Adoption is every abandoned child’s saving grace. It’s what gives them a chance to start and experience a new life that was never given to them by their birth parents. Being an adoptee may sound miserable, but it doesn’t mean they have to spend their entire life filled with grief and pity.
Also, did you know there are several Asian celebrities who are adoptees? Some of the celebrities consist of K-pop idols, Hollywood actresses, a male model, a TikTok star, and two children adopted by veteran celebrity parents. With a huge list of white or non-Asian adopted stars all over the internet, here is a list of Asian celebrities who are adoptees.
When he was 3 years old, former TVXQ (동방신기) idol Jaejoong (재중) was adopted without any knowledge of having different biological parents. In a magazine interview, his real mother stated she had no other choice but to give him up for adoption. Because his mother couldn’t properly take care of him, an acquaintance of hers suggested setting him up for adoption. The acquaintance also had an older brother who is raising eight daughters and was perfect for raising Jaejoong.
Furthermore, the idol’s mother was well aware of her son’s musical career in TVXQ and wanted Jaejoong to reach out to her. At one point, his adoption caused some trouble when he was enlisting for military service due to the idol having two sets of parents. Luckily, when they were embroiled in a court case, it remained peaceful as Jaejoong’s birth mother and adoptive parents had to prove their parentage rights. As of now, Jaejoong only wants his biological and adoptive families to understand and love each other.
2. Lana Condor
“To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” star Lana Condor revealed that she was born in Vietnam. The actress also revealed that she was adopted by an Irish lady and a Hungarian man before moving to America. Additionally, Condor expressed how her personal experience felt relatable to her character Lara Jean’s mixed heritage. The 23-year-old grew up in a mixed household as she and her brother are both Asian whereas their parents are Caucasian (white).
Condor also mentioned how she was told that she couldn’t relate to the Asian-American experience due to her parents being white and called these claims a misconception. Nevertheless, her parents also attempted to introduce her to Vietnamese culture and food, just like how her character’s father in “To All the Boys: P.S. I Still Love You” helped his daughters to connect with their Korean heritage. It may have been challenging for the young actress as she couldn’t eat meat. At the very least, Condor appreciated her parents’ effort in helping her stay connected to her Vietnamese heritage.
3. Kevin Kreider
Netflix reality TV series “Bling Empire” involves a group of rich Asians in Los Angeles. One of the members is fitness model Kevin Kreider and his storyline revolves around his biological parents and his journey to search for them. Throughout the show, Kreider has revealed that he was born in Seoul, South Korea. When he was young, he moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania after being adopted by a white family. Unfortunately, Kreider hardly knew anything about his real parents.
In the show, the model took a DNA test only to discover that he’s mixed with Korean and Japanese heritage. Kreider also found out that his biological parents sent him to his grandfather who later gave him up for adoption. He would meet a regression therapist later in the season and experienced a very emotional moment when Kreider broke down in tears upon recalling his mother’s fear and refusal of getting pregnant. He may have not gathered any solid information regarding his biological parents, but the session did give him some sense of closure about the decisions they made.
4. Jenna Ushkowitz
Former “Glee” star Jenna Ushkowitz was born in Seoul. When she was three months old, she was adopted by a family from New York and currently doesn’t have any interest in meeting her birth parents at all. In a telephone interview, Ushkowitz stated that she didn’t have any questions regarding her biological parents because she felt more attached to her adopted family.
The 34-year-old exclaimed that her current family is her real family. Although, she did express interest in seeing where she actually came from, the “Glee” actress is content with where she’s at in life and career. She credits it to her involvement in theatre and TV from a young age, which helped her adapt to various cast and crew.
BAE173 (비에이이173) and former X1 (엑스원) member Hangyul (한결) revealed that he was abandoned by his birth parents while participating in “The Unit” (더유닛). He was sent to an orphanage where he would spend seven years of his childhood days. Fortunately, one of the social workers at the orphanage grew attached to the idol and decided to adopt him when he was in first grade.
Hangyul had a huge age gap to his new family though. Despite his adoptive father being over 60 years old, while his new older brothers were in their late 30s, the idol was showered with love and care. It’s hard to accept your biological parents’ abandonment, but Hangyul knew in his heart that it must’ve been difficult for his real parents to raise him. The 21-year-old worked hard to repay his adoptive parents for looking after him properly; that was one of the driving force that helped him debut as a K-pop idol.
6. Bella Poarch
If you’re a fan of Bella Poarch, you’ll probably know about her 52 million followers TikTok account. However, the Filipino American has a little known-fact she’s been keeping this whole time since she’s normally quiet about her personal life, especially involving her family. Apparently, Poarch revealed herself as an adoptee when she took part in a ‘two truths and a lie’ tag on her TikTok post a few months ago.
One of the truths did reveal that she was adopted, but some of Poarch’s fans knew about her background for quite some time when she reportedly confirmed her adoption in a comment from one of her earlier TikToks. She was born in the Philippines before moving to Hawaii when she was 13 years old.
7. Maddox and Pax Jolie-Pitt
Angelina Jolie is famously known for adopting numerous children, which includes two boys with Asian roots. One of the boys is named Maddox who was adopted when he was 7-months-old from an orphanage in Cambodia. The Oscar winner also adopted Pax Thien in 2007, who was originally from Vietnam and was abandoned by his birth mother – a heroin addict – at Tam Binh Centre, Thuy Bieu.
Both Maddox and Pax were able to connect with their Asian roots thanks to the help of their celebrity mother. The 45-year-old actress told Harper’s Bazaar that it’s important for her kids to never lose touch with their place of birth.