Christian Dior : Outside Arrivals - Paris Fashion Week : Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2014-2015

They’ve only been dating for eight months but it seems actress Charlize Theron and actor Sean Penn are ready to take their relationship to the next level with rumours that the couple are not only set to wed soon, but also ready to start their own family.  According to US entertainment sources the couple are planning to get married this summer in South Africa where the 58-year-old star is directing The Last Face, a love story starring his beau, 38-year-old Charlize Theron. It is also claimed after becoming husband and wife, the pair plan to adopt, expanding Charlize’s existing brood – she has a two-year-old son, Jackson, who she adopted in March 2012.

While the former model has been a in a series of serious relationships – actor Craig Bierko (dated for two years), Third Eye Blind frontman Stephan Jenkins (four years) and Irish actor Stuart Townsend (nearly nine years) – this would be her first marriage. Meanwhile, Sean Penn was previously engaged to Elizabeth McGovern, married to Madonna for four years and actress Robin Wright, on and off, for 10 years. He has a daughter and son (now 23 and 20 respectively) with Robin.

Both Charlize and Sean are renowned outside of the world of showbiz for their philanthropic endeavors, something that has brought the couple close together. Among his numerous projects, Sean has helped raise awareness of the plight of those affected by Hurricane Katrina. He also founded  J/P Haitian Relief Organization, which helps with aid and rescue efforts in Haiti.

Former South African model, Charlize, has founded The Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project, which supports African youth in the fight against HIV/Aids. She is also involved in women’s rights organisations and is a representative for PETA.

According to US Weekly, the couple “want to get married very soon. They’re looking to the future with a lot of hope.” The source added: “Sean is like a father figure to [Jackson]… Charlize always intended to have another child.”

While the actress’ childhood wasn’t the most idyllic – her alcholic father was shot dead by her mother in self-defence – Charlize has always been open about her desire to have her own family. She once said: “I’ve always been very honest in saying I wanted a family. I’ve always known I wanted a family. I hope to be like my mum. Fair, tough, loving and supportive. My mum has made it possible for me to be who I am. Our family is everything. Her greatest skill was encouraging me to find my own person and own independence.”

Image: Getty