January 25, 2017 / 7:13 PM / 2 years ago

Madonna says Malawi visit for charity but not adoption

LILONGWE (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Madonna denied on Wednesday that she was in Malawi to adopt two more children, saying her visit was strictly for her charity work in the African nation.

Madonna and her son, David Ritchie, arrive at the 56th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles, California January 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok

“I am in Malawi to check on the children’s hospital in Blantyre and my other work with Raising Malawi and then heading home,” Madonna told People magazine in a statement.

“The rumors of an adoption process are untrue,” the statement added.

The “Rebel Heart” singer issued the statement after a Malawi judiciary spokesman, Mlenga Mvula, told Reuters and other news outlets that Madonna had “filed an application expressing interest to adopt two more kids from Malawi.”

“As a court, we adjourned the matter for a ruling (in the next two weeks). The court will either grant the adoption order or might not,” Mvula said.

Mvula could not provide details on the children Madonna wants to adopt, saying it was against the law to divulge such particulars at this stage.

Some Malawians opposed the previous adoptions, accusing the government of allowing Madonna, as a global celebrity, to skirt laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi.

Madonna, 58, adopted Malawian children David Banda and Mercy James in 2006 and 2009. The mega-selling pop singer has two other children, Lourdes and Rocco, from previous relationships.

Madonna established the non-profit Raising Malawi in 2006 to provide health and education programs, particularly for girls, in the southeast African country.

The organization is currently building a children’s unit at a hospital in Blantyre, Malawi’s second largest city, and has built 10 schools, according to its website.

Writing by Olivia Kumwenda-Mtambo and Jill Serjeant in New York; editing by Mark Heinrich and Tom Brown

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