Madonna urged to leave Malawi orphan alone

March 29th, 2009 - 6:36 am ICT by IANS  

Madonna London, March 29 (IANS) Madonna is facing growing opposition to her plan to adopt another child from Malawi. Children’s charity Save the Children has urged the singer to rethink adoption, media reports said Sunday.
The 50-year-old star has filed papers in Malawi setting out her intention to adopt an orphan called Mercy James, the Sky News reported.

She hopes to take her back to the US if a Malawi court approves the plan. Madonna already has an adopted son from Malawi. However, there were reports the family of the toddler is fighting the adoption.

Dominic Nutt of Save The Children said the adoption of a child from an orphanage was a bad idea.

“We believe they are better looked after in their own country as far as is possible,” he said.

He suggested that the child’s extended family were better placed to look after the girl.

“International adoption can actually exacerbate the problem it hopes to solve,” said Nutt.

Questions were asked after Madonna adopted her first child David Banda with her then husband Guy Ritchie.

The pair took the Malawian child into their London home in 2006 when he was 13 months old. Their quest for a sister for him has sparked renewed criticism.

Mercy’s grandmother hit out at the Material Girl star, who will reportedly travel to Malawi Sunday to spend time with the girl and launch proceedings.

Lucy Chekechiwa, 61, told the Sun: “Why doesn’t this singer pick other children? It is stealing. I want to go to court, I won’t let her go.”

Mercy has been living in a Malawi orphanage and Chekechiwa claimed it had been agreed the child would go to her when she reaches the age of six.

According to the paper, Mercy’s 18-year-old mother died five days after her birth.

Nutt added: “We urge any celebrity to set an example, to follow internationally agreed procedures designed to protect the child, and to ensure that the child in question has no other options in their home community.”

The southern African nation of Malawi is one of the world’s most impoverished. Ravaged by Aids, the population have a life expectancy of just 44 years.

Madonna’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg was not immediately available for comment.

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