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Adoption Scandal Unfolds
Angelina Jolie finds herself entangled in a dispute over alleged “fake” documentation related to the adoption of her eldest son, Maddox.
The controversy centers around a local aid charity worker, Mounh Sarath,
who claims to have signed official papers in Cambodia, officially declaring himself as Maddox’s father.
Claimed Paternity and Power of Attorney
Mounh Sarath, 51, asserts that he not only signed adoption papers but still holds power of attorney over Maddox. The Sun on Sunday was shown an adoption document filed in August 2003 with a court in Battambong province, confirming the court’s recognition of Sarath as Maddox’s father. Sarath expressed his discontent, stating,
“I would be happy if Cambodia didn’t see her again.”
Unresolved Legal Ties
According to Sarath, the legal documentation acknowledging him as Maddox’s father remains unchanged, even though Angelina and her then-husband Billy Bob Thornton did not take full custody of Maddox until 2003. This delay in full custody coincided with the United States implementing stricter adoption regulations from Cambodia due to concerns about trafficking.
Navigating Adoption Challenges
Mr. Sarath, the director of an aid charity who met Angelina through charity work, explained the circumstances surrounding Maddox’s adoption. He mentioned the necessity to change Maddox’s name and asserted,
“She had to change his name, so the only way was for me to do it. I said he’s my son.”
Despite these actions, there is no indication that Angelina or Thornton were aware of Sarath’s involvement.
Maddox’s Adoption and Legal Troubles
Maddox’s adoption was facilitated by agent Lauryn Galindo, who later faced legal consequences in the United States. Galindo was sentenced to 18 months for falsifying information, including names, birth dates, and places of birth of Cambodian children placed with US parents. Angelina, unaware of Galindo’s wrongdoing, has emphasized in the past her commitment to ethical adoption practices.
Angelina’s Commitment to Ethical Adoption
Angelina, a U.N. special envoy with a strong connection to Cambodia, has previously spoken about her efforts to ensure Maddox’s adoption adhered to ethical standards. She stated,
“I would never rob a mother of her child. I can only imagine how dreadful that would feel.”
Angelina also criticized singer Madonna’s adoption of David Banda from Malawi, emphasizing the importance of legal frameworks in adoption.
Return to L.A. Amidst Controversy
The unfolding controversy comes as Angelina jetted back to Los Angeles from London, concluding a tour of Europe promoting humanitarian causes with her six children. The claims made by Sarath add a layer of complexity to the actress’s past adoption experiences, raising questions about the intricacies of international adoptions and the challenges faced by all parties involved.
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