Angelina Jolie went to Haiti to visit SOS Children’s Village, not to adopt

unhcr

For this year’s World Refugee Day (this past Sunday), Angelina Jolie made a low-key visit to Haiti, where her activities were not heralded by the UNHCR whatsoever. It made me wonder, actually, what the hell she was doing there. Now we know – she spent most of her time on the ground visiting the SOS Children’s Village in Haiti. When she was in Haiti in February, she also made a visit to the same Children’s Village, and she’s also been a supporter of the Village in Jordan. It’s a project that Angelina must care a lot about – because she seems to have agreed that her image and name could be used for a fundraising press release just sent to us:

There are celebrities — and then there are celebrities. I rank Angelina Jolie right up there as a serious humanitarian who holds a special place in her heart for children who need protection.

This past weekend Ms. Jolie, UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador and SOS Children’s Villages supporter, was welcomed back to the SOS Village in Santo, Haiti outside of Port-au-Prince. She visited with the children, and distributed toys as they welcomed her with a song in Creole. One of the children spoke on behalf of the group and told her how happy they were that she had visited the village again.

After spending the night at an SOS house in the Santo Village, Ms. Jolie commented, “That is why I like to visit and support the SOS Children’s Villages in the world [...] because I have seen that the children are growing up in a safe and loving environment.”

This was Angelina Jolie’s second visit to the SOS Haiti Village. In February, she met with the 33 children who were brought to the village after the Haitian government intervened to prevent their removal from Haiti. This weekend, Ms. Jolie learned that all of the children have been reunited with their families and continue to receive assistance from SOS.

Ms. Jolie also toured the SOS “Global Village Shelters” at the SOS-Santo site. Made of polypropylene materials, these shelters are quickly installed. They each provide 8 children and an SOS Mother with dry, safe housing as the rainy season approaches. About 300 SOS children will be moved into the shelters as added protection against the rainy season. “Global Village Shelters” promise to set a high standard for mid-term housing in Haiti.

SOS – Santo is currently housing nearly 500 children without biological families to care for them. Over the past few months, 160 children who were temporarily in SOS care have been reunited with their families. They are beneficiaries of the SOS Family Strengthening Program that provides food and counseling assistance to 10,000 people daily.

During this trip to Haiti, Ms. Jolie met with President Preval, current and former Government of Haiti Ministers, Haitian Judges and lawyers, U.S. State Department officials, and other NGOs regarding child protection in Haiti. Preceding the overnight stay, Ms. Jolie held a dinner and round-table discussion that included UNHCR, SOS Children’s Villages, UNICEF, Partners in Health and PRODEV. The purpose of these meetings was to study the Haitian legal system surrounding child protection issues and explore mechanisms for strengthening the Government’s capacity to address these needs.

Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have been long-time supporters of SOS. In the past, Ms. Jolie personally visited an SOS Emergency Relief Program in Chad, an SOS Children’s Village in Ethiopia and the couple also met with children at the SOS Village in Amman, Jordan. The Jolie Pitt Foundation surprised the three SOS Children’s Villages in the United States in December 2009 with a wonderful holiday present of $100,000!

On a personaI note, I am so grateful for Angelina’s involvement. She helps to raise spirits when life has become so hard for children who have lost everything. Her continued support sheds an important light on the progress and challenges all of us face in Haiti. With the six month anniversary of the earthquake approaching, Jolie helps the world remember that the struggle for survival continues on the ground every day. International partners working hand-in-hand with Haitians will be there for many years to come, long after the cameras have gone away.

[From SOS Children’s Village press release]

The rest of the email was a plea for donations, of which I think I’m going to contribute my 30 bucks. The SOS Children’s Donation page is here.

Anyway, now that we know what the hell Angelina was doing in-country, it sort of blows those Angelina-is-looking-for-a-baby adoption stories out of the water, right? Not so much. In this week’s tabloids, both In Touch and Star are running stories about a possible/probable Jolie-Pitt adoption. Now, stories about Angelina Jolie preparing to adopt her (and Brad’s) seventh child have been circulating since she gave birth to the twins. Strangely enough, the tabloids have been somewhat consistent about the alleged adoption that never materializes – they almost always claim that Angelina wants to adopt from Africa, just because she wants another black child for Zahara. These new versions have Angelina considering adoptions from Somalia and… wait for it… Haiti! Shocking.

