March 14, 2007 08:25 AM

Angelina Jolie landed in Vietnam Wednesday night to complete the process of adopting a 3-year-old boy.

The actress, 31, was quickly escorted into a car with dark windows and driven from the airport, according to a photographer employed by the Associated Press.

After she receives the 3-year-old child – and participates in an adoption ceremony with officials in Ho Chi Minh City on Thursday morning – Jolie is expected to meet with U.S. consular officials who will then need to review the adoption before granting the child a passport.

“We have more than 20,000 orphans,” Vu Duc Long, director of the country’s International Adoption Department, tells PEOPLE. “This is a humanitarian cause. It’s good to find a home for one of our children.”

The child has been living at the Tam Binh orphanage outside Ho Chi Minh City ever since he was abandoned at a hospital as a baby, according to adoption officials. Shortly after he arrived at the orphanage, staff attempted to locate the boy’s birth parents with no success. The boy is healthy, friendly and shy, they said. He also gets along well with other children and enjoys playing soccer, the AP reports.

Vietnamese law makes it difficult for unmarried couples to adopt so Jolie is applying solo – but she and her partner, Brad Pitt, had planned for months to welcome a Vietnamese sibling for Maddox, 5, Zahara, 2, and 10-month-old Shiloh.

It was a “process that began shortly after Shiloh was born [in May],” a source told PEOPLE in a recent cover story.

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