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People's reaction on Madonna adoption refusal


People's reaction on Madonna adoption refusal

image Madonna in Malawi

Many Malawians have reacted angrily by the High Court ruling refusing US star Madonna second adoption in Malawi.

Commenting on Malawi internet discussion forum, Nyasanet, one contributor Pia Likoya posted this comment: “This is what the Malawi judge says at the beginning of her judgment ‘for the purposes of protecting the identity of the infant in these public records I will refer to the infant by the initials CJ.’ Is this judge for real or is she having a laugh. She must be the only person on the entire planet who doesn't know that the child's identity was 'blown' ages ago.

"She has even had her picture plastered on every newspaper and TV screens all over the world. Now you wonder why I think this judge has lost grip with reality. In her mind she has this obscure vision that she's protecting the interests of the child. How bizarre. This is law gone mad.”

Posting a comment on Nyasa Times story about the court ruling, Royale Kamanga wrote: “Judge Chombo whether she likes it or not she is not accountable to the global media giants but she is accountable to the people of Malawi. And I am sure she has read the flak against her decision on the adoption today.”

The court rejection also attracted more comments on social networking sites as Malawians expressed disappointment.

Facebook was awash with profile messages on the same news and comments on a posting by Mzondi Lungu who had crafted a poem for Chifundo James.

In his comment, Lungu wrote: “The judge was wrong and the judgment does not reflect the principle and doctrine of necessity. I t is high time we overhaul the residency laws that block good people like Madonna. Madonna does not need to prove anything further after all what she has done in Malawi and for David. This judgment goes down to a foolish thinking that children should found it best to live in an orphanage. It is a sham of laws.”

Mike Moyo’s comment read: “This is sad though...saving a life is good....but denying ones opportunity is evil...that’s all I can say....maybe Madonna must consider building an orphanage in Malawi so she doesn’t have to take these kids with. Let’s just pray God blesses her more...her intentions are excellent, but people want to get famous for denying her all that....”

Peggy Mtenje wrote: “This is so sad, how on earth will they be so mean to the poor girl, one was offering support that she really needs, gosh what type of people are they? “Kennedy Lokote wrote: “May God judge them accordingly.”

Eddie Kulesi: “Good points have been put across! Too bad indeed, not to me, not to you, not to Madonna but to Chifundo James. So now what? What can [us] as Malawians do for these kids which we want not be adopted to help them.... what?”

Janet Malinga: “Please Malawians shine and open your eyes. How can you refuse this granted offer, look how our dear David is looking now why don’t you let her adopt the poor young girl .”

Mandie Soko: “This is just sad for the poor girl...how can that judge deny this child a bright future?”

Frida Makonyola: “I hope this judge will wake up tomorrow and realise what she/he did to MERCY JAMES was torture and pathetic poor mercy too young to notice all this. Really hoping Madge will appeal to this and win. But knowing our people the chances are very slim.

And Harvard Law School Professor Elizabeth Bartholet ’65 has issued a public letter in support of international adoption.

Bartholet was joined in the statement by a group of experts in child welfare as news that a court in Malawi denied a petition for adoption by Madonna.

“International Adoption has come under fire recently from UNICEF and others who share Save the Children's views. But International Adoption provides children the possibility of finding the permanent nurturing homes they need to thrive, homes that are typically simply not available in their countries of origin,” reads the letter by the Harvard law Professor.

The US law experts argue in the letter that International Adoption is completely consistent with other positive social responses to the problems of unparented children, bringing new resources into poor countries to support such efforts, and developing new awareness of and concern for the plight of poor children and poor communities worldwide.

“We are not in possession of all the facts relevant to appropriate resolution of Mercy's particular case. But we urge policy-makers, including judges making decisions in such cases, to review and consider the International Adoption Policy Statement and Supporting Report, endorsed by the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, the Center for Adoption Policy, the Harvard Law School Child Advocacy Program, and the National Council For Adoption,” reads the letter.

In her ruling, Justice Esmie Chombo said Madonna did not meet a requirement that prospective parents must be resident in the country for 18 to 24 months.

"There's a gripping temptation to throw caution to the wind and grant an adoption in the hope that there will be a difference in the life of just one child." 

"By removing the very safeguard that is supposed to protect our children, the courts by their pronouncements could actually facilitate trafficking of children by some unscrupulous individuals ... I must have to decline to grant the application to Madonna."

Her ruling was welcomed by human rights activists who have been opposing the fast-tracking adoption process.

"Madonna may have the best interests for the girl but pedophiles may take advantage of adopting here if we allow procedures to be bent," said Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC) Executive director Mabvuto Bamusi.

Development agency Plan said they could not condone "whisking a single child off to a fairytale lifestyle in Hollywood" while others warned that high-profile adoptions sent out the wrong message.

Anna Feuchtwang, chief executive of International development charity EveryChild, said: "High- profile adoptions send out the wrong message. Much more work needs to be placed on the valuable work being done to support vulnerable families to stay together. This may be less glamorous than international adoption by pop stars but it is the only viable solution to provide safe and secure homes for all of Africa's children.”

2009 Apr 3