Entertainment behind the scenes
Madonna has won her appeal for the right to adopt a second child from Malawi, after a court overturned an earlier ruling blocking the bid, and the 50-year-old queen of pop is likely to face further criticism for her actions.
Local rights groups in Malawi have complained that Madonna has been given special treatment by the judicial system because of her status and wealth, and many people question whether taking a child from its native environment is necessarily a good thing.
Her divorce last year from Guy Ritchie, which has brought with it decisions over custody of their children, appears not to have concerned Malawi’s supreme court unduly. The Madonna brood already comprises daughter Lourdes, born in 1996, Ritchie’s son Rocco, born in 2000, and David Banda, a boy adopted from Malawi. Malawian Mercy James would make it four.
On Friday, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo said Madonna had shown an interest in helping Malawi orphans and that four-year-old Mercy would have a better life with the star. Madonna has set up a charity called Raising Malawi which plans to build a school for girls in Chikhota village.
She released a picture through Reuters on Monday of her holding a sleeping four-year-old Malawian girl named Mercy James, whom she still hopes to adopt despite a court ruling in the southern African country preventing her from doing so.
The photo was first published in Malawi’s Nation on Sunday newspaper. Madonna has lodged an appeal against a High Court decision earlier this month that said she could not adopt Mercy because she was not a resident of Malawi.
Madonna in Malawi courtHow much she actually cares only Madonna can say. But there are signs that opinion is turning against the singer over her bid to adopt a second child from Malawi. The 50-year-old appeared in court in the southern African country on Monday seeking to adopt four-year-old Mercy James, having already adopted David Banda.
The first case caused some controversy amid accusations that Madonna was given special treatment in Malawi allowing her to bend adoption rules. A similar outcry has met her latest adoption attempt with human rights activists in Malawi threatening to challenge the move and describing it as “child trafficking or kidnapping”. International aid groups have expressed concern over Madonna’s actions in Malawi and in the Western press there has been no shortage of negative reaction, largely in the form of opinion pieces.