Angelina Jolie said she separated from ex-husband Brad Pitt for the sake of the six children they share. In a new interview with Vogue, the actress discussed the ways she reinforces her kids' identities as she parents them.
"I separated for the well-being of my family. It was the right decision. I continue to focus on their healing. Some have taken advantage of my silence, and the children see lies about themselves in the media, but I remind them that they know their own truth and their own minds," she told the outlet.
The couple's six children range in age from 11 to 18. Jolie adopted her two oldest before she began dating Pitt. After they began dating, they adopted another child, and Jolie gave birth to three more children. In the interview, the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil actress called all of her kids "very brave, very strong young people."
Jolie said that both adoption and biological motherhood were "beautiful" ways to create a family, and said that what's important is being honest about one's experience with both methods. She then said that, in her home, words like adoption and orphanage have positive connotations.
"With my adopted children, I can't speak of pregnancy, but I speak with much detail and love about the journey to find them and what it was like to look in their eyes for the first time," she explained.
Jolie also told Vogue that it was important for her that her adopted children not lose touch with where they were from. She offered advice to other mothers in similar situations, saying that she and Pitt had to learn from their adopted children's roots. The actress added that the kids she adopted weren't just entering her world -- she was also entering theirs. She described it as a journey that they have to go on together.
Pitt and Jolie were married in France in 2014 and announced that they were separating two years later. Following their separation, the two agreed to a custody arrangement in 2018 that allowed them to avoid a battle in court, which seemed as if it might have been on the table initially. According to Us Weekly, the agreement allowed them to have joint custody of their children and meant that the children could immediately begin having overnight stays with their father. Apparently, Pitt was the one who initially reached out seeking to avoid a court battle, which he feared might have lasting repercussions for their kids.