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Judge rejects Madonna's adoption efforts in Malawi

Judge rejects Madonna's adoption efforts in Malawi

A judge in Malawi has rejected pop singer Madonna's application to adopt a second child in the country on residency grounds.
The judge, based in the capital of Lilongwe, stated that prospective parents must be a resident of Malawi for 18 to 24 months before they are able to adopt, a judge and lawyer told the Associated Press.
The judge, who spoke on the condition of the anonymity, did not make the ruling but had been in the courtroom when the decision was announced.
It is not yet clear if Madonna intends to appeal the decision. Her lawyer was not immediately available for comment.
The 50-year-old singer had filed an application to adopt a four-year-old girl whose mother died soon after childbirth in the African nation. The child's name, listed on the court application, is Chifundo James.
Madonna has faced criticism — including from child advocacy and human rights groups — when she adopted her son David Banda in Malawi in 2006. After the child's biological mother died, his father was unable to care for him and had turned him over to an orphanage.
Madonna also has a daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship and a son, Rocco, from her recently ended marriage to filmmaker Guy Ritchie.
Critics have blasted the American singer for her adoption efforts and have accused her of using her celebrity to fast-track or bypass the Malawian adoption process.
However, some in Malawi support the adoption as well as Madonna's charitable efforts in the southeastern African nation, which include raising funds for food, shelter, education and health care for Malawian children.
With files from the Associated Press

2009 Apr 3