July 9, 2021

Olympian Simone Biles Grew Up In Foster Care


You never know someone’s background by looking at them. Simone Biles, one of the greatest and most accomplished athletes of all time, was placed in foster care. Sadly, her biological mother couldn’t care for Simone and her siblings.

Her Placement in Foster Care

She began her story by saying,

I don’t remember a lot about foster care, but I definitely knew that we had been taken from our biological mom and then you just think you’re going to go back to her.

This is a memory many children in foster care have. They strongly remember being taken from their homes; it is a core memory that is traumatizing and scary, especially for young kids.

Unlike many other foster children, Simone was able to stay with her siblings during their placement. She continued,

We were very fortunate that we actually got to stay with our siblings because a lot of the time you either get regrouped from home to home to home or you and your siblings get split up.

Simone’s grandma, Nellie, also spoke on the topic, adding that the kids’ mother was drinking and doing drugs at the time of their placement in foster care.

Simone also recalled a memory of before she and her siblings were placed in foster care. She said there were times when they were left on their own to find food.

Growing up, me and my siblings were so focused on food because we didn’t have a lot of food. I remember there was this cat around the house and I’d be so hungry. They would feed this cat and I’m like, ‘Where the heck is my food?’

A Second Shot at Life

When she was 6, she and her younger sister, Adria, were adopted by their grandma, and the two older siblings, Ashley and Tevin, were adopted by their aunt.

This gave each kid a chance to reset and to have a new life. While it was difficult for them to be taken from their mother at such a young age, Simone and her siblings have a wonderful family who was able and willing to help out. She stated,

Being separated from my biological mom, being placed in foster care before I officially got adopted by my grandparents, it just set me up for a better route at life…. (I) feel like I wouldn’t be where I am unless that turning point happened. I would still be Simone Biles, probably not Simone Biles that everybody else knows, the world knows. But I also believe everything happens for a reason and I’m forever grateful for that because I definitely got a second shot at life.

Being adopted by her grandparents truly set her up for success. She was able to work hard and achieve her dreams. This is why more kids need a second shot at life.

All kids have the potential to be anything they want to be from doctors to lawyers, even to Olympic gold medalists. All they need is a path to get there. Fostering to adopt, or reunification, are both ways for kids in foster care to get their second chance.

Thank you, Simone Biles, for sharing your truly amazing story.

If you have any questions about fostering or are interested in becoming a foster parent, check it out HERE!

Return to blog