On March 10, 2002, Angelina Jolie adopted her first child, seven-month-old Maddox Chivan. He was born on August 5, 2001 as Rath Vibol in Cambodia, and he initially lived in a local orphanage in Battambang. Jolie decided to apply for adoption after she had visited Cambodia twice, while filming Tomb Raider and on a UNHCR field trip in 2001. After her divorce from her second husband, Billy Bob Thornton, Jolie received sole custody of Maddox. Like Jolie’s other children, Maddox has gained considerable celebrity and appears regularly in the tabloid media.
Jolie adopted a six-month-old girl from Ethiopia, Zahara Marley, on July 6, 2005. Zahara was born on January 8, 2005. She was originally named Yemsrach by her mother, and was later given the legal name Tena Adam at an orphanage. Jolie adopted her from Wide Horizons For Children orphanage in Addis Ababa. Shortly after they returned to the United States, Zahara was hospitalized for dehydration and malnutrition. In 2007, media outlets reported Zahara’s biological mother, Mentewabe Dawit, was still alive and wanted her daughter back, but she later denied these reports, saying she thought Zahara was “very fortunate” to be adopted by Jolie.
Brad Pitt was reportedly present when Jolie signed the adoption papers and collected her daughter; later Jolie indicated that she and Pitt made the decision to adopt Zahara together. On January 19, 2006, a judge in California approved Pitt’s request to legally adopt Jolie’s two children. Their surnames were formally changed to “Jolie-Pitt”.
Jolie gave birth to a daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, in Swakopmund, Namibia, by a scheduled caesarean section, on May 27, 2006. Pitt confirmed that their newly-born daughter would have a Namibian passport, and Jolie decided to sell the first pictures of Shiloh through the distributor Getty Images herself, rather than allowing paparazzi to make these valuable photographs. People paid more than $4.1 million for the North American rights, while British magazine Hello! obtained the international rights for roughly $3.5 million. All profits were donated to an undisclosed charity by Jolie and Pitt. Madame Tussauds in New York unveiled a wax figure of two-month-old Shiloh; it was the first infant re-created in wax by Madame Tussauds.
On March 15, 2007, Jolie adopted a three-year-old boy from Vietnam, Pax Thien, who was born on November 29, 2003 and abandoned at birth at a local hospital, where he was initially named Pham Quang Sang. Jolie adopted the boy from the Tam Binh orphanage in Ho Chi Minh City. She revealed that his first name, Pax, was suggested by her mother before her death.
Following months of tabloid speculation, Jolie confirmed she was expecting twins at the 2008 Cannes Film Festival. She gave birth to a boy, Knox Léon, and a girl, Vivienne Marcheline, by caesarean section at the Lenval hospital in Nice, France, on July 12, 2008. The rights for the first images of Knox and Vivienne were jointly sold to People and Hello! for $14 million—the most expensive celebrity pictures ever taken. The money went to the Jolie/Pitt Foundation.