Angelina Jolie was in Ethiopia last week, filing papers in her quest to adopt a girl from that country orphaned by AIDS. The actress, who has toured the world as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations’ High Commissioner on Refugees, made the trip with her adopted 3-year-old Cambodian son, Maddox, and her “Mr. & Mrs. Smith” co-star, Brad Pitt, according to The Associated Press. The request is expected to be granted Wednesday (July 6).
“The paperwork has gone through. Miss Angelina’s request was accepted last week. Everything has been completed, so the family can take the baby whenever they want,” Hadosh Halefom, head of the country’s adoption agency, told the AP. The only information on the child is that she is less than a year old.
Hadosh said that Jolie met the 10 conditions for adopting a child from Ethiopia, the two most important being financial stability and a police background check. “Although she is a film star, she still has to meet the same requirements as everybody else,” the official explained.
There are more than 5 million orphans in the country of 70 million residents, many of whom have lost parents to famine, disease, war and AIDS. Caring for those orphans costs $115 million a month, though Ethiopia’s annual health budget is just $140 million.
Jolie told People magazine that she would name the baby Zahara Marley Jolie, but she would not give any additional information on the baby’s health status, size or weight. She told the magazine that she and Maddox were “very happy to have a new addition to our family.”
Though co-star and reported lover Pitt joined Jolie on the trip, a source told People, “Angelina’s adopting as a single mother, and she wants that emphasized.”
After a trip to Ethiopia earlier this year, Jolie said Maddox “is in love with Africa, so he has been asking for an African brother or sister.”
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