Madonna adoption case nears conclusion in Malawi

NEW YORK (AP) -- Madonna's bid to adopt a Malawian toddler she found in an orphanage in 2006 is likely to be approved in court this week, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Alan Chinula said Madonna's legal team and government representatives would be in Lilongwe High Court on Thursday.

The pop star and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, are not required to be present. Judge Andrew Nyirenda will review two reports by Malawian officials overseeing the adoption of 2-year-old David Banda.

"We are confident he will grant the Ritchies permanent custody order," said Chinula.

Chief social welfare officer Simon Chisale wrote two glowing reports, describing Madonna a "perfect mum" for David, who was sickly and malnourished when she found him at the Home of Hope Orphanage. His mother died shortly after childbirth and his father was too poor to take care of him. He has since been with Madonna and her family in Britain.

Nyirenda said in court proceedings in October 2006 that he would automatically revoke the temporary custody order if he was convinced David was being treated differently from the Ritchies' other children, Lourdes and Rocco, or that his human rights were being violated in any way.

Some child's rights groups have criticized the adoption, saying it would be better to provide more resources so that children can be cared for in their native countries.

Madonna has set out to prove she is helping to do that. She has set up a charity called Raising Malawi, and she is funding six more orphanages outside the capital, Lilongwe, that provide education and food for about 4,000 children.

She produced a documentary "I Am Because We Are," which shows poverty and disease devastating the lives of Malawi's children, and urges people to volunteer to help.



Raising a red-flag

After reading Lulu's blog-piece about "special interest groups" funding orphanages for further adoptions,  ["Tactics of the powers that rule the adoption industry part 2"  - ], I find it disturbing that 1) these adoptive parents do not have to attend the formalized adoption proceedings and 2) As one who was a "charity-case", charities for adoption purposes (rightfully) raise the hair on the back of my neck.

A child is NOT an orphan if there are living parents.  PERIOD.

Are there no universal standards to adoption proceedures?  If not, WHY?!?

Attendance is optional

Judge Approves Madonna Adoption

Posted: 2008-05-28 14:28:14

LILONGWE, Malawi (May 28) - A judge on Wednesday approved Madonna's adoption of a Malawian boy she met in an orphanage in 2006.

The 49-year-old pop star wasn't in court for the ruling, which took Justice Andrew Nyirenda an hour to read. Nyirenda said he was satisfied that Madonna and her British filmmaker husband, Guy Ritchie, "are perfect parents" for David, who will be 3 in November.

Madonna and Ritchie have been caring for David in London.

"It's now official, David is Madonna's baby," the singer's Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, told reporters.

David's mother died when he was a month old. His father, Yohane Banda, has said he believed he could not care for him alone, and that placing him in an orphanage was the best way to ensure David's survival. The father has said he didn't object to the adoption.

Yohane Banda said Wednesday he was glad the adoption was successful.

"I am glad it's all over," said the 33-year-old farmer, who ekes out a living growing tomatoes, maize and onions. "I am glad David has a new, good home."

Critics had accused Madonna of using her celebrity status to circumvent Malawian adoption laws — allegations she denies.

Malawian law is fuzzy on foreign adoptions. Regulations stipulate only that prospective parents undergo an 18- to 24-month assessment period in Malawi, a rule that was bent when Madonna was allowed to take David to London.

Speaking to reporters last week at the Cannes Film Festival, Madonna said the criticism hurt.

"It was a big struggle, and I didn't understand it," she said, comparing the process to the pain of childbirth. "But in the end I rationalized that, when a woman has a child and goes through natural childbirth, she (also) suffers an enormous amount."

Madonna and Ritchie also have a son, Rocco, 7, and Madonna has a daughter, Lourdes, 11.

Madonna met David while establishing charity projects in Malawi. She is funding her own and six other orphanages in the country.

Her Raising Malawi organization also announced that the singer is funding a multimillion-dollar academy for disadvantaged children in Malawi.

"I Am Because We Are," a new documentary that Madonna produced and narrated, shows poverty and disease devastating the lives of Malawi's children, and urges people to volunteer.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press.

"Perfect Parents".... <shuddering>  that's a scary thing to be called from a distance.

It's interesting Madonna didn't appear before the court that handed her a new son, yet she was able to appear before the crowds at the Cannes Film Festival, promoting her (or is it her husband's?) documentary, "I Am, Because We Are".  AND...according to reports, she will also attend Michael Moore's Traverse Film Festival, in Michigan this August to present her flick, personally.

Seems it pays to have friends who don't understand the legal and ethical issues this international adoption case represents, because filmmaker/media critic Michael Moore said he was "outraged" by the widespread criticism Madonna received for adopting a baby from Africa.  [Yea, big-guy, THAT'S why so many are disturbed by this high-profile adoption made possible through Madonna and her money.]

Perhaps I can help clear the air of arrogant confusion:  TAKING is NOT THE SAME as GIVING.  One does not have to take a child away from his country and family of orgins to give a struggling family help and support.  I guess it  just looks better to hold a grateful child than a spade and shovel at media-crazed promotional events that feature an artist's latest music and movie releases.  I bet David's farmer-dad would be proud and pleased to see his son smile for the cameras with such a world-famous celebrity.

Pound Pup Legacy