The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Adopt or not: query for Jolie
- Hint in Brad Pitt’s vow to raise a soccer team

Mumbai, Oct. 6: If Angelina Jolie’s in India, can she go back without adopting a baby'

In June, a month after the birth of Shiloh Nouvel, her daughter with Brad Pitt, the actress announced that the next addition to the multicultural family would again be through adoption.

The couple’s first two children — a son from Cambodia and a daughter from Ethiopia — are adopted.

“Her agents did ask for information about adoption centres in and around Pune and Maharashtra-Gujarat. We have provided them with whatever we could,” said a source in Kailash Picture Company, line producers for the film A Mighty Heart that has brought Jolie here.

Maddox, her first, went home with Jolie after she had spent time in Cambodia shooting for Lara Croft: Tomb Raider and then again on a goodwill visit as UN ambassador.

Days before the couple arrived in Pune — they were spotted at Le Meridian today — Pitt told a tabloid: “I’m not joking around. I have three kids now and next year I’ll have six. Nine. We’re looking for a soccer team.”

The fourth could very well be Indian.

Sanjay Nahar, a social worker who runs Sarhad, an NGO involved in rehabilitation work in villages on the Pakistan border, says: “The children here are from a politically sensitive state, so we do not get involved in adoption work. But yes, the children do need support and deserve better life in a family environment.”

Nahar neither denies nor confirms hearing from Jolie’s people.

“Since the last three years, we have been bringing children rendered orphans or homeless by terrorism to Pune. We have 86 of them with us here. We have not placed any of these kids for adoption to foreigners yet.

“But Ms Jolie is working on a film about how terrorism destroys families of innocents. We hope she will be able to care for these children here, many of whose parents were either terrorists or were killed by terrorists,” he says.

A Mighty Heart is based on the life of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, killed by militants in Pakistan.

Work was on in full swing at three Pune bungalows, all in Sindh Society, to ready them for the shooting. One is being done up as Pearl’s Karachi home, another as an office in Karachi and the third will serve as the team’s production office.

Amid all the activity, there was no sign of the couple. They were seen leaving the hotel — Pitt was photographed standing by a Mercedes van — but that was it. It’s unlikely they would have been to an orphanage yet, even if that’s planned.

Sarhad has set up a residential school for the 86 children from Jammu and Kashmir, among whom is the daughter of a civilian porter who helped plant the Tricolour atop Tiger Hill during the Kargil war and was killed in action. The children are in the ages of 4 to 14 years.

So far, Jolie has chosen newborns.

Madhuri Abhyankar, director of Srivats, one of Pune’s most respected adoption centres, will not say if Pitt-Jolie have been in touch but reveals that newborns are not generally given for adoption. “But yes, exceptions can be made if the adoptive parents are keen,” she says.

Abhyankar adds that one month — the time that the couple will be in India — may not be enough to complete all formalities.

Besides, strictly speaking, Indian laws do not permit adoption for foreigners.

“What they can get is guardianship, with the adopted child continuing to hold an Indian passport. After the child goes to the adopted parents’ country, he or she may become a naturalised citizen of that nation,” Abhyankar says.

It has been said off and on that Jolie’s earlier choice of Cambodian and Ethiopian refugee babies was on impulse, during her visits as a goodwill ambassador for the UN, and that she and Pitt will take more care this time.

Pune, just out of a series of adoption scams, is also careful. “We have an impeccable record and if Angelina and Brad Pitt choose us, they will have to go through the entire stringent process. After all, a baby is no toy,” says Abhyankar.

Nor a souvenir, some would say.

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