a naval ship, and his mother allowed him to be raised by his Aunt and Uncle from age 5. While Lennon's mum had interactions with her son, she never raised him full-time. It is believed she was unable to care for him. 

Nelson Mandela

The former South African President was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people, following his father's death. Mandela was 9 years old at the time. 


Kristin Chenoweth

The Broadway star and TV actress was adopted when she was five days old, by an Oklahoma couple. 

Sarah McLachlan

Singer-songwriter Sarah McLaughlin was adopted by a couple soon after her birth, and has two adopted brothers. She found out she was adopted when she was 9, and later met her biological mother. 

Steve Jobs

The Apple cofounder was born to Abdulfattah Jandali, a Syrian Muslim, and his girlfriend Joanne Schieble. Schieble's parents objected to their mixed relationship, which forced them to give their son up for adoption at birth. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs and grew up in California, eventually tracking his family history and developing a close relationship with his biological sister, Mona. 

Bill Clinton

The former US President was born to a widowed mother, three months after his father died in a car accident. He was sent to live with his grandparents in Arkansas as a child. Clinton is the second US President to have been adopted – Gerald Ford was the first. 

Faith Hill

The US country singer, born Audrey Faith Perry, was adopted in Mississippi at one week of age, by a couple with two biological sons. She met her birth mother in 1993 and discovered her parents had been unwed at the time of her adoption.

Jamie Foxx

When he was 7 months old, Foxx's parents divorced and he was adopted by his mother's parents. The Django Uncained star has been an advocate for adoption, often speaking publicly on the topic. Foxx's mother was also adopted.