A Fast Track for Angelina's Adoption

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Angelina Jolie with her daughter Zahara and Brad Pitt with Jolie's son Maddox in Mumbai, India, November 12, 2006.

After the news broke at the beginning of March that Angelina Jolie had applied to adopt a child from Vietnam, the head of the country's International Adoption Department, Vu Duc Long, declared that there would be no special provisions for the actress. "She will be treated equally as other foreigners," said Long. The adoption process normally takes four months. However, Long told TIME on Friday that Jolie's case may be over soon. First, because Jolie is using a government-approved U.S. adoption agency and, second, because "the child has already been identified. It's a boy three to four years old." The process could be over by mid-April, Long said. "The handover will be held in Ho Chi Minh City [formerly Saigon]."

Jolie has three children: son Maddox, 5, whom she adopted in Cambodia; daughter Zahara, 2, adopted in Ethiopia; and 10-month old Shiloh, her daughter with actor Brad Pitt. She is adopting the Vietnamese child on her own. The likely reason Pitt is not involved in the application is that Vietnam forbids unwed couples from co-adopting children. Single parents, however, are under no such restriction.

Last Thanksgiving, Jolie and Pitt visited Tam Binh orphanage outside Ho Chi Minh City and got to know several of the children there. Said Nguyen Van Trung, the director of the orphanage: "I only know that they asked to adopt a normal boy from three to five years old." He added that in order to do that, Jolie had to meet with the potential adoptees first. Some press reports had speculated that Jolie has already formed a bond with a child in Tam Binh, but Trung would not confirm this. "The law does not allow them to self-pick the child," he told TIME. Nevertheless, Tam Binh has already prepared files for the American adoption agency Jolie is working with. "We are waiting for the approval. We will have to inform them 30 days before the adoption."