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Madonna's Malawian Adoption: Appeal to The Supreme Court


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Mark Stone, Sky News reporter

Madonna and her entourage have taken over an entire safari lodge in Malawi this weekend as the singer prepares to adopt a

second Malawian child.

Sky News understands all 13 rooms of the Kumbali Country Lodge just outside Lilongwe have been booked by the star.

On its website, the lodge boasts nine executive rooms, each enclosed under ethnic thatch. All have en-suite bathrooms, TV, internet and a private balcony.

It is not her first visit to the lodge. Madonna stayed there in 2006 when she adopted David Banda.

The 620-hectare site with views of Nkhoma Mountain is owned and run by a couple who bought the plot from the Malawi government 10 years ago.

It has a working dairy farm and a huge garden, and is popular with couples on honeymoon. The online hotel reviewer Trip Advisor has nothing but praise for Kumbali.

It is understood the singer, who is 50, wants to adopt a second Malawian child, a four-year-old girl called Mercy James, following advice from Malawian friends.

They are reported to have told her that David, who she adopted three years ago, would benefit from having a brother or sister.

Mercy is reportedly the child of an unmarried teenage mother who died a month after she was born. Her father is still alive.

The girl had been cared for by her uncle and grandmother but has more recently been staying at a children's centre run by Madonna's charity Raising Malawi.

People close to the case say the girl's relatives at first resisted the adoption but have now consented.

But there may be problems because of Madonna's divorce last year from British film director Guy Ritchie.

Malawian law strongly favours adoptions by married couples. Each case is considered on individual merit. The star will have to prove she can raise the child alone

Source: http://news.sky.com/skynews/Home/Showbi ... wian_Child

Lodge's offical site: http://www.kumbali.com/

:thumbsup: Looking at the offical site it is a nice place. Somewhere you could get away from it all...

unless you're Madonna.

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LOL she looks so puffy its hilarious. I want to stick a needle into her cheeks to deflate them. Lola is really growing into her looks however.

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she looks awful sry

You know, she looks fine, but, something looks so terribly wrong about her face.

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You know, she looks fine, but, something looks so terribly wrong about her face.

yeah, that's not the woman I fell in love with, she looks like one of those creatures from the Hellraiser movies now :chuckle: ok I'm gonna stopt now sry

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I think Nathan Rissman is there too. At least I think I saw him in the BBC video footage of her visit.

He's a cutie.

saw him once, he kept smiling at me and pretending to film me with that big camera of his during the tour. i think he's a very funny and nice guy.

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That hat is so Madonna doing British Colonial Chic; it's her Africa hat.

There are elements of the adoptions that don't quite sit right BUT after watching I Am Because... I think more power to her, she's effecting a real change in some Malawians' lives, changes of real consequence that I can't fully appreciate from a privileged Western point of view. She's doing so much more than most and certainly more than I've done (even when taking into account her huge wealth) that I don't feel that I'm in a position to judge her.

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The Times

March 30, 2009

Madonna's adopted son reunited with father in Malawi

Mabvuto Banda in Lilongwe and Jonathan Clayton in Johannesburg

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Yohane Banda, David's father with his wife and stepdaughter

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Madonna and her daughter, Lourdes, greet residents today in the village of Magwelo, near Lilongwe

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The pop star was in the African country to adopt her second child

Madonna’s adopted son, David, was reunited with his biological father yesterday amid emotional scenes at an upmarket safari lodge hours after the pop star arrived in Malawi to adopt a second child.

Workers at the Kumbali lodge outside the capital Lilongwe said that David’s father Yohane Banda, who checked in at noon on Saturday, was clearly delighted to see his son again.

“He was hopping from foot to foot, you could see he was very happy,” one employee said. “He had been waiting here all morning, you could see he was over the moon when Madonna arrived with David, but the reunion itself was private,” said the employee – who asked not to be named – in a telephone call to The Times shortly after the reunion.

Security at the lodge was tight with all staff asked to hand over mobile phones while at work and roadblocks manned by private security guards across the main approach road.

“I have waited for two years, it is a dream come true,” Mr Banda, a peasant farmer, told The Times in an interview last week when it was announced that Madonna was coming to the impoverished Southern African country and he would see his son for the first time in nearly three years.

“I just wish I could see him more often, but I know one day my prayers will be answered and he will come back and live here,” he said.

He added that he had been worried about his son’s future when he heard stories about her divorce from Guy Ritchie, the film director, but that he had been assured by staff at Madonna’s charity Raising Malawi that all was well.

Under the deal which allowed Madonna, 50, to take the 13-month-old David out of Malawi in 2006, she has to bring him back regularly to see his natural father. The adoption was declared legal last year.

The American pop singer arrived in Malawi at around noon yesterday in a private jet at a part of the airport normally reserved for cargo flights.

Reporters were kept at a distance and she was driven away in a convoy of four 4x4 vehicles that sped off to the lodge where Mr Banda was waiting. Madonna was also accompanied by her other children, Rocco and Lourdes.

A little while later she reemerged with Lourdes, whose father is Carlos Leon, a personal trainer. Wearing a white fedora hat, Madonna and her daughter toured the nearby village of Chinkhota.

Dozens of reporters looked on, but she refused to answer shouted questions about reports that she was in Malawi to adopt a four-year-old girl, Mercy James. Officials say that Madonna is scheduled to appear in the High Court today to finalise the adoption of Mercy, whom she first saw at the same Mchinji orphanage where she found David.

One court official said that her Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, would file adoption papers at a procedural hearing for Mercy.

It is not clear if Madonna, who has to satisfy the authorities that as a single parent she is capable of caring for an adopted child, has to be present in court.

The pop star faced harsh criticism from some quarters over David’s adoption. Children’s advocacy groups accused her of using her wealth and influence to circumvent Malawian law requiring an 18 to 24-month assessment period before adoption.

The Raising Malawi project is preparing to start work on a multi-million-pound secondary school for girls. Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa where only a small minority of people live above the internationally accepted poverty line of 50 pence a day.

Speaking about her latest adoption move, Save the Children UK said that the singer risked sending the wrong message.

“International adoption can actually exacerbate the problem it hopes to solve,” a spokesman, Dominic Nutt, said.

“The very existence of orphanages encourages poor parents to abandon children in the hope that they will have a better life.”

However, Austin Msowoya, legal researcher with the Malawian Law Commission, played down concerns that a second adoption by Madonna would violate any laws. He said that the best interests of the child needed to be taken into account – whether that was staying in an orphanage in Malawi or getting an education with Madonna.

“When you look at these two options, then perhaps it becomes in the best interests of the child to allow the adoption if the parents and the guardians consent to it,” he told the Associated Press news agency.

Madonna’s spokeswoman in New York said that she would not be responding to comments from Save the Children.

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