Madonna leaves Malawi after adoption setback

Madonna left Malawi on her private jet today after being rebuffed in an attempt to adopt a second child from the poor African nation, air traffic control officials said.

Police roadblocks prevented reporters from approaching the airport, but one police officer said Madonna carried David, her adopted Malawian son, up the steps of the Gulfstream jet.

It was bound for London’s Gatwick Airport, air traffic officials said.

The singer’s lawyer has said that she will appeal against a court ruling that she is not eligible to adopt a three-year-old orphan girl, Chifundo “Mercy” James, because she has not lived in Malawi.

Madonna first spotted Mercy during a 2006 visit to an orphanage where she found David. Then, unlike now, she was able to leave the country with the infant and the adoption was completed last year.

But now Madonna is a single mother after her split from film director Guy Ritchie and her attempts to adopt a second child have caused outrage among some child welfare groups.

In a ruling on Friday, Judge Esme Chombo said Madonna did not meet Malawi’s strict definition of “resident.”

Noting that Madonna had last visited Malawi in 2008, the judge said the pop star “jetted into the country during the weekend just days prior to the hearing of this application”.

Malawi requires prospective parents to live in the country for 18 to 24 months while child welfare authorities assess their suitability – a rule that was bent when Madonna was allowed to take David to London in 2006. Madonna has two other children, Lourdes, 12, and Rocco, 8.

No date has been set for a court hearing to appeal the judge’s ruling.

Madonna threw a farewell party on Saturday at the luxury lodge where she was staying. Traditional dancers entertained guests including government officials and staff from Madonna’s Raising Malawi charity.

The charity helps feed, educate and provide medical care for some of Malawi’s more than one million orphans, half of whom have lost parents to Aids.

More on this topic

What next for Madonna?What next for Madonna?

Madonna driven to record new album after getting ‘a little depressed’Madonna driven to record new album after getting ‘a little depressed’

Material girl Madonna super at 60Material girl Madonna super at 60

Madonna's son 'mortified' by mum's topless photoshootMadonna's son 'mortified' by mum's topless photoshoot

More in this Section

More than 90,000 people apply for Toy Show tickets in five daysMore than 90,000 people apply for Toy Show tickets in five days

Michelle Visage: Strictly has been like a ‘rebirth’Michelle Visage: Strictly has been like a ‘rebirth’

Liam Payne reveals he secretly split with Cheryl earlier than previously thoughtLiam Payne reveals he secretly split with Cheryl earlier than previously thought

Apple TV+ space-race drama is a ‘deeply feminist’ series, star saysApple TV+ space-race drama is a ‘deeply feminist’ series, star says


Lifestyle

Can you imagine Spanish churros, Moroccan tagines or even Christmas cakes without its fragrant taste?MIchelle Darmody: Warm smells of cinnamon

Rachel Howard visits the South Moravia region to sample this eastern European country’s finest tipples.They’re big on beer but could the Czech Republic be raising a glass to wine tourism too?

Lisa Salmon catches up with a cardiologist, who explains how a patient’s own stem cells can repair damage from heart disease and heart failure.How stem cells are mending broken hearts

Hannah Stephenson discovers America’s dark past and Martin Luther King’s vision for its future by following the civil rights trail.Charting America’s path to freedom on a road trip through the Deep South

More From The Irish Examiner