As an adoptee, you’ve always felt different. Out of place somehow. Most days, you feel as if nobody can relate to you or your situation. But did you know that roughly 7 million Americans are adopted, and nearly 100 million Americans have adoption in their immediate family? Adoption is more common than you might think!

In fact, there are several adopted celebrities and historical figures. Just like you, they grew up with non-biological parents. They embraced their upbringing and went on to do interesting, extraordinary and noteworthy things. You can, too!

Eleanor Roosevelt 

By age 15, Roosevelt was a double orphan. Her mother died in 1882. Her father died two years later. Soon after, Eleanor’s maternal grandmother, Mary Livingston Ludlow, adopted Eleanor. She then grew up to be the longest-serving First Lady of the United States, as well as a United States Delegate to the United Nations General Assembly.

Babe RuthAdopted Celebrities and Historical Figures

Ruth and his sister were sent to an orphanage at a young age. It was there that he met Brother Matthias, who taught and encouraged him to play baseball. After a talent scout became Ruth’s legal guardian, Ruth spent 22 record-breaking seasons playing baseball. He eventually became one of America’s greatest baseball players, as well as an adoptive dad.

Dave Thomas

Born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Thomas was adopted at 6 weeks old. At age 5, when his adoptive mother died, he moved in with his grandmother. Thomas grew up to become the founder and CEO of the Wendy’s restaurant chain, where he used his platform to advocate often and generously for adoption. He also started the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.

Nelson Mandela

Following his father’s death, the late Nobel Peace Prize winner and activist, was adopted at the age of 9 by the Chief of the Thembu people. Mandela then grew up to be the President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the first to be elected in a fully representative democratic election. He is known as a revolutionary, a politician, and a philanthropist.

John Lennon

Lennon’s father went AWOL in the military, and his mother became ill-equipped. From the time he was five years old, the Beatles’ singer and guitarist was raised by his maternal aunt and uncle in Liverpool, England. Lennon also had a maternal half-sister who was adopted out to a different family. She didn’t learn of her relation to Lennon until the late 90s.

Adopted Celebrities and Historical Figures

Simone Biles 

After spending time in and out of foster care, Biles was adopted by her grandparents who helped her pursue her dream to reach the Olympics. An American gymnast, Biles became the 2016 Olympic individual all-around, vault, and floor gold medalist. As an integral part of the “Final Five,” she became the most decorated American gymnast with nineteen Olympic and World Championship medals.

Adopted Celebrities and You

While you feel outcast now, it won’t always be that way. Adoption Choices of Colorado wants you to know that, like the adopted celebrities and historical figures listed above, there are many more! At one point, they all felt the way that you do now. It won’t last forever.

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption please contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or phone 303-670-4401.

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Patience BramlettPatience Bramlett, a University of Southern Mississippi news editorial graduate, is a seasoned and award-winning freelance writer. She is also a passionate reader, whose only wish is to live life without fear of the unknown. Her motivation and inspiration to live her best life stems from the words of John Lennon:

“When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down ‘happy.’ They told me I didn’t understand the assignment, and I told them they didn’t understand life.”

This year, she’s joining Adoption Choices Inc. as an Editorial Intern. Fueled by her love of family, she hopes to educate those looking to grow their families through adoption.

When Patience is not exploring Colorado with her husband, she’s drinking coffee, forever figuring out how to tame her hair, growing her library, and trying to break into the publishing career.




“Adoption Statistics.” Adoption Network, Adoption Network Law Center – Safer Than Adoption Agencies,

Althouse, Spencer. “23 Famous People You Didn’t Know Were Adopted.” BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed, 17 Jan. 2013,

“Famous People Who Are Adopted.” Celebrities and Famous People Who Are Adopted,

Robertson, Rachel. “Did You Know? Celebrities Who Were Adopted as Infants.” Adoption Choices of Colorado, 5 Apr. 2019,

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