In Defense Of Madonna’s Malawi Adoption

I’m certainly not the biggest Madonna fan, nor do I necessarily think being around her is the best environment for a child growing up. She’s a spoiled, eccentric celebrity who once made a book of soft core porn.

Like a lot of celebrities, now that she’s gotten older, she wants to give back and share some of what she’s earned — and in her mind, that means adopting kids.

Again, she’s still not setting the best example, because the average older single woman who thinks, “Gee, Madonna adopted a kid, so why shouldn’t I do the same thing?” doesn’t have the nearly infinite money that Madonna does. She can afford to hire an army of staffers to take care of the kid while she goes off on tour or spends a few months doing a movie while the average mom can’t.

All that being said, I do think that you have to look at all the details of a particular situation before you make a judgment,

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Madonna can adopt a second child from Malawi, the southern African country’s highest court ruled Friday, overturning a lower court decision it said was out of touch with the times.

Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, reading the three-judge panel’s ruling, also said the singer’s commitment to helping disadvantaged children should have been taken into account when deciding on Madonna’s request to adopt 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James.

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.

Children’s welfare groups had expressed concern that rules meant to protect children were being bent because of Madonna’s celebrity, and perhaps out of gratitude for what she has done for Malawi, one of the world’s poorest and most AIDS-ravaged countries.

A Malawian man claiming to be Mercy’s biological father had also objected to the adoption, as CBS News correspondent Priya David reported last month.

James Kambewa, a security guard, says he’d been told Mercy had died in childbirth. The girl’s maternal relatives have said they don’t believe Kambewa is the father, and his objections weren’t addressed in Friday’s ruling, which removed all his potential parental rights.

He told David on Friday that the court’s ruling had left him in tears.

“I’m crying,” he said. “I need my baby. I don’t know where I can find any help.”

…The ruling also said the judges saw only two options for Chifundo, “either to stay at the orphanage without the love of family and live with the possibility of destitution, or be with Madonna where she is assured of love.

“Every child has the right to love.”

Madonna met the girl in 2006 at Kondanani Children’s Village, an orphanage in Bvumbwe just south of Blantyre. It was the same year she adopted David, who she found at another orphanage in central Malawi.

The girl’s 18-year-old mother was unmarried and died soon after she gave birth. Since Madonna moved to adopt the girl, a dispute has arisen between the girl’s maternal relatives, who agreed to the adoption, and a man claiming to be her father who said he wanted to care for the girl himself.

Peter Baneti, an uncle reached by phone in his village just outside Blantyre, said the family welcomed Friday’s ruling.

Here’s the reality: this kid is growing up in a Malawi orphanage. That’s probably just about the worst environment for a child outside of just living on the streets.

Meanwhile, Madonna has apparently had her eye on this kid since 2006. So, it’s not like she just saw her in the window like a puppy and decided that she had to have her.

In addition, apparently they don’t do DNA tests in Malawi, which would settle the issue of whether this guy is really the kid’s father or not once and for all, but the court there doesn’t believe he’s the father. My guess is that they’re probably right. Either way, it’s rather notable that the child was living in an orphanage and “dad” only got interested once he smelled a possible paycheck…oh excuse me, once Madonna became interested in adopting the child.

Whatever Madonna’s flaws may be, she is willing to take responsibility for this kid and she can provide a much better life for her than she’d have growing up in a Malawi orphanage. For that, she deserves credit and I’m glad to see that she’s going to be allowed to adopt this child.

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