JOLIE IN ROW
OVER RUSSIAN ADOPTION
Copyright 2004 www.tombraiderchronicles.com
[ October 23rd 2004 ]
politicians have called for new restrictions on
adoptions by foreigners after claims that Angelina
Jolie, the Hollywood actress, did not follow official
procedures when choosing a baby boy. Jolie, 29,
who already has an adopted Cambodian son, Maddox,
toured several Moscow orphanages last month in
search of a child to take home to the United States.
She reportedly turned down a number of babies
before settling on a seven-month-old boy called
star of Tomb Raider first made inquiries about
adopting a Russian child last year during a visit
to the country as a goodwill ambassador for the
United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
Officials say she does not appear to have complied
with the rules because she went to orphanages
in person during a subsquent visit. Under the
regulations, potential foreign parents are supposed
to choose a child from a central register, with
the help of photographs and detailed medical records.
Only then are they allowed to see the child. If
they decide not to take that child, they are supposed
to go back to the register to continue their search.
at several orphanages confirmed that the actress
- accompanied by an official from the education
ministry which oversees international adoptions-
had dropped in to look at babies. She wanted one
of Slavic appearance. News of Jolie’s visits to
orphanages has angered nationalists who are opposed
to foreign adoptions. They say that the regulations
should be tightened. "Right now it’s too easy
for foreigners to adopt our children," said Lubov
Blizhina, a parliamentary deputy from Vladimir
Zhirinovsky’s ultra-nationalist party, the LDPR.
"Once the children are taken out of Russia we
have no way of checking that they are being well
treated. This wave of foreign adoptions, including
Jolie’s case, is very suspicious to us."
Hollywood friend of Jolie said: "She knows from
bitter experience that sometimes you have to cut
through red tape to save a child and she is more
than willing to do that. But she is a wonderful
mother for Maddox and I am sure her heart just
went out to this child, too." Jolie, who split
up last year from her second husband Billy Bob
Thornton, the actor, is not the first western
celebrity to come to Russia in search of a child.
Chancellor Gerhard Schröder of Germany adopted
a three-year-old orphan from St Petersburg in
July. Many Russians welcome such adoptions. One
Moscow orphanage official said: "The reality is
that foreigners have saved tens of thousands of
orphans from a life in state institutions. How
can that be a bad thing?"