Adoption as a choice and not as a compromise: Angelina Jolie and her children
Angelina Jolie is currently the mother of six children. Not all of them were born from her womb, and not all of them have the same racial background. Jolie, who is engaged to Brad Pitt, is the mother of Maddox(11), Pax(9), Zahara(8), Shiloh(6), Knox Leon and Vivienne Marcheline (twins, 4 years old). Three out of these six children are her biological ones, while she adopted the other three.
What is really remarkable about it is, that Jolie did not “resort” to adoption. Instead, it was a conscious decision on her part, to adopt, and her first child, Maddox Pitt-Jolie was adopted when Angelina Jolie was single.
She did not just decide to adopt a child from a turbulence stricken country, she decided to do it all on her own.
Angelina Jolie was filming for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider in Cambodia, when the decision to adopt Maddox came up. After visiting the country a couple of times, she was deeply disturbed by the state of affairs over there. Jolie was married to Billy Bob Thornton then, and although the decided to adopt Maddox together, the marriage fell apart before the adoption could be finalized, and she adopted the child as a single mother. Maddox was born in 2001, in a village in Cambodia. Although his birth name was Rath Vibol, she renamed him after his adoption in 2002.
Her second adopted child, Zahara, is from Ethiopia. She adopted Zahara when the girl was sick, and was suffering due to severe malnutrition. When the girl was brought to the United States, she was admitted into the hospital immediately in order to help her gain her health back. By this time, Angelina Jolie was already dating Brad Pitt, and they both had decided on the adoption together.
In 2006, Jolie gave birth to her third child, Shiloh. The girl was born in Namibia, and this was a conscious decision made by her parents. Shiloh Jolie Pitt was followed by Pax Thien in 2007. The Vietnamese boy was adopted by Angelina Jolie when he was already three years old. He had been abandoned after his birth, and he had spent his first three years at the orphanage, from where he was adopted by Jolie and Brad Pitt. The couple then had twins in 2008. Jolie gave birth to Knox and Vivienne in France.
What is so unique and remarkable is the fact that despite the trouble of bringing up six children, Jolie adopted very passionately, and her adoptions were statements of the condition of children in those different countries as well. Despite having children of her own, Jolie is still very keen on enlarging her family. She does not believe in discriminating amongst her “own” children and the adopted ones, and all of them have got the Jolie-Pitt surnames.
Adoption can change a child’s life. It is not just something which should be done when one is incapable of having children. Adoption is a very generous act of love, of support and of positive transformation. And Angelina Jolie is a stellar example of the love and joy which comes out of adoption.