Malawi government backs Madonna on adoption
LILONGWE (Reuters) - Malawi's government has recommended that its High Court approve American pop star 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 2-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.
But in a confidential report dated March 25, 2008, signed by Probation Officer S. Chisale at the Ministry of Women and Child Development, the government said Madonna and Ritchie had proved to be suitable parents for the Malawian boy.
"In the best interest of the child, I do recommend the petitioners to your Lordship for your consideration that they be granted an adoption order having proved that they are suitable parents and satisfied the conditions in the Interim Adoption Order," the report.
In February, Malawian Information Minister Patricia Kaliati praised Madonna's efforts to rally support for orphans in the impoverished country and said it would be wrong for the government to deny the pop star's adoption of a child there.
Meanwhile, Madonna's lawyers have asked the courts to delay the singer's appearance in court for the adoption hearing from next week to the end of April, because she has another engagement in the United States.
"They have made that application at (the) High Court today and the judge is expected to respond this afternoon," a court official said.
SOURCE: REUTERS (AFRICA)
Where Madonna Does it Better