- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
- Oops!Something went wrong.Please try again later.
Back in 2002, Jolie became a mom for the first time when she adopted Maddox Chivan, 21, from an orphanage in Cambodia. Three years later, the family grew with the addition of Zahara Marley, 17, who was born in Ethiopia. It wasn't long before Pitt also adopted Jolie's first two children — and the couple decided to continue to expand their family.
Following the 2006 birth of their daughter Shiloh Nouvel, 16, Jolie and Pitt adopted their son Pax Thien, 18, from Vietnam. Then in 2008, their household grew even more when they welcomed their twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline, 14.
Jolie has said that having a large family and a multicultural upbringing has impacted her children in an overwhelmingly positive way.
"They're pretty great people and because there's so many of them, I think they've had a very significant effect on each other. It's not like I'm the head of anything. I'm very honest with my kids. And I'm very human with my kids," Jolie told PEOPLE.
She added, "I have six very individual human beings in my home. I am so excited about all the different stages and feelings and curiosities that they go through. Why wouldn't you be? We're supposed to help them figure out who they are. And you can't figure out who they are if you don't enthusiastically develop with them."
Pitt also previously opened up about wanting his children to follow their own interests.
"Listen, I want them to follow their bliss, follow their passions, whatever they're most interested in," he said in the press room at the 2020 Oscars after winning the Best Supporting Actor award. "It's about guiding as you can, but they get to try everything on and try what their passion is. So, sure, why not?"
Here's everything to know about Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie's children.
Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, 21
Jolie and Pitt's oldest child, Maddox Chivan Jolie-Pitt, was born on August 5, 2001 in Battambang, Cambodia. After spending the first seven months of his life in an orphanage, he was adopted by Jolie, who had previously fallen in love with the country while filming Lara Croft: Tomb Raider the year prior. Jolie visited only one orphanage and felt an instant connection with Maddox, explaining that when she saw him lying in a box suspended from the ceiling, she "cried and cried."
At the time of Maddox's adoption, Jolie was still married to Billy Bob Thornton — although she adopted the little boy on her own. Several months after returning home with Maddox, Jolie and Thornton called it quits, and she began to raise the little boy as a single parent. In 2005, Jolie started dating Pitt and by the end of that year, Pitt had begun the process to also adopt Maddox.
By the time he was 6, Jolie shared that Maddox was growing up into a "little intelligent man," adding that he was "so smart and so witty." She even called the little boy her "best buddy" and "the coolest little person" she'd ever met.
As Maddox grew older, he became increasingly interested in both Jolie's humanitarian work and her work as a filmmaker. At age 15, he worked as an executive producer on Jolie's film First They Killed My Father, the film adaptation of her friend Loung Ung's book about the Cambodian genocide by the Khmer Rouge regime. Jolie later explained that she, in part, took on the film because she hoped Maddox would learn "about who he is" and become "that much more connected to his country."
"He goes back and forth [to Cambodia] a lot, but this would be over four months of just being in the country, really reading, listening, learning and absorbing all things about his culture and country [including] the very, very dark parts," she told PEOPLE.
Han Myung-Gu/GC Images
In 2019, Maddox enrolled in South Korea's Yonsei University, which Jolie said she "could not be happier about." While he was forced to take classes remotely during the pandemic, he was eventually able to return to campus where he is studying biochemistry and working on learning the Korean language.
"I'm so happy for [Maddox] that he's grown up into such a good man. I say that 'cause he's smart and he's doing his work, but he's also wild. He's balanced in his teenage years," Jolie shared.
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt, 17
Zahara Marley Jolie-Pitt was born on Jan. 8, 2005 in Hawassa, Ethiopia and was adopted by Jolie when she was seven-months-old. Jolie initially visited Zahara's orphanage with Maddox after he had taken an interest in traveling to Africa. Upon meeting the little girl, Maddox noticed that she "needed care." "Kids understand sadness and poverty and hunger," Jolie said at the time.
When they later returned to make the adoption official, Jolie was also joined by Pitt. In July, they returned home, where Zahara was treated for a salmonella infection at a New York City hospital and made a full recovery — ready to begin life with her family.
"Mad loves her. When Z came home she was older, she was seven months old, so for Mad it's like having this tiny pet he can just hold and look at. He's great," Jolie said at the time.
Since then, Zahara has gotten the opportunity to travel around the world with her family, visiting her home country of Ethiopia for a special trip in 2019. During the visit, Jolie and Zahara met with the country's first female president, Sahle-Work Zewde, where they discussed Ethiopian culture and history as well as issues like education and treating drug-resistant tuberculosis.
That same year, Zahara also launched her Zahara Collection jewelry line in collaboration with jeweler Robert Procop. All proceeds from the collection benefited House of Ruth Shelters, a Los Angeles-based organization which provides transitional housing for battered women and children.
In 2020, Jolie revealed that Zahara had undergone several surgeries although she did not specify the reasoning. The teen was able to recover at home during the pandemic, when her schooling transitioned online. During that time, Jolie opened up about raising the now-17-year-old, praising her as "an extraordinary African woman."
"My daughter is from Ethiopia, one of my children … And I have learned so much from her. She is my family, but she is an extraordinary African woman and her connection to her country, her continent, is her own and it's something I only stand back in awe of," Jolie shared.
In July 2022, Jolie announced on Instagram that Zahara is planning on attending Spelman College in the fall.
"Zahara with her Spelman sisters!" Jolie captioned a photo of Zahara smiling with her classmates. "Congratulations to all new students starting this year. A very special place and an honor to have a family member as a new Spelman girl."