In Touch Weekly – Angelina Jolie is “ready” to give twins Knox and Vivienne a birthday present when they turn 2 in July — another brother or sister. Angie’s planning to adopt. Again. Zahara is “open to the idea,” because she wants a little sister “that has her skin color and curly hair,” according to a source. Angie might get the new kid from Ecudaor or Haiti or Somalia. Angie has told friends that she wants to keep adopting and giving birth until she is the mother of 13! It’s her lucky number. Anyways, she “bonded” with a little girl in Haiti, and a toddler boy in Ecuador. Adoptionrace 2010: WHICH WILL SHE CHOOSE? Then there’s a sidebar called “How Will The Kids React?” when a new sibling comes home: Maddox is an old pro; Pax finds it hard to adapt; Zahara may lash out; Shiloh’s stuck in the middle, and the twins will have to share.

Star Magazine - Angelina Jolie has begun the process of adopting a 3-year-old girl from Somalia. She plans to name the child Lucy, and the she and Brad decide to adopt from Africa in order to have a “match” for Zahara.

[From Star, In Touch, courtesy of Jezebel]

Now, I don’t have a knee-jerk reaction to Angelina-adoption stories either way – I think it’s perfectly possible she and Brad are considering another adoption, just because they usually say they are considering it when asked. I like that they’ve waited for nearly two years (since the twins were born) to add to their family. I really do think the twins knocked them for a loop, and they found out just how overwhelming a big family is. But I wouldn’t doubt that another Jolie-Pitt will be coming into the mix in the next year or so. We’ll see. In any case, however, I do doubt the Somalia and Haiti claims, just because I don’t think there’s a current international adoption system in place for Somali or Haitian orphans. Ethiopia is my guess.

jolie

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 26: Actress and UN Goodwill Ambassador for High Commissioner for Refugees Angelina Jolie attends the launch of 'Global Action for Children' April 26, 2007 in Washington, DC. Global Action for Children is a nonpartisan advocacy organization focused on increasing funding from the US government for programs that support orphans and other vulnerable children. (Photo by Mark Mainz/Getty Images for GAC)

 

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37 Responses to “Angelina Jolie went to Haiti to visit SOS Children’s Village, not to adopt”

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  1. denise says:

    I think it really sucks that these kids are living in tents.

  2. nan says:

    Angelina shines when she’s around these children. She truly cares about her work and are NOT publicity stunts as so many people claim.

  3. CD says:

    Is Haiti even allowing adoptions right now? I think when she goes on these missions, they wait to leak the news after she leaves for safety reasons.

    There are also SOS Villages in the US and she supports them also.

  4. Alex says:

    Some girls flash their cooters to promote themselves. Some girls become fake “humanitarians.” Yawn.

  5. Sugar & Spice says:

    It’s silly to think that just because she goes to a foreign country it means she’s adopting. Plus, Haiti has stopped new international adoptions so she couldn’t even if she wanted to. They will announce it when they do adopt again.

    Denise – the tents are temporary, it’s much better than living on the streets when the rains come. It keeps them dry at least.

  6. lisa says:

    She already said during her first visit that she and Brad were not adopting from Haiti..She has supported the SOS Children’s Villages for years.

    And I agree.. They probably would have adopted another child if they had not had the twins.. REALLY..they have two babies turning 2 in a few weeks. But the thing is why is the media all in their business about the size of their family. Angelina has only been pregnant 2 times.. NOT 6. Far less then a lot of celeb women and the same as some. But the fascination with how, when and if they add to their family is a bit obsessive.

    They can have as many kids as they want.. just like everyone else in the world gets to do.

  7. Mika says:

    I think Haiti does have an adoption program, it’s just been backed up since the earthquake.

    Oh, I’m a cynical bitch, but I have a thing for Jolie. I believe she cares and I know she backs up her convictions with a lot of money. She’s a legitimate movie star, she doesn’t need the publicity. She’s a Tom Hanks, not a Heidi Montage.

