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12th Century

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What could be better than combining history and adoption. Many people today--even those who are involved in the modern adoption community--may not know that adoption has been around for quite a long time. The truth is, it has been around for many centuries, at least. There are historical accounts that reference adoption or fostering of famous people throughout history. The twelfth Century, for instance, has quite a list of those who are said to be adopted. The list below is a grouping of those affected by adoption in the twelfth Century and have affected and changed history in some way or another. Take a look at the list below and see how many of them you already knew were adopted. The historical people listed below may surprise you. You can see a brief summary about them below, but if you want to learn more, click on the link after the summary and you'll be taken right to it.


Hildegard of Bingen
Hildegard was a religious visionary from early childhood and was an oblate , sent by her noble parents when she was eight to a convent to be raised (she was their tenth child, and consider...[more]

Hugh of Cluny
Hugh, from a noble Burgundian family, was raised by his great-uncle, Hugh, bishop of Auxerre. He entered the monastery of Cluny aged 14, took his vows a year later, was prior by the age of ... [more]

Juliana of Liège
Juliana was orphaned as a child and brought up in a convent, where she began to have visions. In 1206 she was professed as a nun. In 1230 she became superior of the convent but there was co... [more]

Tangiia Nui
Tangiia Nui was named Uenga by his mother, Ka'ungake Ariki ki te Marama, when he was born; later his grandfather, Amaru Enua, named him Rangi. He was adopted by his uncle, Pou te Vananga... [more]

Te Ariki Upoko Tini
Taputapu Atea was born to Iro Nui ma Ota and Te Toko o te Rangi. He was sent to be fostered on Easter Island where he grew up. Iro's cousin Tangiia Nui had, he thought, lost all of his chil... [more]

Norwegian Ruling Families
In the Middle Ages fostering was practiced between the great families of Norway, possibly as a means of cementing interfamily alliances or demonstrating reciprocal status relationships. Acc... [more]

Tu Tapu Tu
Tapu was the birth son of Maonga and Pou Teo and was adopted by Maonga's brother, Pou te Vanangaroa ki Iva, high chief of Tahiti and the Marquesas. Pou had two born-to sons and another a... [more]
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