Madonna adoption failure has divided the country with common people accusing the courts and Non Governmental Organisations of sabotaging chances of good living for three year old Mercy Chifundo James, however the NGOs have put their foot down that they could not allow Madonna to bend the laws of the country.
Madonna left the country a day after Judge Esme Chombo threw out her application to adopt Mercy Chifundo James, she however instructed her lawyer Allan Chinula to appeal against the ruling. The court is yet to set the new date for the fresh hearing.
However ordinary Malawians believed that the courts could have used the ruling in 2006 that allowed Madonna to adopt another Malawian boy David Banda to facilitate the adoption of Mercy Chifundo James.
In 2006 Madonna controversially succeeded in adopting David Banda amid court fights and objects from NGOs over the adoption laws.
“Malawians would take advantage of Madonna’s generosity to allow her to adopt more orphans who would lead a good life elsewhere. We can not afford to take care of all these orphans,” said James Taulo, a concerned citizen.
In Malawi a foreigner is allowed to adopt a Malawian child after staying in the country for 18 months. However the laws were bent when the high court allowed Madonna to adopt David Banda before staying 18 months in the country.
Government then appointed personnel from Ministry of Gender, women and Children development to be monitoring Madonna for 18 months before the court made an adoption ruling which formally recognised Madonna as the mother to little David.
But Madonna second attempt to adopt another child in Malawi met resistance as NGOs accused Madonna of taking advantage of the laws of Malawi to whisk children out of the country. The NGOs called for orphans to be raised in their own communities.
Human Rights Conservative Committee (HRCC) described Madonna’s second attempt to adopt another child in the country as ‘kidnapping’.
Chairperson of HRCC Mabvuto Bamusi said adopting two children would not solve the orphan problems in the country.
“Children have to grow in the family set up. The country has over 2 million orphans. Will all of them going to be adopted? Let us be serious,” he said.
Plan International, a child development organisation, welcomed Judge Chombo for the landmark of declining Madonna’s adoption of a second African child saying the organisation endorses the keeping of children within their community.
A Plan spokesman said: “While Madonna’s intentions were no doubt well-meant and while we feel for her in this case, whisking a single child off to a ‘fairytale’ lifestyle in Hollywood is not something we condone. We endorse keeping children within their community wherever possible, where there is often extended family nearby.
“We believe a better way for her to help would be to act as a champion of change and use her celebrity status and profile to influence government and businesses to ensure a better life for the country’s children. That way all Malawi’s children would benefit and not just one or two.”
But government, through its spokesperson Patricia Kaliati, expressed sadness on the turn of events saying it was supporting Madonna’s efforts to adopt a second Malawi child.