Inside Jane Fonda's Relationship With Her Kids

Jane Fonda has proved that she's so much more than just an actress. The 83-year-old has an impressive background in activism, advocating for gender equality and action in the climate crisis. If you've seen Fonda's impressive Fire Drill Friday events, you know she's passionate about making changes in the world.

Aside from all of this, Jane Fonda is also a mother. Her three children are all grown up today, but she's still working at her relationships with them. Though she never considered herself a bad parent, in 2017 she shared that there was a lot she wish she'd done differently. "I regret that I wasn't a better parent," she told The Edit. "I didn't know how to do it. But you can learn, so I studied how to be a parent. It's never too late" (via Today).

Her relationships with her kids are healthy, but she's still working on them nonetheless. "I am trying to make up for what I didn't know before," she noted. "When I die, I want my family to be around me. I want them to love me and I have to earn that. I'm still working at it."

Jane Fonda has two daughters and a son

Fonda found love many times in her life. Her first marriage was at 28-years-old to director Roger Vadim in August 1965 (per PopSugar). Three years later, the couple welcomed their first child, Vanessa Vadim. Fonda was thrilled to become a mom, but she struggled with postpartum depression, as she revealed to Vanity Fair in September 2011. "I just felt that I had failed—that nothing was turning out the way it was supposed to, not the birth, not the nursing, not my feelings for my child or (it seemed to me) hers for me," she shared.

Fonda would spend a lot of time away from Vanessa throughout her childhood. Between traveling for her activism, splitting custody with Vadim after the two divorced, and sometimes being swept away by her own career, she developed regrets. Meanwhile, Vanessa was growing into her own passions. She was bit by the activism bug like her mom, but she also had some of her dad's passion for filmmaking. She's worked as a writer, producer, director, and more on multiple projects throughout the years (via IMDb).

Jane Fonda welcomed her second child in her second marriage

Fonda and Roger Vadim spent some years separated before finally getting divorced. Just three days after that divorce was finalized, she married activist Tom Hayden (per Chicago Times). Fonda was already pregnant with her second child at the time. Troy Garity was born on July 7, 1973, given his paternal grandmother's maiden name as his surname so that he could escape the baggage that came with the Fonda and Hayden names (per The Telegraph).

Despite his surname, Garity found his way into the family business on both ends. Not only has he gotten involved as an activist with a number of groups, but he also kicked off his acting career in the late '90s. He secured roles here and there throughout the early 2000s, most notably appearing in the Barbershop films. Since then, he's landed a number of TV gigs, including spots on The Playboy ClubBallers, and Shooter (via IMDb).

Jane Fonda adopted her third child

Toward the end of Fonda and Hayden's marriage, she encountered a young girl raised by Black Panther parents. Mary Luana Williams' life was riddled with family members in the throes of addiction when she was sent to Fonda's summer camp in the late '70s (via Parade). By the time she was 14, Williams moved in with the actress. 

Moving to Hollywood is a shock for most people. For the young teen, it was otherworldly. "My first impression was that L.A. made you want to look up," she wrote about the experience. "I looked up at the tall buildings, the palm trees and the billboards hawking movies and high-end office space instead of cigarettes and cheap liquor like in Oakland. Even the sky itself seemed higher and brighter despite the smog. In Oakland I never looked at the sky."

Fonda supported her daughter through the ups and downs of her life, even as she chose activism over material living. She even offered her full support when Williams wanted to reconnect with her birth family. "I was 14 years old and a minor when I went to live with Jane," Williams wrote in a piece for O Magazine . "She could have revoked and legally challenged the situation at any time. But she didn't. As a child, I both feared the day she'd drag me back and resented her for not staking a claim on me. I had grown up thinking she didn't care."