Charlize Theron Says She Decided To Adopt Immediately After Breaking Up With This Ex

When you’re as famous as Charlize Theron, people tend to get as interested in your love life as your movies. Fans definitely followed Theron’s relationships with famous men like actors Stuart Townsend and Sean Penn. Right now, the closest relationships in Theron’s life are her adopted children, Jackson and August. She says that may have been a factor in many of her relationships. 

Charlize Theron
Charlize Theron | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Theron was a guest on Diane von Furstenberg’s podcast InCharge with DVF on July 29. She discussed her desire to be a mother, and an adoptive one at that. She alluded to problems in one relationship and it’s relatively easy to narrow it down.

Motherhood was always important to Charlize Theron

Theron tells von Furstenberg she always knew she wanted to be a mother one day. She says she made this known to all her romantic partners too.

“It was also this thing in my relationships that was the make it or break it,” Theron said. “I was very transparent to all of my partners and if that was not something that was important to them, then I couldn’t continue a relationship. Being a mother was one of the most improtant things to me.”

Charlize Theron in gold
Charlize Theron | Gregg DeGuire/Getty Images for CDGA

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Were any of her boyfriends open to parenthood, Theron might have had biological children. Once it became clear she was doing it herself, she opted for adoption over other possibilities.

“I was open to that idea with a partner,” Theron said. “Once I chose to be a mother on my own, adoption was really my first choice. There was never any other way that I thought I would create my family outside of adoption.”

Is Stuart Townsend the reason Charlize Theron decided to adopt?

Theron describes a relationship that ended and prompted her to start adoption proceedings. She doesn’t name him, but the details suggest Townsend. They dated for almost ten years, broke up in 2010 and Theron adopted Jackson in 2012.

“I was leaving a relationship, a long almost 10 years relationship,” Theron said. “In the last couple years of that relationship, I really wanted to become a mother and it didn’t happen. When the relationship ended, I think it was the next morning I wanted to file for adoption. I found an adoption lawyer here in Los Angeles and I filed not only domestically but also internationally.”

Adoption is not a quick process

The process of finding Jackson still took years, and there were many near misses with other candidates. Theron described the emotionally difficult process.

The first time around for me was definitely emotional for me in the sense that I think I went through eight different situations and they didn’t work out, but you get emotionally attached. Each one of them, I would be made aware of the mother and three, four months later something would come up and the adoption would fall through. Or, the person would just disappear and we wouldn’t hear from her again. All of those things over a two year period is very emotionally draining.

Charlize Theron, InCharge with DVF podcast, 7/29/2020

Looking back, Theron wouldn’t change a thing because this is the process that brought Jackson to her. 

“Even though it took two years of emotional hell, she was supposed to be my baby,” Theron said.

Fortunately, August was a quicker adoption.

Charlize Theron Oscar nominee lunch
Charlize Theron | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

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“Jackson really wanted a baby sister and I had to explain to her that’s not really how adoption was,” Theron said. “Then we got a call while I was in London that this African-American baby girl was in Texas.”

Theron braced herself, but August worked out. 

“You can imagine how chuffed Jackson was with herself that she kind of wished for this child,” Theron said. “The first night we brought her home, I had the monitor next to the crib and I heard Jackson whisper to August, ‘I wished you.’”