Monday, October 23, 2006 at 10:24 AM

UPDATE: Madonna’s adoption of African boy reels from controversy to nightmare…

Posted by Anthony L. Hall

I was never told that adoption means that David will no longer be my son….If I was told this, I would not have allowed the adoption….I want more clarification on the adoption. I would prefer that David goes back to the orphanage where I can see him any time I want, rather than send him away for good.

[Father of the Malawian child Madonna adopted “conditionally” last week – as reported by the BBC]

When Madonna’s adoption story became an international sensation last week, I wrote this article, here, in which I lauded her interest in adopting an abandoned African baby and chastened her critics for their myopic self-righteousness. Nonetheless, I also expressed reservation as follows:

I sympathise with those who argue that if Madonna made such a “connection” with this child, the truly caring thing would have been for her to have provided the means for his father to care for him – instead of taking David even further away. Indeed, it does seem a bit self-indulgent and heartless under these circumstances to take a child who has a parent, when “over one million orphans” were available to be adopted.

Nonetheless, I reasoned that there was nothing wrong with her adoption of David after reading reports about his father, Yohane Banda (left), praising Madonna as a savior and daming her critics as devilish meddlers.

But now Mr Banda is claiming that he was misled. And this is an entirely sustainable claim considering that he’s illiterate and probably needed someone to serve in loco parentis during this adoption, not only to guarantee his son’s welfare but also to help him understand the implications of relinquishing his parental rights.

Therefore, I urge Madonna to return David to his village and make a connection with a different child forthwith. Moreover, I counsel her to ensure the Malawian government that this village and other areas of the country would still reap all of the financial benefits she promised pursuant to her adoption of David.

Because if she insists on defending her adoption of this child, I fear she’ll betray herself as being every bit the self-indulgent and heartless bitch caricatured so mercilessly in the media. Even worse, she’ll give the ironically-named Human Rights Consultative Committee, a coalition of 67 organizations that has filed a legal challenge to the adoption, an international platform to trumpet the untenable, if not infanticidal, Malawian adoption law, which holds that:

…foreign adoptive parents must live in Malawi for 18 months.

After all, Madonna did not abide by this law. Indeed, in this regard, I wrote that she was able to adopt David only:

…with the full blessings of the Malawian government, which granted her (a celebrity) exemption from the onerous 18-month residency requirement for adopting a Malawian child; notwithstanding that Madonna seems to think she was accorded no special favors….

Therefore, it’s in the best interest of all of Malawi’s one million abandoned babies to amend or abolish this “archaic” law, which dates back to the 1940s, to allow prospective adoptive parents like Madonnna to serve their probationary period where they reside permanantly. Because it is clearly ass-backwards for this law to require foreigners to take up residency in Malawi just to adopt an abandoned child!

Meanwhile, forget Madonna, Angelina, et al. Since, more than celebrities, it’s ordinary people of goodwill who have been, and would like to continue, adopting orphaned African babies. And they’re the ones who will be most discouraged if the Human Rights Committee is allowed to make a cause celebre of this misguided law.

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