Ruling on Madonna’s Malawi adoption due Friday
Malawi’s highest court plans to announce Friday whether Madonna can adopt a second child from the impoverished southern African country, the pop star’s lawyer said Thursday.
The lawyer, Alan Chinula, said the ruling would be issued at 9 a.m.
Madonna had appealed after a lower court ruled she could not adopt 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James because the singer had not spent enough time in Malawi. The lower court said residency rules had been bent when Madonna adopted her son David from Malawi last year.
During a hearing in May, the three judges of the Supreme Court of Appeal heard constitutional expert Modechai Msiska argue on Madonna’s behalf. He said although residence was a factor in the adoption process, it would be unconstitutional if adhering to the requirement negated a child’s rights.
Johns Gulumba, a lawyer for Eye of the Child, an independent group that opposes the adoption, told the appeals court that following the rules keeps out potential child abusers. He also said foreign adoptions should be a last resort.
Madonna found the girl in 2006 at Kondanani Children’s Village, an orphanage in Bvumbwe just south of Malawi’s commercial capital of Blantyre. That was the same year Madonna began adoption proceedings for David, whom she found at another orphanage in the country’s the central Mchinji district.
Madonna has founded a charity, Raising Malawi, which helps feed, educate and provide medical care for some of Malawi’s more than 1 million orphans, half of whom have lost a parent to AIDS.
Photo credit: Reuters/Tom Munro/Warner Brothers Records/Handout via Yahoo! News.
Madonna set for Malawi adoption ruling Friday
Malawi’s highest court will on Friday decide whether American pop icon Madonna can adopt a second child from the poor southern African nation, a court official said.
Madonna wants to adopt three-year-old Chifundo James, whose name translates as “Mercy”, but a lower court blocked her application, saying that she had failed to meet an 18-month residency requirement in Malawi.
That requirement was waived when she adopted David Banda in 2006, and her lawyer in April asked the Supreme Court of Appeal to give its approval for the 50-year-old star to take Chifundo home.
“Please take note that the ruling on Madonna is on Friday, June 12 from 9:00 am (0700 GMT),” court registrar Joseph Chigona told AFP.
Chief justice Lovemore Munlo will deliver the ruling on behalf of two other judges from the Supreme Court of Appeal, Chigona added.
Malawi is one of the world’s poorest nations, with more than half of the population of 12 million living on less than one dollar a day.
Madonna has set up a charity, Raising Malawi, which provides support for orphans and vulnerable children.
She has already built a multi-purpose community centre at Mphandula village, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from the capital Lilongwe, which looks after more than 8,000 orphans from scores of villages in the area.
Child rights activists have opposed Madonna’s effort to adopt Mercy as a sibling to David whose adoption became official last year.
They argue that international adoption should be viewed as a last resort, even though Malawi is home to an estimated 560,000 children who have lost at least one parent to AIDS.
From the AFP.