HO CHI MINH CITY (Reuters) - Angelina Jolie adopted her fourth child on Thursday, a Vietnamese boy from a Ho Chi Minh City orphanage.
Government officials said the boy was renamed Pax Thien Jolie and is almost three-and-a-half years old.
“Thank you for taking such wonderful care of my son,” the Oscar-winning actress wrote in the visitors’ book of the Tam Binh orphanage. “I am sure he will miss your beautiful, caring staff as much as you will miss him,” she added.
The adoption will be final once U.S. embassy officials in Hanoi approve the paperwork for the child to travel to the United States. Jolie and Vietnamese officials have already signed adoption documents in Ho Chi Minh City.
Senior officials said Jolie’s adoption had been speeded up, partly due to her celebrity status. She filed papers in early March, although she visited last November. The length of time it takes to adopt in Vietnam varies, with an average of about six months.
Orphanage director Nguyen Van Trung said the boy had been abandoned at birth at a local hospital and has been at the orphanage since 2003.
He cried when Jolie came to the orphanage.
Bui Thi Bich Tuyen, the woman who took care of the boy there said, “he’s just like the other children but maybe a bit more dynamic. He is shy with new people, he always cries.”
Jolie took the boy with her to the Justice Department building in the city center to sign the adoption documents. Her car left half an hour later.
A witness said she wore a black T-shirt and black pants.
“She was very beautiful. She signed and had her photo taken,” department official Dao Van Tran said outside the building.
Jolie has two adopted children and a biological daughter with partner Hollywood star Brad Pitt.
She flew into the southern Vietnamese city formerly called Saigon on Wednesday night from Japan on a chartered plane. Her son Maddox and daughters Zahara and Shiloh Nouvel accompanied her.
Jolie, 31, filed adoption papers in early March through an unidentified American agency without Pitt because under the law in Vietnam an unmarried couple cannot adopt a child, while a single person can.
Jolie and Pitt visited Ho Chi Minh City last November and met children at the orphanage.
The couple say they have no plans to marry but are committed to raising their children together. Their biological daughter, Shiloh Nouvel, was born last year. Jolie adopted Maddox from Cambodia and Zahara from Ethiopia before her relationship with Pitt, who has now become their adoptive father.
The couple starred in the 2005 movie “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”.
They are also working together on the film “A Mighty Heart” about the killing of a U.S. journalist by Pakistani militants.
Jolie won an Oscar in 1999 for best supporting actress in “Girl, Interrupted”. She starred in the 2001 movie “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider” which was filmed in Cambodia, neighboring Vietnam.