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Madonna heads to Malawi court for adoption ruling

 Malawians stand at the entrance of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, trying to catch a glimpse of US popstar Madonna. She ad...
 Orphans of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, dance with a sign saying "Welcome our lovely mother" for the visit of US popsta...
 A Malawian boy peers over glass on the wall of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, for the visit of US popstar Madonna. She ad...

MALAWI MADONNA ADOPTION

Malawians stand at the entrance of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, trying to catch a glimpse of US popstar Madonna. She ad...

MALAWI MADONNA ADOPTION

Orphans of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, dance with a sign saying "Welcome our lovely mother" for the visit of US popsta...

MADONNA MALAWI ADOPTION

A Malawian boy peers over glass on the wall of House of Hope Orphanage in Mchinji Tuesday March 31, 2009, for the visit of US popstar Madonna. She ad...

A Malawian judge is to rule Friday on Madonna's request to adopt a second child from the impoverished southern African country amid criticism from some activists who say the little girl would be best off with relatives.
The 50-year-old pop superstar is expected to return home Saturday with Chifundo "Mercy" James, who is about 4 years old, if the application is granted.
On the eve of the judge's ruling, Madonna got an endorsement from Malawi's child welfare minister.
"We have close to 2 million orphans in Malawi who need help," Women and Child Welfare Development Minister Anna Kachikho told The Associated Press 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."
Critics have accused Madonna of using her fame and money to fast-track the adoption process, but the singer says she has followed standard procedures. She faced similar allegations in 2006 when she brought home her adopted son David, who is now 3.
Malawian regulations stipulate that prospective parents be resident in the country for 18 to 24 months, during which time welfare officials assess their suitability _ a rule that was bent when Madonna was allowed to take her adopted son, David, to London before his adoption was finalized.
A coalition of non-governmental organizations called the Human Rights Consultative Committee has criticized Madonna's adoption attempts, saying that adoption should be the last resort and that children need to be taken care of by their own family.
"Mercy James is a child who has her extended close family members alive and we urge Madonna to assist the child from right here," a statement from the coalition said earlier this week.
Mercy's 18-year-old mother was unmarried and died soon after she gave birth, according to the child's uncle, John Ngalande. Her father is believed to be alive but has little contact with his daughter, he said.
Others have said that the adoption would give enormous opportunities to the child that she would be unable to achieve in the impoverished country, where 14 percent of adults are infected with the virus that causes AIDS.
Madonna first traveled to Malawi in 2006 while filming a documentary on the devastating poverty and AIDS crisis. On this trip, she has been accompanied by her three children: 3-year-old David, 12-year-old daughter Lourdes and 8-year-old son Rocco.
The four have visited an orphanage where David once lived and David also spent time meeting with his biological father for the first time since he left Malawi in 2006.


Updated : 2021-10-26 16:41 GMT+08:00