  8. hatsumomo says:

    Im pretty sure Haiti suspended adoptions indefinite until they can get order in the process. Ive been reading about heartbroken families in the US who are still waiting for the go-ahead to take their children home.

  9. kellogg says:

    It is rather popular among celebs to herald a cause (going to India to protest child trafficking, climb atop political soapbox, Price of Beauty, etc) and return to your same-old, same-old life completely unchanged by the experience.

    I think Angelina is the real deal. Who knows, maybe this work helps her to deal with past addictions/demons/pain over the loss of her mother.

    She certainly isn’t Tweeting about the “children saved today” then buying a bunch of crap at Kitson.

    She’s consistently spent time and a few million (!) on causes larger than herself. Many others with means to do so have not.

  10. nycmom10024 says:

    The country of Haiti has the potential to once again be a great country. The people are amazing and amazingly resiliant.

    There are many folks, both Haitian and non-Haitian working to help this country reach its full greatness.

  11. Missfit says:

    I agree with comment 2, she really does shine and it’s obvious she truly cares. Some people do it for show, but I don’t think Angelina does it for a stunt at all. Atleast she’s doing something about it to help them as much as she can, she doesn’t necessarily have to adopt. What, some celebs just adopt, but don’t help those countries. Angelina is truly amazing.

  12. Anya says:

    The SOS Villages are great in that they provide orphans with a family in their own countries. I guess tabloids are hedging their bets and wanting to say they were right whenever and if Brad and Angelina decide to enlarge their family. I still don’t understand the fascination with how large a family they have. They can certainly afford however many kids they want.

  13. Claudia says:

    I do not care what people say or think or write about Angelina Jolie, I love this beautiful Lady. God Bless Angelina Jolie and her beautiful family.

  14. Catherine says:

    @Alex Possibly, but what are you doing to help or even visit the less fortunate children? It is easy to criticize Angelina while we all sit on our ass at a computer.

  15. lucy2 says:

    I like the SOS villages, the ones in the US sound great for the kids, and anything is better than nothing in Haiti, but it sounds like they’re doing OK there too.
    I don’t think they’re allowing intl adoptions either. I hope they can start processing the pending ones soon though.

    Another group doing a lot in Haiti is Artists for Peace & Justice, which was founded by Paul Haggis (I think Ben Stiller is also very involved). I was just reading about the school program they’re doing now – a bunch of celebs have committed to annual donations for the next 5 years that rebuild and support schools – which will also provide meals, clothing, and medical treatment for kids too.

  16. e-non says:

    oh goodie … the daily hate on jolie.

    have at it, c-bitches.

  17. Heaven-bound says:

    Really? I know of someone that is ready to finish her adoption in the next couple of months. And the adoption process just recently started a few months back after this couple volunteered in the disaster relief. Maybe its a new policy?

  18. Bite me says:

    Hmm there are very few countries as a single woman that Angelina can adopt from and Haiti is not one of them, but than again why would the tabloids do any sort of research

  19. Beth says:

    As mentione, Haitian adoptions are still on hold. These adoption stories and jokes don’t make sense to me. They adopted two kids together and haven’t even adopted a child in four years. Yet everytime they visit a country everybody says they’re adopting. I don’t believe they are trying for 13 kids. Brad did joke about wanting a soccer team, emphasis on joking. Now that they have a larger family I’m sure reality hit them. They definately will have more kids but I don’t think any more than one in the next couple of years and another a few years after that.

  20. cee says:

    Thank you for posting the letter. It is so important for people to not forget these children and Haiti. The world seems to be hacving it’s share of disasters but as Americans we can not forget the children of the world. God Bless Angie. I am so glad she does not let the negative tabs get to her.

  21. Liana says:

    not her biggest fan, but as long as she continues to do the good work she does, I will not contribute to any hatefest against her.

  22. jc126 says:

    I think she’s sincere about wanting to help kids and refugees, definitely.
    I also agree about the twins exhausting them and that’s why they haven’t adopted again yet. I have no prediction about when or whether they will again. I wouldn’t be surprised if they stopped now, in fact.

