Madonna loses adoption bid

Fri Apr 3, 2009 12:12pm EDT
 
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By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Madonna will not be allowed to adopt a second child from Malawi, a 4-year-old girl named Mercy James, the African country's High Court ruled on Friday.

The ruling will please campaigners who say authorities have given the pop star special treatment. Malawi's government, which came under fire after Madonna adopted a 13-month-old Malawian boy, had said on Thursday it would support a second adoption.

Court registrar Ken Manda told reporters the American singer's bid to adopt Mercy had been rejected because she was not a resident of Malawi.

An AIDS epidemic in the impoverished southern African country has orphaned more than one million children and Madonna has set up a charity for Malawian children.

Her lawyer, Alan Chinula, said he had lodged an appeal over the ruling with the Supreme Court.

"I just filed the notice of appeal this afternoon on instructions from my client," Chinula told Reuters.

"I'm currently studying the judgment so that I can come up with the grounds to appeal."

In her ruling, Judge Esimie Chombo warned against celebrity adoptions because they could lead 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>