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Was Marilyn Monroe Adopted? Was She an Orphan?




The biopic ‘Blonde’ on Netflix recounts the events that took place in the life of Marilyn Monroe, albeit with a significant amount of creative license taken. It starts with her childhood, where her traumatic background is brought into perspective, which provides context for the problems that continue to plague Monroe throughout her entire life. She attempts to fill the hole that is created in her life as a result of the problematic relationship she has with her mother and the fact that her father is never there. This is especially true when it comes to the interactions she has with the men in her life.

It appears that if Monroe had been raised in a healthy and loving atmosphere when he was a child, the circumstances surrounding his life would have been different. If you are curious in how Monroe spent her childhood and whether or not she did so as an orphan, then the following information about her is important for you to be aware of.

Was Marilyn Monroe an Orphan?
On June 1st, 1926, Marilyn Pearl Baker and Charles Stanley Gifford welcomed their first child into the world: Marilyn Jean Monroe. According to the rumors, her father never played a role in her life because he was already married at the time that he had an affair with Gladys. Although her mother never asked Gifford for assistance in raising their daughter, she was entirely unable to do so, both intellectually and financially. Although her mother never asked Gifford for aid, she was unable to properly raise Monroe. Gladys decided to give her newborn girl up for adoption a few weeks after she was born, and Ida and Albert Bolender took her in as their foster child. The young Norma Jeane called this place home for the next seven years, during which time her mother paid weekend visits.

Her foster parents had expressed interest in adopting her at one point, but Gladys was adamant that she would not be leaving with them. Monroe moved to Hollywood in 1933 after being brought there by Gladys, where she stayed in a house that she shared with George and Maude Atkinson. Gladys was hospitalized for the rest of her life after suffering a mental collapse in 1934 that led to her being committed to a hospital, where she resided for the rest of her life. As a direct consequence of this event, Monroe was adopted by the state. Marilyn Monroe famously responded to a question about her family by saying that she was an orphan and had no memory of her biological parents.

Monroe wrote the following in an interview that was published in Modern Screen magazine: “Before I was born, my father was killed in a vehicle accident while he was on a business trip to New York City.” A short while after that, my mother fell very ill, and while I was still too young to understand much about what was going on, I became an orphan. Her mother was still alive and could be found residing in Norwalk, California at this time. Her true identity was exposed after being hunted down by a gossip journalist working for Hearst. Concerning Monroe’s relationship with her father, Gifford maintained his estrangement from his daughter despite her efforts to communicate with him. It wasn’t until a DNA test was performed in 2022 that Gifford’s status as Monroe’s biological father was established for the entire world to see.

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Was Marilyn Monroe Adopted?
As a result of the absence of her mother, Marilyn Monroe was entrusted to the care of the Atkinson family, with whom she would spend the most of the following year residing. In 1935, she shared a room with Gladys’s close friend Grace Goddard for a short period of time. But not long after that, Grace packed up the infant and dropped her off to the Los Angeles Orphans Home, where the young girl would spend the following year. In 1937, Monroe relocated her household back to that of the Goddards, and Grace thereafter became her appointed legal guardian. A few months later, Monroe’s living circumstances was once again disturbed, and she was relocated about to live with various relatives of either her mother or Grace.

By 1938, Monroe had found a permanent home with Grace’s aunt Ana Lower. Here, things were able to become more stable for a while. But after Lower experienced some health issues and was deemed unable to care for the young girl, Monroe found herself living with the Goddards once more. In the year 1942, approximately one year later, Grace’s husband, Doc Goddard, found work in the state of West Virginia. Due to the fact that Monroe had only turned 16 years old at the time, the law stated that she could not be removed from the state.

It would be necessary to return her to an orphanage now that the Goddards are no longer caring for her. On the other hand, neither Monroe nor Grace wished for that to happen. Therefore, when Monroe became 16, she tied the knot with James Dougherty, the son of their neighbor, who was 21 years old at the time of their wedding. Despite the fact that she spent her childhood bouncing between many foster homes and orphanages, Marilyn Monroe insisted that she did not consider herself to be an orphan, as was revealed in the Netflix documentary titled “The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes.” I had a really meager upbringing. I never got used to being joyful, so it took some getting used to.

Monroe, having personally experienced the hardship of lacking a stable environment in which to develop as a child, decided to advocate for children who face a circumstance analogous to her own. Monroe joined the World Adoption International Fund (often known as WAIF) not long after its founding in 1955 by actress Jane Russell, who was also a founding member. The book “Goddess: The Secret Lives of Marilyn Monroe” written by Anthony Summers states that Marilyn Monroe’s involvement with WAIF “marked the beginning of Marilyn’s active engagement in children’s causes, one she would retain until the day she died.”