Madonna adopted African baby boy
October 16, 2006 10:23pm CST
The one-year-old Malawian boy Madonna hopes to adopt is on his way to London after boarding a flight from South Africa, according to a newspaper photographer at Johannesburg airport. Earlier, a private jet had whisked the boy from Malawi to Johannesburg after Malawian authorities waived local rules to grant the pop star an interim adoption and issued the boy, David Banda, with a passport. Neo Ntsoma, a photographer at Johannesburg's Star newspaper, said she had recognised the child on his stopover from pictures in the media, but bodyguards had blocked her from photographing him. "I saw white people with a black baby. I thought these people might be the ones we were waiting for ... When they reacted I was convinced," Ntsoma said. "They went through the boarding gate ... The flight was going to London." The baby left Malawi with one of Madonna's bodyguards and her personal assistant, prompting charges from local human rights groups that Madonna had used her celebrity status to bypass normal adoption rules. "Madonna and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, have been granted an interim adoption of baby David by the courts in Malawi. He was issued a passport and a visa was granted earlier today which allows him to travel outside of Malawi," Madonna's New York publicist said in a statement. "This interim adoption grants David's new parents temporary custody for 18 months, during which time they will be evaluated by the courts of Malawi per the tribal customs of the country. It is expected that the family will be reunited within the next few days." Banda will swap his home in a dilapidated orphanage near the Zambian border for a life of luxury in London with one of the world's most famous couples and their two children. Malawian law bans adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption to Madonna. "The rich shouldn't get preferential treatment. I am fine with the idea of the adoption but I want people to go through the system," said Emmie Chanika, director of the Civil Liberties Committee. Some 59 rights groups had planned to ask the court today to recognise them as involved parties, which would pave the way for them to apply for an injunction to block the adoption. "We will proceed with the case. We still lodge an injunction," said Maxwell Matewere, director of Eye of the Child, Malawi's leading child advocacy group. "If the court accepts the injunction then the baby must fly back." There was media speculation in Britain today that Madonna might have failed to take the extensive series of detailed steps required to adopt a child from overseas. Madonna and Ritchie arrived in Malawi on October 4 on what was described as a humanitarian trip, and left last Friday. Madonna spent most of her time visiting orphanages and meeting charity workers as part of a campaign to publicise the plight of some 900,000 orphans, around seven per cent of a population devastated by AIDS. She has pledged to donate about $3 million to the campaign to help these children, many of whom are themselves infected with HIV. The effort is being spearheaded by her charity, Raising Malawi. Reuters What do you think about this?
4 people like this
29 Oct 06
It shall be interesting to see and hear what actually does happen here. It seems that every other day there is a different statement supposedly made by the birth father, i.e. he was happy, he was unhappy and so on. I agree with you that anything that brings the plight of the people to the attention of the world can only help their situation. Thanks for your contribution to the discussion. :)
3 Dec 06
I too think it is great that Madonna has donated all this money to a worthy cause. Apparently she is also trying to adopt another child, again from Africa, but this time an Australian couple have an adoption application in the pipeline. Shall have to wait and see the outcome of this next one. At least another child has a chance at a better life. Thanks for responding MySpot. :)