April 12, 2008 / 2:18 AM / in 10 years

Madonna due in Malawi court in late April

LILONGWE (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Madonna is expected to appear in a Malawian court in about two weeks for a final ruling on whether she can adopt a child from the southern African country, court clerks said on Friday.

“Tentatively the case is expected in court on these dates -- the 22nd, 23rd and 25th (of April),” said one of the clerks, who asked to remain anonymous.

He said Madonna’s lawyers had requested those dates and the judge in the case would make a decision when he returns from vacation this week.

Malawi’s government recommended earlier this month that its High Court approve Madonna’s adoption of David Banda, the child she met in a Malawian orphanage a year and a half ago.

Madonna began adoption proceedings in 2006 and the two-year-old has been living with the pop star and her film director husband Guy Ritchie in their London home since then.

The adoption has been controversial, with critics accusing the government of skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children in Malawi, which has been badly hit by an AIDS epidemic leaving more than one million orphans.

(Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Editing by Catherine Evans)

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