Madonna leaves Malawi after failed adoption bid

Sun Apr 5, 2009 5:53am EDT
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By Mabvuto Banda

LILONGWE (Reuters) - Madonna left Malawi on a private aircraft on Sunday after failing to adopt a second child from the African country, airport officials said.

Security forces blocked the road leading to the airport after Madonna's convoy arrived, preventing reporters from speaking to her or filming.

Madonna, who was seeking an interim adoption, appealed against a High Court decision refusing her bid to adopt a four-year-old girl named Mercy James.

Her lawyer, Alan Chinula, said she does not have to appear before the Supreme Court for the appeal.

Malawian rights groups, who accused the government of skirting residency laws when Madonna adopted David Banda in 2006, also opposed the latest adoption attempt.

They say celebrities should not be allowed to fly in and adopt children at will.

Malawi's government had supported Madonna's attempt to adopt Mercy, saying she was a worthy mother.

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.   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>