Malawi Court Set To Approve Madonna Adoption
Pop star Madonna is expected to hear from a court in Malawi this week that her controversial application to adopt a three-year-old boy from one of Africa s poorest countries has been approved. More than 18 months after the US singer and her British film-maker husband Guy Ritchie began the process of trying to add young David Banda to their family, the high court in Lilongwe was expected to grant permanent custody at a hearing on Thursday despite a previous lack of rules on international adoption. According to a document compiled by a social worker that will be presented to the court, the ministry of women and child development has recommended a temporary 18-month custody order be turned into a permanent adoption. "Mr and Mrs Ritchie have shown a strong commitment in providing the infant with all essential needs like love, safe home environment, care, protection, material as well as emotional support," said the report which was compiled after visits to the family home in London, and which has been leaked to AFP. The document said David, who was placed in an orphanage by his peasant farmer Yohane Banda after his mother died in childbirth, had "bonded well with the couple as other key members of the household" and "continues to develop into a happy thriving toddler." "His survival, growth and development is excellent," it said. The father, who comes from a dusty rural outpost in the central region of Mchinji near the Zambian border, has given his backing to the adoption so that his son can escape a life of grinding poverty. "Madonna is helping to take David out of poverty and possible death from diseases, and yet these people want to spoil everything," Yohane Banda said in an interview after Madonna first applied for custody. More than half of Malawi s population live on less than a dollar a day and the country is one of the world s worst affected by Aids with about 14 percent of its 12 million people infected with HIV. Madonna meanwhile is the world s highest paid female singer, and recently signed a $120-million deal with the concert promoter Live Nation to handle all her artistic output over the next 10 years. Having given birth to a daughter, Lourdes, and a son, Rocco, Madonna was won over by tiny David on a visit to an Aids orphanage in October 2006. Critics have accused her of using her vast wealth to fast-track the adoption process, a charge she has vigorously denied. "I assure you it doesn t matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa," she told chat show host Oprah Winfrey. Although Madonna herself has been widely praised for her charity work in Malawi, the adoption case triggered a storm of controversy in the southeast African nation. A coalition of 67 local rights groups have challenged the interim custody order on the grounds that existing laws in Malawi do not allow for international adoptions. Maxwell Matewere, a spokesperson of the group, wants the court to impose tough conditions on Madonna until new laws are passed allowing foreigners to easily adopt children. "We fear other foreigners might take advantage of the current laws and adopt children using Madonna as an example for trafficking and sex abuses," he said. Alan Chinula, Madonna s attorney in Malawi who has handled six previous adoptions by foreigners, insists that "we followed the law to the letter." It was not immediately clear whether Madonna herself would be present in court as she can in theory sign the adoption documents at a later stage.
Please rate this
Gadget Votes: 0 |NaN out of 5