Madonna was SHOCKED in court today when her request to adopt Chifundo Mercy James was DENIED by the Malawian court that was charged with ruling in her case. Citing a residency requirement that insists that prospective parents achieve residency in Malawi for 18-24 months, the court turned down Madonna’s request to adopt Mercy James ending Madonna’s bid for adoption in one fell swoop:
A residency requirement in Malawi has prevented Madonna from adopting a second child from that African nation, a judge and a lawyer told the Associated Press on Friday. The news service described the judge as a witness not involved in Friday’s court ruling, and the lawyer as another who was present at the time of the decision. Both the judge and the lawyer spoke on conditions of anonymity. The residency requirement for prospective parents is 18 to 24 months in Malawi. Madonna has homes in New York and London. The singer, a single mother, was planning to adopt 3½-year-old Mercy James, whom she first met in an orphanage in 2006. Her other children are daughter Lourdes, 12, and son Rocco, 8. There has been no word on whether Madonna intends to appeal the ruling. 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,” a source at Kumbali Lodge, where the pop star is staying, tells PEOPLE. Madonna, who filed her adoption papers on Monday, was not present in court. At the hearing, the judge said child welfare officers are required to find suitable prospective parents and “not someone who just flies in and out.” In terms of the child, “I think the welfare of Chifundo [African for ‘Mercy’] will be better served if she grows within the environment of the culture of Malawi,” she said. The judge also said that because Madonna is already assisting other orphans, Chifundo will still benefit from star’s generosity.
Wow. I, too, am shocked at this ruling … I’m not sure there were many folks who guessed that the Malawian court would rule against Madonna. While I think it’s important that residency laws are upheld in matters like these (after all, those requirements become laws for a reason), I really hope the court was ruling in Mercy’s best interests … and not for the sake of making an example out of Madonna. True, Mercy will still be able to benefit from “Madonna’s generosity” without being adopted, but I cannot believe the little girl will be better served in an orphanage (even if it was the best orphanage in the world) rather than in an adopted home. I suppose we’ll hear soon what Madonna’s next step is. I wouldn’t be surprised if she gave up her bid to adopt from Malawi altogether … but, I suppose, on the contrary I’d prolly not be surprised if she ended up buying a home in Malawi for the express purpose of establishing residency in order to try to adopt again.