exposing the dark side of adoption
Register Log in

Madonna appears in Malawi court in adoption (Adds adjournment date)


By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE, March 30 (Reuters) - U.S. pop singer Madonna appeared in a Malawi court on Monday seeking to adopt a second child, a girl called Mercy James, from the southern African country in a move that could meet opposition from rights groups.

Critics had accused authorities of giving one of the world's must successful singers special treatment when she adopted her Malawian son David Banda. Malawi civil society groups say they plan to oppose Mercy's adoption.

Madonna appeared at the court in a black dress and sunglasses. She did not speak to reporters after the High Court case was adjourned.

"It has been adjourned to Friday, April 3 for the judge to make her ruling," court registrar Thomson Ligowe told Reuters.

One of Madonna's lawyers said outside the court that she was asking the court to grant her an interim adoption of about 18 months of Mercy, who is four years old.

Madonna has captivated millions around the world with sexy, high-energy performances and songs like "Material Girl", "Like a Virgin" and "Papa Don't Preach".

The local Nation newspaper has quoted Madonna, 50, as saying Malawian friends had told her David needed a brother or sister.

Madonna, who began adoption proceedings in 2006, took David when he was 13-months-old after his father had placed him in an orphanage following the death of his wife.

Some Malawians opposed David's adoption, accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children. Critics say the latest adoption would also violate Malawi's laws.

The singer has said despite the controversy, she was happy to be involved in a case that might pave the way for more adoptions in Malawi, where an estimated one million children have been orphaned by AIDS.

On Sunday Madonna toured a site where her charity, Raising Malawi, plans to build a multi-million dollar school for girls in Chikhota village, about 12 km (7 miles) outside Lilongwe.

(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Writing by Michael Georgy)

2009 Mar 30