Madonna adoption rejected? Despite endorsement from Malawi government, the Madonna adoption denied by the court. See photos, video and find out more about the turn of events in the pop star’s quest to adopt Mercy James a.k.a. Chifundo James, a three-year-old Malawi orphan.
The ruling was issued by the High Court in Lilongwe, by Judge Esmie Chondo, who said that allowing the 50-year-old pop star to adopt Mercy James in this manner would set a dangerous precedent.
“By removing the very safeguard that is supposed to protect our children, the courts by their pronouncements could actually facilitate trafficking of children by some unscrupulous individuals who would take advantage of the weakness of the law of the land.
“I must confess that there is a gripping temptation to throw caution to the wind and grant an adoption in the hope that there will be a difference in the life of just one child. However, it should be borne in mind that inter-country adoptions may not (be) and are not the only solution.”
Sources requesting anonymity because they had not been authorized to speak on the case said the judge may have ruled as she did, resulting in the Madonna adoption rejected because the pop star is not a resident of Malawi. According to law, there is an 18-24 month residency requirement for prospective adoptive parents.
Madonna had been in Malawi for the last several days with her children, Lourdes Leon, 12, Rocco Ritchie, 8, and David Banda, 3, her previously adopted Malawi son. All seemed to go smoothly, as Madonna had the support of the Malawian government, whose Information Minister Patricia Kaliati made a strong favorable statement prior to the court’s Madonna adoption rejection.
“Madonna has been good to us, she is supporting over 25,000 orphans in this country and she has proved that she can take care of David.
“Very few rich and famous people can take time to fly all the way to Malawi to support our children we support her adoption process.”
Mercy James variously known as Chifundo James has been living in an orphanage. According to affidavit, her mother was 14-years-old and died in early February 2006, a few days after giving birth on January 22 2006. The father is not mentioned. The mother’s brother is listed in the affidavit to having consented to the adoption.
The internationally known ‘Queen of Pop,’ one of the most successful recording artists in history with album sales exceeding 200 million, produced and directed a documentary ‘I Am Because We Are’ regarding the AIDS orphan crisis in the country. She has also established a charity, ‘Raising Malawi’ devoted to help the country’s orphans. In 2008, the Malawi government granted her honorary citizenship.
The night before the ruling, Madonna had held a celebration at the Kumbali Lodge in Malawi, attended by staff members of her charity, Raising Malawi, along with government officials. Mercy’s uncles, Peter Baneti and John Ngalande (who supported and signed on to the Madonna adoption), also attended the event which had entertainment from traditional dancers.
Madonna’s statement as part of court documents was released publicly. In it, she said:
“[I am] able and willing to securely provide for Chifundo James and make her a permanent and established member of my family.
“To deny Chifundo James the opportunity to be adopted by me could expose her to hardship and emotional trauma which is otherwise avoidable.”
Madonna did not attend the court hearing and her lawyers did not make a public statement after the ruling.
More photos of Madonna, her children, along with a video of Madonna adoption rejected are below.