While the current status of celebrities is often in the headlines on a daily basis, you don’t always know what went on in the years before they were famous or the people they grew up with.
For these stars, they weren’t actually raised by their biological parents. Sometimes a family member adopted them, and other times it was a family that found them through the system.
From a computer genius to an iconic screen siren, here’s a list of the stars whofound family in unexpected ways.
Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, Monroes mother was mentally unstable and financially unable to care for her, so she placed her with foster parents whom she lived with until she was 7. After a series of foster homes, she eventually married a neighbor, James Dougherty, after she turned 16 so that she wouldn’t have to return to foster care or an orphanage.
When he was just seven months old, the Oscar winner was adopted by his maternal grandmother.
At age nine, she was officially adopted by singer Lionel Richie and his then-wife Brenda after her biological parents(who toured briefly with Lionel Richie)became unable to financially care for her.
At the age of nine, the late politician and peace activist was adopted and raised by a tribe chief and his wife shortly after his biological father’s death.
Nicole Snookie Polizzi
At 6 months old, the former Jersey Shore star was adopted by Italian-American parents and raised in New York and New Jersey.
After his father went absent without leave in the military and his mother ran off with another man, this legendary Beatle was raised by his aunt and uncle in Liverpool, England.
Before he was the technology icon we all know, the late Apple CEO was given up at birth in 1955 and quickly adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, a San Francisco couple who were unable to have children.
The country superstar was adopted as an infant in rural Mississippi and started searching for her birth mother when she moved to Nashville, saying, I have a lot of respect for my birth mother. I know she must have had a lot of love for me to want to give what she felt was a better chance.”
The former NSYNC member was born in 1976, and officially adopted at age 5 by his biological mothers former foster parents in hope they could provide him a stable home life.
This rocker was raised by her adoptive parents, Nancy, a historian at the Art Institute of Chicago, and John, an AIDS researcher at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.
Along with his sisters, this legendary slugger was sent to orphanages at the age of seven, winding up at the St. Marys Industrial School for Boys where he eventually learned to play baseball.
When he was 8, the rapper and Law & Order: SVU stars mother passed away from a heart attack, and just four years later, his father died the same way. He was then adopted and raised by his aunts.
Soon after her birth, the Canadian-born Sarah McLachlan was adopted by an American couple.
Clinton was born to a widowed mother and was sent to live with his grandparents as a child. He is only the second president in U.S. history to have been adopted. The other one? Gerald Ford.
At only five days old, the Tony Award-winning singer and actress was adopted by an Oklahoma couple.
Lopez was adopted by his maternal grandmother and her husband after his father deserted their family when George was two months old, and then he was later abandoned by his mother at age 10.
One day after she was born, she was adopted by actor and comedian Paul Gilbert and his wife, actress Barbara Crane.
This Goodfellas star was adopted at six months old, and he didnt meet his birth parents and siblings until he was in his 40s.
The Fargo actress was born in Chicago, and then adopted by a Canadian-born couple with a pastor for her adoptive father. She has since said that her biological mother may have been one of the parishioners at his church.
The founder of Wendys was adopted at six weeks old and went on to create the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption.
I’m sure their parents are very proud!