I found Hank Stuever's July 31 magazine article regarding Angelina Jolie's adoption of a daughter more than a little puzzling. The last statement of his column was particularly offensive: It suggests that celebrity and AIDS are equal scourges. Even if Stuever's conclusion was written tongue in cheek, it was certainly in poor taste. In the best of all possible worlds, all children would be born into families that were prepared and able to nurture them, and born in countries rife with opportunities. But that is not the case. Whatever the challenges faced by children adopted internationally, and there are many, being a member of a loving, caring, understanding family is far superior to the alternative. Why should the author look for the "perfect" adoptive family when there is no perfect biological family?

I applaud Jolie in her efforts to mother by choice. My husband and I are the parents of grown children adopted internationally, as well as domestically. Although we have not been without flaws or faults as parents, we and our offspring have created a loyal, faithful and devoted family.

-- Freda Lippert Thyden


U.S. actress Angelina Jolie, cradling her son Maddox, arrives at St. Mark's Square for the screening of her latest movie "Shark Tale" which will be shown out of competition at the 61st edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, northern Italy, Friday, Sept. 10, 2004. (AP Photo/Domenico Stinellis)