  23. Seri says:

    I am so glad to see the love for Haiti. Haiti WILL return, it is slowly recovering, and it WILL. Don’t forget about an area that needs some tender love, just because the cameras are gone and ‘disaster of the day’ is over.
    The celebs helping now, long after its popular to do so, anyone bringing attention to the place, anyone putting in time and effort even talking to those that feel so lost and sad and scared are OK in my book. :)

  24. ctkat says:

    She’s only adopted from countries that have international adoptions and are Hague compliant- neither Somalia nor Haiti are currently open to international adoption. Plenty of African and Caribbean countries are, though.

    She was critical of Madonna forcing through the two adoptions in Malawi (which doesn’t permit foreign adoptions, so Madonna was operating outside of the law), so being in compliance with international laws is a big thing with her, especially as a UN ambassador.

  25. Camille says:

    Well said Mika, I agree. She’s been doing it too long for it to be a personal PR trip.
    Angelina is a gorgeous looking woman who seems to live an amazing life. Good for her.

  26. Sue says:

    I think it is great that she cares about these kids. Does she ever do it without cameras capturing it?

  27. lisa says:

    @sue

    The UN documents her visits. The cameras are there for that purpose. Also sometimes the agencies she visits like to take pictures to post. She is a famous woman. But if you notice there are always only a few pictures. If as your comment implies it was for other reasons then one would assume that there would be way more pictures then the ONE we see here. And that is the ONLY photo of her visit that has been released. IN addition her visits are revealed AFTER she leaves.. not usually while she is there.

  28. Maritza says:

    I wonder how much truth there is to an article I read that Brad and Angelina are tired of acting and are planning to get into politics, see the link here:
    http://www.in2town.co.uk/Brad-Pitt-to-give-up-acting

  29. koliber says:

    Every time Jolie goes somewhere obstensibly for the U.N., it’s actually P.R. for the UN. Makes the UN look like it’s doing something, and most people, at least in the U.S., don’t have a favorable opinion of the UN, and with good reason. When you think of all the money they take in, and the little good they do, they need every bit of good P.R. they can get I would imagine.

  30. lucy2 says:

    I wouldn’t count on either of them quitting acting, Maritza. He’s got a bunch of stuff lined up, and didn’t she sign onto the Scarpetta stuff (still terrible casting, I think)? They have enough money, if they wanted to stop acting they would have done so by now. I imagine they both like the movie star life and all it entails.

  31. bizzy says:

    @alex: unless you think the $13 million she’s given away is all fake money, you kinda have to concede that *whatever* her motivations, there’s more benefit to this than flashing the paparazzi.

  32. skibunny says:

    I doubt they will quit acting. They need the income to support their lifestyle which I would assume costs more than we can even imagine.
    I applaud her good works but the fact that she is the figure head for the UN does not make me want to give any more or less nor does it make me want to give to that particular charity. There are so many that need help. The real stars are the faceless who live and work tirelessly in the trenches day after day.

  33. Kim says:

    What happened to the Syrian, Ethiopian, Burmese, Russian, Czech,New Orleans, Indian….children the idiots the tabloids claimed she was adopting. I can predict these stories before they come out. every country she visits they claim she is adopting from there. Its been 3 and 1/2 years since they adopted PAX so they may adopt again in 2011. Who Knows? FYI there are 3 SOS Villages in America,i in Coconut Creek Florida and 2 in the Chicago area. You can donate as a little as $15.

  34. criticizing Alex says:

    You tell him Katherine!!! @Alex: You just don’t get it. What is fake about making sacrifices to go to third world countries and donating a good percentage of your income to charity? The key is to promote public awareness! How do you do this anonymously. I am sure they do things anonymously too, but her goal is to promote AWARENESS!!!!

  35. sage says:

    Sue- she’d prob love to do it w/o cameras, however, those organizers of the Orgs, and she herself would also recognize that if her image is on film w/ them, its going to raise them a LOT more $ for their cause- must be a personal double edged sword for her.

  36. Jacqueline says:

    Was I the only one who thought she went to re-update the voodoo to hold on to Brad? Lol

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