Once again, I have to say that I am in the unusual position of siding with Madonna and question 'human rights groups' who claim she should not be adopting a child from Malawi.
Three years ago I wrote two posts, the first Madonna and Child in which I wrote about the fact that I felt it was a good thing that she had adopted a son in Malawi, and the second Madonna and Child--maybe a tragedy in which I wrote,
some things have happened during the past week. The main one is that the father of the child, who last week had been fine with the adoption, now is insisting that he was fooled or misled into signing his son over to Madonna. He says that he was told that she would only raise the child for him and then send his son home after he had been brought up by Madonna. For her part, Madonna has said that she never actually met the father (he confirms this) but did not take the child until she was assured that he had consented to the adoption. She also believes that one reason he has changed his position is because of all the media attention beginning on day one (which I believe may well be the case).
That was eventually worked out and the father did in fact agree to it-- he is however still in contact, which is probably the best outcome for the child. Frankly, if this child gets the best education that I'm sure Madonna can buy for him he will be in a much stronger position someday to help the people of Malawi if he wants to than he would be if he were sent back to the orphanage he was in.
Now, Madonna wants to adopt a second child (this one a girl) from the same orphanage in Malawi. And once again 'human rights groups' (specifically the charity, 'Save the Children U.K.) are criticizing her for it.
LONDON (AP) -- A British charity has urged singer Madonna to reconsider reported plans to adopt another child from the impoverished African nation of Malawi.
Save the Children UK spokesman Dominic Nutt urged the singer Saturday to "please think twice" before going through with the adoption.
He says he cannot comment directly on Madonna's plans but says adoptions in such contexts are often inappropriate and unnecessary.
Nutt says children are best cared for by their extended families.
Incidentally, E! Online seems to know more about the child than Mr. Nutt does:
Her name is Mercy James from Mchinji Home of Hope orphanage. She has no father and mother—they both died. We finished the assessment yesterday in readiness for the courts next week," a spokesman for the Ministry of Gender and Child Development told Reuters.
First point: If they are best cared for by their extended families then why is this girl in an orphanage?
Second point: After the controversy from two years ago, I am certain that Madonna has made darn sure that the girl's family consented-- in other words they were not planning to raise her themselves.
Third point: Children in an orphanage in Malawi face a very uncertain future, which includes a substantial chance that they will not live to adulthood. This is an 'innappropriate' circumstance for adoption?
Fourth point: I doubt if Mr. Nutt complains when Malawian parents (whether living in Malawi or abroad) adopt Malawian children. So do I perceive some kind of cultural bias here, perhaps even so severe that the imperativeness of not having a Malawian child exposed to the corrupting influence of an American celebrity in London is even worth the risk of the child's opportunity to escape poverty and perhaps even the risk of her life (see the third point above)?
If Mr. Nutt has evidence that there is any kind of bribery or coercion involved or that the child has been taken unwillingly from a family, then present that evidence. Lacking any such evidence (and if you read his statement it seems he does lack it) my advice for Mr. Nutt and other 'charities' is to perform their primary task. Even without the two children that Madonna (assuming this one goes though as planned) will have adopted, there are still thousands of other children languishing in orphanges in Malawi and other underdeveloped countries who need care, and who knows, maybe even someone who will adopt them, love them and provide a home and a future for them.