AP: Malawi court rejects Madonna adoption request
A judge has rejected Madonna’s request to adopt a second child from Malawi because of a requirement that prospective parents live in the southern African nation for at least 18 months, a judge and a lawyer said Friday.
The judge who confirmed the decision did not make the ruling, but saw it. The lawyer was present when the ruling was made. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the case.
The 50-year-old pop superstar can appeal the ruling to Malawi’s Supreme Court.
The residency rule was waived in 2006, when Madonna was allowed to take her adopted son, David, to London before his adoption was finalized in 2008.
It was not clear why Judge Esme Chombo ruled differently Friday. Another judge had handled Madonna’s previous adoption case. Madonna was not in court on Friday.
Madonna’s efforts to adopt 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James had drawn criticism from some activists who said the little girl would be best off with relatives. In court papers made public Friday, Madonna said Chifundo’s grandmother was unable to care for her.
Madonna had promised to make Mercy a permanent part of her family and spare her the “hardship and emotional trauma” of life as an orphan.
The girl’s mother, according to the affidavit, died at age 14 just days after her baby was born Jan. 22, 2006. There was no mention of the father in the affidavit. The mother’s brother is listed as having consented to the adoption.
“I am able and willing to securely provide for Chifundo James and make her a permanent and established member of my family,” Madonna said. “To deny Chifundo James the opportunity to be adopted by me could expose her to hardship and emotional trauma which is otherwise avoidable.”
Malawi’s child welfare minister had endorsed Madonna’s adoption application.
“We have close to 2 million orphans in Malawi who need help,” Women and Child Welfare Development Minister Anna Kachikho told The Associated Press on Thursday. “We can’t look after all of them as a country. If people like Madonna adopt even one such orphan, it’s one mouth less we have to feed.”
From the Associated Press.