Angelina Jolie's Adoption Scandal

Angelina Jolie took a lot of heat for criticizing Madonna's decision to adopt from the country of Malawi, sanctimoniously saying how she would never take a child away from a country where there were no real adoption laws. But according to Page Six, Angelina's adoption of Maddox from Cambodia was a disaster for other potential adoptive parents.
PARENTS who have encountered difficulties adopting children from countries like Cambodia are shocked that Angelina Jolie would dare to say anything about Madonna's adoption in Malawi of her son David. Jolie told French magazine Gala she would "never take a child away from a place where adoption is illegal." Yet Jolie failed to mention that she adopted her Cambodian son, Maddox, through a group that was later found to be guilty of fraud. Now procedures have been tightened up, and it is next to impossible to adopt from Cambodia.

"Angelina is not a hero in the adoption community," Tatiana Beams, a Seattle-based international adoption advocate, told Page Six. Beams said parents and other adoption agents are disappointed Jolie "does nothing, or at least very little, to keep international adoption open and legal for American families and children." Jolie later backtracked from her criticism of Madonna, and told People.com her words had been twisted. But some adoption advocates remain irked by the star's failure to acknowledge her own adoption issues.

When Jolie and then-husband Billy Bob Thorton adopted Maddox in 2002, she used Seattle International Adoptions, run by Lauryn Galindo - who was found guilty two years later of visa fraud and money laundering related to Cambodian adoptions.

Beams said that after Jolie's adoption scandal, Cambodia closed its doors, and many families who were waiting to acquire children were left empty-handed. "She [Jolie] adopted Maddox under a questionable agency, where the directors went to prison." Beams added, "It would be nice to see her speak out on issues and policies surrounding international adoption."
Yikes. That certainly puts a different spin on things, doesn't it?

Posted on January 11, 2007

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