Madonna’s request to adopt a second child from Malawi was refused by a Malawi court. The reason for the denial was merely a technicality. Malawi law states that a potential parent has to reside in the country for a period between 18 and 24 months before the adoption. Madonna was denied her request for adoption because she did not meet this residency requirement.
Madonna was going to adopt 3½-year-old Mercy James, whom she first met in an orphanage in 2006. Her first adopted child from Malawi was David Banda, now 3, whom she adopted in 2008. She was granted custody and allowed to take him out of the country two years earlier. That adoption caused controversy, including claims that her application received special status because of her celebrity. Her other children are daughter Lourdes, 12, and son Rocco, 8. Madonna has homes in New York and London.
Madonna had not anticipated such a development. She had the backing of the government and assurances from her lawyer that it was a done deal. But that was not to be. “I must have to decline to grant the application to Madonna,” judge Esme Chombo said in a ruling following the closed-door proceeding on Friday.
Madonna was not present for the ruling, and there was no official word on whether she’ll appeal the decision.
When her Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, broke the news that High Court judge Esme Chombo had rejected her petition to adopt a Malawian toddler, an incredulous Madonna “kept wringing her hands,” says a source at Kumbali Lodge, where the pop star is staying.