by John Hawkins | October 16, 2006 6:52 am
Let me be the first to say that I’m not a big fan of Madonna, but it really blows my mind that so many people are beating her up for wanting to adopt a child:
“MADONNA jetted back to Britain yesterday after her controversial tour of Malawi’s orphanages – but without the baby she has adopted.
Officials in the poverty-stricken south east African nation said 13-month-old orphan David Banda would stay there until his passport has been processed.
But as Madonna, 48, landed at RAF Northolt in West London in a private jet, UK agencies blasted her “fast-track” adoption of David.
They said it was “deeply worrying” if rules that say prospective parents must live in Malawi for two years before adopting had been waived because Madonna was setting up a £2million orphanage
Yvette Gayford of Parents and Children Together, a group advising those who wish to adopt foreign babies, said: “This is wrong in every sense. Adoption must never be allowed on a whim.
“Quick decisions like this for celebrities does not help anyone. We oppose this very strongly.”
Maxine Caswell, of the Overseas Adoption Support and Information Service, said: “This makes it look quick and easy – as if you can swoop into a country and take any child.”
The Malawi-based Eye of the Child charity said it is seeking a court injunction banning Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie from taking David out of the country.
A spokesman said: “It’s not like selling property. It is about safeguarding the future of a human being who, because of age, cannot express an opinion.”
Back in Britain, TV presenter Lowri Turner also launched an astonishing attack on the singer – accusing her of treating David as a fashion item.
Lowri, who is pregnant with her third child, said: “What do you give the woman who has everything? A little black baby, it seems.”
First of all, having known some people who have applied for adoptions overseas, let’s be perfectly blunt: when you get right down to it, what they’re doing is buying a baby. In Madonna’s case, she just spent a little more money greasing the wheels than most prospective parents and got a better deal. That’s not her fault — or for that matter, the fault of any parents adopting kids from non-Western nations — it’s the fault of the system in the nations where these kids reside.
Moreover, you have to love all these people who are coming out of the woodwork to “look out for the interests of this kid.” Newsflash: The kid lives in an orphanage in Malawi — IN MALAWI. The GDP per capita is $600. The average lifespan for a man in that country is 42. I don’t even want to imagine what the orphanages in a country like that are like. If Madonna wants to take him away from all that, good for her.
Now, some people are complaining that the kid has family in Malawi. But, apparently, not family that cares/is competent enough to take him home from the orphanage. Here’s what the kid’s family has to say:
He said: “I had taken David to the orphanage because my wife had died and he was sick and we could not care for him. My other two sons had passed away from malaria while they were still young – one was almost three and one just over a year old. When David became very sick I didn’t know how to cope.
“I am a single man with no experience of these things. My in-laws, who live in Zambia, did not want him and my extended family is too poor to take him in.
“I was scared he would die like my other children so I took him where he could be looked after properly. I felt very sore in my heart, but I could think of no other way.
“He was one month and seven days old. The orphanage made me sign a letter to show that I was handing him over to their charge, but I suppose deep in my heart I always imagined that when he was better, or I had got another wife, I would go and take him back. I did not think anyone would want to take him away.
…Yohane’s 56-year-old mother, Athnet Mwale, explained: “No-one here could take care of David. He needed good milk and nutrition. We are too poor even to properly feed ourselves.
“When we sent him away it wasn’t because we did not want him. It was because we could not look after him.”
Now Yohande’s younger brother Jeffrey and other family members have written a letter to the orphanage protesting that David could be taken out of the country by a “rich white donor”.
In my book, if you give your kid over to an orphanage because you don’t want him or can’t take care of him, you’ve lost your right to complain when someone adopts him.
Bottom line: Whatever you think of Madonna, she’s doing a good thing here and people should be praising her for it, not ripping her apart.
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