Pitt also celebrated Zahara's achievement while speaking with PEOPLE at the Bullet Train premiere in L.A.
"Yeah that's beautiful," the actor said, appearing to get emotional. "Really beautiful."
In August 2022, Jolie dropped Zahara off at Spelman college. The mother and daughter met with school president Dr. Helene Gayle and Vice President for Student Affairs Darryl Holloman, who shared a photo and video from the event on Instagram.
When asked how she felt about being a Spelman mom, Jolie replied, "I'm gonna start crying! I have not started crying yet."
Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt, 16
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty
In 2006, Jolie and Pitt announced they were expecting a baby. Their daughter Shiloh Nouvel Jolie-Pitt was born on May 27 at Cottage Hospital in Swakopmund, Namibia, where the family had spent the past few months. Shiloh immediately fit in with her family, and one year after her birth, Jolie said the little girl was reminding her a lot of herself.
"Shi's so full of light and love, she's just a little honey, and very, very funny. I think I'm recognizing some of myself in that one — she's going to be a little bit of trouble!" she shared.
Jolie has said that growing up, Shiloh thought she was "one of the brothers," and the family has always supported her fashion choices. The actress told Reuters in 2010, "I think she is fascinating, the choices she is making. And I would never be the kind of parent to force somebody to be something they are not. I think that is just bad parenting. Children should be allowed to express themselves in whatever way they wish without anybody judging them because it is an important part of their growth. Society always has something to learn when it comes to the way we judge each other, label each other. We have far to go."
As Shiloh has gotten older, she's become increasingly involved in her mother's humanitarian efforts. At just nine years old, she requested to join her mother on a trip where they traveled to the Middle East for World Refugee Day — and they have now traveled all across the globe together. Since then, Shiloh has also accompanied Jolie on numerous red carpets, including several humanitarian events. As the duo share an especially tight-knit relationship, she even encouraged Jolie to take on her role in The One and Only Ivan.
Now at 16, Shiloh spends much of her spare time dancing, practicing at Millennium Dance Complex, an elite dance studio in L.A. While she hasn't spoken out about her passion for dance, she has been featured in several videos shared by the studio.
Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt, 18
David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty
Pax Thien Jolie-Pitt was born on Nov. 29, 2003 in Vietnam, where he spent the first few years of his life in an orphanage outside of Ho Chi Minh City. He was adopted by Jolie in 2007 at age three when she traveled to the country with Maddox. At the time, Jolie adopted the little boy solo as Vietnamese law makes it difficult for unmarried couples to adopt, but he was formally adopted by Pitt in 2008.
Shortly after bringing Pax home, Jolie shared that the little boy was spending time getting accustomed to his surroundings and enjoying his new sense of freedom, calling him a "tough, remarkable little person."
"He spent 3 1/2 years of his life in one place, in one room, in this one little iron bed with 20 other kids, and having no choice for himself to do things, having no freedom. And suddenly, here he is in a very free situation with new brothers and sisters and a mom and dad. He's learning English and he's so loving and he's wild and free 'cause he suddenly has freedom so he's a little wild and crazy," Jolie shared.
In the years following his adoption, Jolie shared that Pax formed a close bond with Maddox and was enjoying life with his big family. In 2011, the group returned to Vietnam to explore Pax's home country ahead of his eighth birthday.
While Pax keeps much of his personal life out of the spotlight, he did make a small appearance in Jolie's 2016 film Kung Fu Panda 3, voicing the character Yoo. He also assisted Jolie and Maddox on First They Killed My Father, where he served as a set photographer.
Knox Léon Jolie-Pitt, 14
In 2008, Jolie and Pitt revealed they were expecting when Jolie stepped out at the Independent Spirit Awards with a baby bump. On July 12, Jolie gave birth to twins Knox Léon and Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt in Nice, France. Knox arrived minutes before his sister, weighing in at 5.3 lbs. It was later revealed that the little boy was named after Pitt's grandfather, Hal Knox Hillhouse.
Upon returning home, the couple described their household as "chaos," but noted their older children were on hand to help with the new additions to the family. Jolie told PEOPLE that Shiloh and Zahara were enjoying picking out the twins' clothing and often helped "change and hold them." As a toddler, Jolie noted that Knox was "a lot like Brad" both "emotionally and physically."
Knox has grown up primarily outside of the spotlight, although he did voice the character of Ku Ku in Kung Fu Panda 3. And in 2019, Knox and his siblings were spotted showing off their entrepreneurial skills while selling homemade organic dog treats at a park in L.A.
Vivienne Marcheline Jolie-Pitt, 14
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage
Knox's fraternal twin Vivienne Marcheline was born just a minute after her brother on July 12, 2008, weighing in at exactly 5 lbs. She was named after Jolie's grandmother, with whom she shares the same first name.
As newborns, Vivienne and Knox made their public debut with their parents on the cover of PEOPLE in August 2008.
While Vivienne has primarily grown up outside of the public eye like her brother Knox, she has already made her on screen debut. In 2014, she appeared in Maleficent while portraying the younger version of Elle Fanning's character Aurora. Jolie explained that the duo practiced her scene at home — and she was pretty impressed.
"When we did it together, we had a good time. I was actually shocked that she was doing so well she went back and hit her mark! It's frightening," Jolie said during a Disney roundtable. Now at age 14, Vivienne and Knox are focused on their schooling as well as raising their two pet bunnies they adopted during the pandemic.