In a revealing profile for NPR, Bombshell star Charlize Theron talks adoption and raising her daughters as a single mother

By Jen Juneau
December 18, 2019 11:40 AM
Ben Trivett

For Charlize Theron, adoption was the perfect avenue along which to expand her family.

In an interview with NPR surrounding her newly released drama film Bombshell, the actress opened up about her decision to adopt daughters August, 4, Jackson, 7½, came after she “cast a very wide net” around the idea of becoming a parent via adoption.

“I wanted to believe that somehow my child would find me in the way that we were just meant to be,” Theron, 44, told the outlet. “So I wasn’t specific with anything. … In whatever country they would allow me as a single woman to adopt, that’s where I filed. And it just happened to be that both my children ended up being American. They were born in the United States and they both happened to be African American.”

“Everything that I hoped would happen during my adoption process did happen because these two babies were meant to be in my life — and they’re my children,” she added.

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Charlize Theron’s daughter
Charlize Theron/Instagram
Charlize Theron
Jon Kopaloff/FilmMagic

Theron believes that “this concept of what a family looks like and what constitutes the ‘right’ family or a ‘strong’ family or what we think that should look like” is “definitely something that we still need to work on” as a society.

“In a lot of places — and I think even for a lot of people and in America — it still feels very traditional in the sense that it should be that every child should have a mother and a father,” the actress told NPR. “We’ve kind of wrapped our heads slowly around the idea of two mothers and two fathers, but not so much around the idea of a single parent. It’s just so unfortunate. I know so many people who would be incredible parents.”

She also admits, “My fight was a little bit easier because of my circumstances, but I would want that for all women who want to share their life and be part of raising another young, small child’s life.”

Charlize Theron
Lisa O'Connor/AFP/Getty

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In an interview with Pride Source, the Oscar winner also shared that for daughter Jackson, “it became harder for us the older she got that people were still writing about her in the wrong pronouns, and also I was still talking about her in the press using the wrong pronoun.”

“It really hurt her feelings,” Theron recalled. “I don’t want to be that mom, and that was really why I said what I said a while back.” (In an April interview with the Daily Mail, the actress said Jackson told her when she was 3 years old, “I am not a boy!”)

“I haven’t really talked about it ever since, again, because outside of just asking that respectfully of the press — and the world, hopefully — the rest is really private and it’s her story, and it’s really up to her to decide if she wants to share that,” she explained.