A Malawi court ruled on Friday that Madonna could not adopt 4-year-old Mercy James because she had not been a resident of the country for 18 months.
As my son sometimes says, “I didn’t see that coming.”
Why do I say that? Well, here’s the thing. She already adopted a kid from Malawi. David Banda. Remember him? Cute kid, rides horses, visited his hometown with Madge so he could hang with his biological dad?
According to the Telegraph, the rule about adoptive parents being residents of Malawai for 18-24 months was waived back in 2006 to allow Madge to adopt David. Now a local judge is concerned about setting a “dangerous precedent” if she is allowed to adopt again.
Except that the precedent was already set! You let her do it before! When you train puppies, or discipline children, you try to be consistent. I know that’s an oversimplification, but isn’t it silly to talk about “dangerous precedents” when you already did the thing that you now say you are worried about?
That could be why Madonna has decided to appeal the ruling. I don’t know much about the law, and I know even less about Malawian legal issues (to be fair, I probably know more about brain surgery than I do about Malawian legal issues), but it seems to me that she’s got a pretty good case. Because they let her adopt David Banda in 2006. Did I mention that?
It’s possible that the adoption was denied because of Madonna’s recent divorce from Guy Ritchie. The Telegraph quotes a government official as saying that, “Our official policy is that we do not encourage our children to be sent into broken homes.” Because being raised by a single parent is clearly much worse than living in an orphanage. Never mind the fact that this particular single parent is wealthier than most of the people on the planet. And while I agree in general with human rights groups who have been saying that “whisking a single child off to a fairytale lifestyle in Hollywood” is not the answer to the world’s problems, it’s also not the worst thing that could happen to a kid from an impoverished country. (It’s also worth noting that Madonna lives in England, not Hollywood. But whatever.)
I should point out that this is not, in my opinion, a major issue in our world today. But everything Madonna does is news, and while I don’t care much about her music (or her movies, which, except for “Desperately Seeking Susan” are considerable unwatchable), I have to give her credit for commanding attention with every move she makes. I’ll also give her props for starting a charity, Raising Malawi, to help other orphans in Malawi. According to the Telegraph, “She has already built a multi-purpose community centre at Mphandula village, 30 miles from Lilongwe, which looks after more than 8,000 orphans from scores of villages in the area.” That’s a lot of kids. So, in the language of her adopted British homeland, good on ya, mate. (Or something like that.) Of course, as Shannon pointed out, it’s fine for Angelina Jolie to adopt a kid every other week, but Madonna we have a problem with. That’s another topic, but one worth mentioning.
What do you think? Should Madonna be allowed to adopt Mercy James?