It's Official: Madonna Adopts an African Boy
Wed, 11 Oct 2006 11:24:15
Less than a week after vehemently denying rumors that she had plans to adopt an African child, Madonna has in fact done just that. Officials from the African nation of Malawi announced, and Madonna's spokespeople confirmed, that the Material Girl and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, have adopted a motherless one-year-old boy named David Banda.
The boy's father, Yohame Banda, told Britain's Sun tabloid about meeting Madonna and Ritchie and giving the adoption his blessing. Banda's wife died from medical complications a month after giving birth to David, and Banda, unable to care for the child alone, had placed him in an orphanage.
"They are a lovely couple," Banda said of his son's new parents. "She asked me many questions. She and her husband seem happy with David. I am happy for him. Madonna promised me that, as the child grows, she will bring him back to visit."
Madonna and Ritchie returned to England on Friday morning (October 13), but reporters could not confirm whether David accompanied them. Technically, the couple has been granted an "interim adoption order" by the Malawian goverment. The adoption cannot become official for another 18 months, during which David can travel with his new parents but will technically remain a resident of Malawi.
Lost in the adoption hoopla is the work of Raising Malawi (http://www.raisingmalawi.org/), a grassroots organization dedicated to helping orphaned children, who make up a staggering one-twelfth of Malawi's population. Madonna's visit was originally inspired by her work with the organization; she has pledged $3 million of her own money to working on the orphans' plight, and has also announced plans for a documentary on Malawi's struggles.
A Malawian child advocacy group called Eye of the Child released an open letter to Madonna, praising her for her charitable intentions but questioning whether foreign adoptions were really in the best interest of African children.
--The ARTISTdirect Staff