Charlize Theron on Adopting: ‘There Is a Great Power in Choosing to Be a Mother’


In fashion icon Diane Von Furstenburg’s season one finale of her inaugural podcast, InCharge with DVF, Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron got real with the designer about motherhood, empowerment and all things adoption.

Charlize, mother to two adopted African American girls, welcomed her oldest daughter, Jackson, in 2012, and told DVF she had dreamt of adopting since she was only 8-years-old, when she told her mother she wanted a sibling from an orphanage for Christmas.

The South African mom endured unspeakable trauma at only age 15, when, in self defense, her mother shot and killed her abusive father. Now, she tells DVF, she took a lot of that trauma and turned it into positivity. Adoption, she said, was a major opportunity for empowerment.

“That whole process was incredibly empowering for me as a woman. The fact that I got to choose when I wanted to be a mom. Where, you know, I travel a lot and I see a lot of young girls not have that choice,” Charlize said. “There is a great power in choosing to be a mother and then doing it when your body, your mind and everything is celebrating all of that. And I know that this is what I can handle.”

This isn’t the first time the star has shared her wise words on complex parenting issues. In 2019, she opened up about her daughter, Jackson, being transgender, and how important it is for people to use correct pronouns. In DVF’s podcast, Charlize talked about just how much her daughters have taught her.

“I didn’t know I was going to be the mom to two African American girls. I didn’t know I was going to be the mom to and African American trans girl. All of these things have kind of made me more aware of how little I know,” Charlize said. “My children have completely reopened my eyes to the world and I jokingly always say I’m back at University. I’m back having to learn every single day because they challenge me in that way.”

The Mad Max star isn’t the only celeb who chose adoption and, in turn, parenthood. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, Sandra Bullock, Sheryl Crow, Hoda Kotb and Madonna, have all spoken to the beauty and value in their decisions to adopt children.

When DVF prompted a conversation about relationships, Charlize laughed, saying her daughter had just recently told her she “needed a boyfriend.”

“And I was like, ‘I am in a relationship. I’m in a relationship with myself right now.’ And she had this look in her eye like she had never really contemplated that that was even a possibility,” Charlize told DVF. “I remember two days ago just looking back in the rearview mirror and seeing my little 5-year-old’s face—her mind was blown. But, I know that was the day that she realized there’s a different possibility.”

For more of Charlize’s stances on motherhood, turning her trauma into art and embracing softness, check out the full podcast here.


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