We see heartwarming stories every now and then of celebrities who have chosen to adopt, but it's not often we get a peek into the childhoods of stars.
Some of these famous people were taken on by family members, and some were taken on by complete strangers; some at birth and some as young children.
Here are 10 people who went on to conquer stardom after being adopted:
Steve Jobs’ biological father, who was a Syrian refugee, met his biological mother while he was serving as a teaching assistant in Wisconsin. They gave Steve Jobs up for adoption the year he was born, 1955. He was adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs, who were unable to have children.
Marilyn Monroe spent much of her childhood in foster homes after her mother suffered a nervous breakdown and Marilyn was declared a ward of the state. Her biological mother’s best friend became her legal guardian, but that only lasted until Marilyn was 16. To prevent herself from having to return to foster care or an orphanage, she married their neighbor, James Dougherty, at the age of 16.
After his father went AWOL while on a naval ship, John Lennon’s mother ran off and left John to be raised by his maternal aunt and uncle in Liverpool, England.
At the age of 9, shortly after his biological father’s death, Nelson Mandela was adopted and raised by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people, and his wife.
Jamie Foxx, who was born Eric Bishop, was adopted by his maternal grandparents when he was just 7 months old. It happened after the marriage of his young biological mother, who was also adopted, and his young biological father, failed. Foxx has said that he had a very rigid upbringing, and he participated in Boy Scouts, the church choir and played as quarterback of his high school football team.
Nicole Richie’s biological mother, a backstage assistant for Lionel Richie, and her biological father, allowed Nicole to move in with Lionel and his then-wife Brenda when she was 3 for financial reasons. Lionel and Brenda Richie officially adopted Nicole when she was 9.
Ray Liotta was adopted at the age of 6 months and didn’t meet his biological parents and siblings until he was in his 40s.
George Lopez was reportedly first abandoned by his father when he was 2 months old, then by his mother when he was 10. His maternal grandmother and her husband ended up raising him in Los Angeles.
Faith Hill was adopted when she was just a few days old and raised by Ted and Edna Perry in Star, Mississippi. She was the only adopted child in her family and was aware of it. She met and formed a good relationship with her biological mother later in life.
The former *NSYNC band member was adopted by his biological mother’s former foster parents. His biological mother handed JC over to Roy and Karen Chasez when he was 5, in hopes they could give him a better education and stable home life.