Despite having a rocky start, Zell is adopted at a young age by the Dincht family. Because of his use of the Guardian Forces, he loses a lot of memories of his childhood before being adopted - and actually does not remember he was adopted at all until he finds out later in the game.

He is very close with his adoptive mother, known only as Ma Dincht, of who is very kind and welcoming despite of the trouble Zell's been involved in. She has come to accept, rather nonchalantly at that, that he always manages to find trouble and gets into a lot of fights. She doesn't love him any less because of it. Zell himself adores his mother, as seen by how he constantly worried about her safety during the Galbadian occupation of Balamb. He made it a point to check on her safety before liberating the town.

Zell is very expressive about his idolization of his adoptive grandfather - a man who was once a soldier. Zell looks up to and admires this quality and aspires to be just like his grandfather, which is probably his main reason for attending Balamb Garden. He keeps his grandfather's old rifles on display in his bedroom in Balamb.