Malawi welcomes Madonna adoption

June 22, 2009

The decision to grant pop star Madonna the right to adopt a second Malawian child has been warmly received by many in the southern African state.

The singer’s victory at Malawi’s Supreme Court of Appeal led the news on local radio stations and prompted a positive response on phone-in shows.

But James Kambewa, who is claiming paternity of the four-year-old girl, remains opposed to the adoption.

“I won’t give up the fight,” he said, adding that the court disregarded him.

“I wrote to the court challenging the adoption because I am ready and willing to take care of my child,” said Mr Kambewa.

“How can they continue referring to her as an orphan when I told them I am there for her?”

However, Mr Kambewa was a lone voice of opposition, with most Malawians welcoming the court’s decision to allow Madonna to adopt Chifundo “Mercy” James.

“She is taking Mercy out of a life of destitution; she could have lived in the orphanage until she was old enough to start prostitution,” said Michael Jonas, a curio seller in Blantyre, Malawi’s second-largest city.

“I am happy for her and the world should ignore the so-called father. We have lots of fathers but very few parents.”

“I am happy for Mercy,” said Martha Banda, a university student in Blantyre.

“Those who are against the adoption are just plain selfish. How can one say she is better off in an orphanage?”

Anxious wait

Chifundo’s uncle, Peter Baneti, said her family were “very happy”.

“We, as a family, have been anxiously awaiting this ruling. We are very happy for Chifundo,” he said.

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