10 celebrities who grew up in Foster Care


Did you know, there are many unknown celebrity foster care stories of well-known media icons?

With the likes of Cher, Marilyn Monroe and Seal being celebrities who grew up in foster care, it’s amazing to see so many famous faces who have been so successful in their lives come through the foster care system.

In this list, we’ve collated together a list of 10 famous people who were in foster care growing up. Some of these stories highlight some sad experiences of much-loved celebrities, but it just goes to show how powerful the foster care system can be in nurturing children and young people and providing them with a secure environment from which to grow.

Celebrity foster care

1. Marilyn Monroe

Tackling many obstacles to achieve fame, Marilyn Monroe is arguably one of the most famous people in foster care. Her childhood started out living with her mother, a single parent, battling against the judgements of having a child outside of marriage. Life was a struggle, her mother declared legally insane and Marilyn was sent to an orphanage for two years. After that, she then lived with a family friend for four years. Marilyn never knew her father and spent years after this longing to meet him.

2. Samantha Morton

BAFTA lifetime award-winning actress Samantha Morton, dedicated her win to children in foster care, after growing up in foster care herself. The actress spend 10 years in foster care and credited Ken Loach's Kes for inspiring her acting career, showing that representation matters. 

3. Seal

Born to a Brazilian father and Nigerian mother, Seal’s life began by being immediately placed with a foster family in Essex. He spent the first four years of life with his foster family, and then returned to the care of his biological parents – although his father was very strict and often physically abusive. Going on to sell over 30 million albums worldwide and winning three Brit Awards, Seal’s life significantly improved after having begun life as a child in foster care.

4. John Lennon

Born in an era of air raids, frightening bombings and blackouts of the Second World War, John Lennon’s early life was filled with uncertainty. His father was away at sea and wasn’t introduced to John until he was 18 months old. John’s parents divorced and his mother, Julia, struggled to cope with the impact that the divorce had on John’s behaviour. When his mother began dating someone new, John was expelled from nursery for bad behaviour. Later, John’s Aunt Mimi and her husband fostered him. He grew up living with his relatives while regularly visiting his mother.

5. Neil Morrisey

Neil’s foster care story is a little different. The successful British actor has never been shy to talk about his experiences in foster care, and he stated that it was never fully explained why he (aged 10) and his brother (aged 12) had been taken from their parents, and their two older siblings, and separated into two different children’s homes. However, in his BBC documentary, Neil Morrissey – Care Home Kid, he discovered it was due to the unclean, neglecting household they had grown up in – resulting in their parents regularly leaving them unsupervised.

6. Eddie Murphy

Albeit a shorter experience, Eddie Murphy is also one of the celebrities who grew up in foster care. Aged 3 Eddie’s parents went through a divorce. Five years later, Eddie learned his father had died, and his mother struggled financially which led her to be hospitalised for a long period of time. During this period, Eddie and his brother were taken into the foster care system for around a year. However, Eddie has been vocal about his experience in foster care and how it helped him to mould his sense of humour. He says he now has the ability to laugh about any situation.

7. Coco Chanel

At the age of 12, Gabrielle Bonheur – also known as Coco Chanel – suffered the loss of her mother and was then sent alongside her sister to live in an orphanage. This foster care facility was run by the Congregation of the Sacred Heart of Mary – founded to care for the poor and rejected. However, going on to become one of the most well-known fashion icons of the 20th century, she managed to escape the sadness of her childhood and move forward to a successful future.

8. Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs was also a celebrity who grew up in the foster care system for a part of his life. Steve’s biological parents were unmarried when his mother fell pregnant, but as his father was a Muslim immigrant from Syria, her parents would not initially allow her to marry. His mother gave birth to him in San Francisco and he was later adopted by Paul and Clara Jobs – meaning that Steve’s early life involved foster care before his parents adopted him.

9. Cher

The beginning of Cher’s life didn’t have the easiest of starts, either. Her mother, Georgia, divorced her father while she was pregnant with Cher, but made her way through life by occasionally singing gigs and taking small movie roles – meaning her life with her mother was financially difficult. When Cher was two years old, Georgia was overcome with illness, resulting in her needing to put Cher in foster care. After staying there for a period of time, she moved back in with her mother with support from her grandmother.

10. Barry Keoghan

Saltburn and Banshees of Inisherin star Barry Keoghan spent seven years in the foster care system passing through 13 foster homes before entering the care of his maternal Grandmother.

After leaving school at 16, Keoghan saw an advert in a shop window inviting young actors to join a new film project following a role 3 years later, followed by a TV career in Ireland before catching the attention of directors Christopher Nolan, and Yorgos Lanthimos.

With so many famous people having grown up in foster care, it proves how successful the system has been in providing support to children who need it. With the right foster family, children are given the opportunity to achieve what they want to in life. Are you interested in fostering? From learning about the foster care requirements to how much foster parents get paid, get in touch with a member of our expert team today for more information.

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