Malawi government backs Madonna adoption attempt

Thu Apr 2, 2009 2:39pm EDT
 
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By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Malawi's government supports pop singer Madonna's bid to adopt a second child from the southern African country, the information minister said on Thursday, a position likely to anger rights groups.

Malawi's High Court is expected to rule on Friday whether she should be granted an interim adoption of a four-year-old girl, Mercy James.

The government came under fire after Madonna adopted a 13-month-old Malawian child, David Banda, in 2006, with critics accusing it of giving her special treatment by skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children.

Malawian Information Minister Patricia Kaliati said Madonna had helped in the country and was a worthy mother.

"Madonna has been good to us, she is supporting over 25,000 orphans in this country and she has proved that she can take care of David," Kaliati told Reuters.

"Very few rich and famous people can take time to fly all the way to Malawi to support our children we support her adoption process."

An estimated 1 million children have been orphaned by AIDS in Malawi.

Malawian civil society groups oppose the adoption and a local human rights activist said it would amount to child trafficking.   Continued...

 
<p>U.S. popstar Madonna and her adopted son David Banda visit the child's biological father Yohane Banda (L) in Malawi in this undated publicity photo released to Reuters March 31, 2009. REUTERS/Tom Munro/Warner Brothers Records/Handout</p>