Famous Adopted People

It’s important for our kids to know that adoption is a normal way to form a family and that plenty of people have been adopted. Families have been formed by adoption since the beginning of time. Alexander the Great was adopted, as was Moses. The trick is getting this information to our kids without is seeming like a history lesson.

When my kids were younger, and I still have some semblance of control over their reading material, we would have a family reading program every summer. We’d go to the library every Thursday and each had to choose one book from the biography section, one book from the science section, and then two books from whatever section they wanted.

I did this for a couple of reasons:

  • Encourage the reading of biographies and non-fiction for pleasure.
  • Provide topics to discuss over dinner (I was always on the lookout for good dinner table conversation to offset the tendency of my family to degenerate into inappropriate humor.)
  • Subtle way to work in biographies of famous adoptees.

Another idea to introduce famous adopted people to your children is to incorporate these biographies into your family nighttime reading. You don’t have to make a big deal out of their adopted status; your child will likely pick up on that point on their own.

Famous Adoptees

Although not all the following were adopted by strangers, they all were touched by adoption or raised by someone other than their biological parents.

  • Steve Jobs – CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios
  • Jamie Foxx – actor
  • Kristin Chenoweth – actress and singer
  • Faith Hill – singer
  • Daunte Culpepper – professional football player
  • Steve McQueen – actor
  • Rachel Crow – singer, comedienne, and actress
  • Melissa Gilbert – actress
  • Tallulah Bankhead – actress
  • Michael Reagan- talk show host & son of President Ronald Regan
  • Ella Fitzgerald – singer
  • Eartha Kitt – singer
  • Sarah McLachlan – singer
  • Buffy Sainte-Marie – musician
  • Edward Albee- playwright
  • Lucy Maud Montgomery – author
  • Maya Angelou – author
  • Langston Hughes – author
  • James Michener – author
  • Edgar Allen Poe – author
  • Leo Tolstoy – author
  • Toby Dawson – skier
  • Surya Bonaly – figure skater
  • Peter and Kitty Carruthers – figure skaters
  • Scott Hamilton – figure skater
  • Greg Louganis – diver
  • Dan O’Brien – decathlete
  • Jim Palmer – baseball player
  • Larry Ellison – chairman and CEO of Oracle Corporation
  • Tom Monaghan – founder and CEO of Domino’s Pizza
  • Dave Thomas – founder of Wendy’s International
  • John J. Audubon – naturalist
  • Les Brown – motivational speaker
  • George Washington Carver – inventor
  • Lynnette Cole – Miss USA 2000
  • Faith Daniels – news anchor

Who have I left off?? What other ideas to do you for sharing this information with your kids?