Daily Mail: “Why did an adoption agency tell Angelina Jolie I had died of AIDS when they gave her my baby?”

Why did an adoption agency tell Angelina Jolie I had died of AIDS when they gave her my baby?

Indeed, even the most cynical Hollywood-watcher couldn’t fail to be moved by Angelina’s description of the hell from which her new daughter had been removed. The little girl’s natural mother had, according to Angelina, died of AIDS.

Malnourished and suffering from rickets, six-month-old Zahara was, it was claimed, just days away from death when Angelina found her at an orphanage in Addis Ababa, nursed her back to health and adopted her.

Although they knew Zahara had family back in Ethiopia, Angelina and Brad have chosen not to visit Awassa, the lakeside town where the little girl was born. Had they done so, they may well have been shocked by what they found.

The Mail on Sunday has discovered that not only is Zahara’s mother, Mentewab Dawit Lebiso, alive and well, but that the man who arranged Zahara’s adoption has been waging a campaign of threats and intimidation against her family.

When rumours surfaced last week in America that all was not as it appeared with the paperwork, the American headquarters of the international adoption agency Wide Horizons For Children initially insisted that Zahara’s mother was dead. And yet in Ethiopia, the man who brought Zahara to the agency knows Mentewab is alive and has been attempting to shut her up.

Last week, The Mail on Sunday travelled to Zahara’s home town and talked, through interpreters, not only to the extended family but to Mentewab herself.

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Author: JaeRan

Assistant professor at UW Tacoma, writer, and researcher.

3 thoughts

  1. The Mail is a right wingish “immigrants are stealing our jobs” kind of paper, so that’s their bias. I’m an AP, so that’s my bias. (In the interest of full disclosure 🙂 I am pretty disappointed that the media feels it appropriate to publish that Z is the product of rape. It’s just too far you know? They also make a big deal of the Jolie-Pitts not visiting Awassa, but with the paparrazi, can you imagine the side show that would become? There’s a question now that the journalists paid the people involved to lie about all these things. Here’s another link http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071119/people_nm/ethiopia_jolie_dc_1 that seems to say the opposite. One thing is pretty clear, that one should never have to lose their child due to poverty, and the ‘west’ is far too privileged. In terms of Ethiopian adoptions there are often multiple family members still alive, so this type of situation is sadly quite common. I don’t think people realize that the number of ‘true’ orphans is really very low.

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