Adopted Children Have Accomplished “Siblings”

There are many ways to create community. Parents who adopt children
often struggle with teaching them about their roots, which can be
hard to define. There are a number of ways adoptive parents already
bring their child(ren)’s roots into their family lives. Parents of
one race who adopt a child of another might ask friends of their
children’s race to serve as godparents. Adoptive parents of one
religion might expose their adopted child, whose racial/ethnic or
cultural background is closely associated with another, to the
religion he or she “came from”. Families who adopt children from
another country might regularly make trips to that country,
establish ties with local families, providing their adopted child
with “cultural” brothers and sisters.

Here’s a fun way to expand on the notion of community and roots for
your adopted child(ren), if discussing adoption is already a part
of your family life. Below is a list of “famous” or accomplished
adopted children. The list is not meant to assume anything negative
about the experience of being an adopted child (in other words,
that adopted children are disadvantaged and therefore particularly
special when they “succeed”). Rather, this list is meant for those
children who might be struggling with their identity as an adopted
child, and who may find it heartening or inspiring that other
adopted children have grown up to do so much.

All children are precious, special individuals. Let’s celebrate the
accomplishments of some and the promise of still more to come!

*If your family includes adopted children and you’ve struggled with
the issues of roots and community, leave a comment sharing ways
your family has addressed these concerns. The more you share, the
more we learn.


Alexander the Great – King of Macedonia, 356-323 B.C.
Anthony Williams – politician
Aristotle – philosopher
Art Linkletter – comedian
Bo Diddley – musician, performer
Brent Jasmer – actor
Buffy Sainte-Marie – musician, actress
Carl Theodor Dreyer – Danish film director
Charles Dickens – writer
Charlotte Anne Lopez – Miss Teen USA
Christina Crawford – author
Clarissa Pinkola Estes – author
Crazy Horse – Lakota war chief
Dan O’Brien – decathlete
Daunte Culpepper – football player
Dave Thomas – entrepreneur, founder of Wendy’s
Debbi Harry – singer
Edgar Allen Poe – poet, writer
Edward Albee – playwright
Eleanor Roosevelt – First Lady
Eric Dickerson – athlete
Faith Daniels – news anchor
Faith Hill – country singer
Freddie Bartholomew – actor
Gary Coleman – actor
George Washington Carver – inventor
Greg Louganis – diver
Halle Berry – actress
Ingrid Bergman – actress
James McArthur – actor
James Michener – author
Jean Jacques Rousseau – philosopher
Jesse Jackson – minister
Jett Williams – country singer and author
Jim Palmer – athlete
John J. Audubon – naturalist
John Lennon – musician
Langston Hughes – poet and writer
Larry Ellison – entrepreneur: chief executive of Oracle
Leo Tolstoy – writer
Les Brown – motivational speaker
Louisa May Alcott – writer
Lynnette Cole – Miss USA 2000
Malcolm X – civil rights leader
Marilyn Monroe – actress
Mark Acre – athlete
Mark Twain – writer
Matthew Laborteaux – actor
Melissa Gilbert – actress
Nancy Reagan – First Lady
Nat King Cole – singer
Nelson Mandela – politician
Patrick Laborteaux – actor
Peter and Kitty Carruthers – figure skaters
President Gerald Ford – politician
President William Clinton – politician
Priscilla Presley – actress
Ray Liotta – actor
Reno – performance artist, comedian
Rep. Jim Lightfoot – politician
Richard Burton – actor
Sara Gilbert – actress
Sarah McLachlan – singer
Scott Hamilton – figure skater
Sen. Paull H. Shin – politician
Sen. Robert Byrd – politician
Shari Belafonte-Harper – actress
Steve Jobs – entrepreneur, co-founder of Apple computer
Surya Bonaly – figure skater
Tim Green – football player/commentator
Tom Monaghan – entrepreneur
Tommy Davidson – comedian
Victoria Rowell – actress
Wilson Riles – educator

*This list was forwarded to Family Pride by a member family. The
original list hails from
Family Pride cannot claim 100% accuracy for this list.