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Let me see my son, says real father of Madonna's adopted David


Let me see my son, says real father of Madonna's adopted David

By Stephen Bevan
Last updated at 11:08 PM on 31st May 2008

The father of Madonna’s adopted son David may challenge the decision by the High Court in Malawi to grant permanent custody to the pop star.

Peasant farmer Yohane Banda claims he has been ‘left in the dark’ by government officials who had promised him he would have regular visits from the two-year-old boy as part of the adoption arrangement.

He said he had not seen a copy of the judgment but would be prepared to challenge it if it did not include provision for him to have access to his son.

Madonna with adopted Malawi boy David Banda

Adopted: Madonna's lawyer says there was nothing in the Malawi adoption order providing access to her two-year-old son David.

Mr Banda claims he was told by Penston Kilembe, the government official who arranged the adoption, that he would be able to see David ‘every three to four years’.

But last night, Madonna’s lawyer in Malawi, Allan Chinula, said there was nothing in the adoption order providing access to David, and that he was ‘not aware’ of any such promise.

Mr Banda said he was now trying to get a copy of last week’s ruling by Justice Andrew Nyirenda.

David was placed in an orphanage by his father when he was seven weeks old, after his mother died from childbirth complications.

Mr Banda, 33, who lives in a mud brick and grass thatch house where he grows tomatoes and does occasional carpentry jobs, said: "The truth is that I love the boy and it was in his best interests to put him in the orphanage.

"Because I support the adoption I would not want to put up a challenge that would reverse it, but I might challenge some aspects of the order that has been granted.

"I am discussing with my family about following up on having access to the child.

"We will not leave things the way they are – we will do something about it.

"Anything I do will be aimed at securing the wellbeing of David."

Mr Banda has also raised concerns that he had not been invited to any of the court hearings since Madonna was granted an ‘interim’ adoption order in October 2006, which allowed her to take David out of the country.

Mr Banda said: "People should have been telling me what was happening."

Yohane Banda father of boy adopted by Madonna

David's biological father Yohane Banda says he was given promises that he could visit his son every three to four years

Madonna, 49, has said several times that David was abandoned by his family at the orphanage.

She also claimed that his mother died from AIDS, which Mr Banda vehemently denies.

Asked if he thought Madonna should have contacted him direct, Mr Banda said: "Yes, that would have helped.

"There are some things that Madonna was told that are not correct so I could have corrected them."

The pop star’s attempts to adopt David have been mired in controversy, with critics accusing her of using her fame to circumvent a law that prevents non-residents adopting Malawian children.

A new law on cross-border adoptions has yet to be approved by Malawi’s parliament but she was granted a waiver.

She has poured millions into orphanages and training projects in the African nation through her charity, Raising Malawi.

2008 May 31