"According to the pop star, she rescued a very ill child who may have otherwise perished, claiming on The Oprah Winfrey Show, he had at thirteen months survived malaria and tuberculosis. His father confirms that that he brought his son to the orphanage because he was unable to care for the sick child after the child’s mother died and there he had apparently gotten the life-saving care he needed prior to Madonna’s “rescue” of him..
"The father, Yohane Banda, reports: “He was one month and seven days old. The orphanage made me sign a letter to show that I was handing him over to their charge, but I suppose deep in my heart I always imag-ined that when he was better, or I had got another wife, I would go and take him back. I did not think anyone would want to take him away.”
"Madonna claimed she was told the boy was abandoned. BBC news reported that she was told no one visited David and that Banda had remarried and gotten on with his life, despite reports that Banda visited his son regularly, cycling the twenty-five miles to the orphanage. In keeping with estimates that 80 percent of children in orphanages worldwide have family who visit and hope to be reunited wit them, Banda stated: “I would bring him food from my garden, then sit and play with him for a while. I wanted him to know that I was his father, that I love him very much. He is my only child still living and I think of him as a gift from God. He is also the best memory I have left of my wife.” Banda told reporters he was surprised and bewildered, but accepted the adoption of his son by what he was told was 'a very nice Christian lady'.
"Malawians take seriously African proverb that “it takes a village to raise a child” thus there is no word for adoption as we know it in the Swahili language. It is common for Africans to send orphaned or impoverished children to live with richer relatives. . . . Unlike in adoptions, the child remains in regular contact with the parents.
"Did the orphanage lie to make money it desperately needed by allowing David’s adoption? Did the father lie about his visits? Did Madonna hear what she wanted to hear? The Centre for Human Rights and Rehabilitation in Malawi expressed concern about the speed and secrecy of the interim adoption and that Yohane did not fully understand that he lost totally custody of his son. Most of all, they were concerned that the eighteen-month required stay in Malawi was not required for Madonna.
"The boy’s uncle and other family members protested David being taken out of the country by a “rich white donor.” The uncle wanted to know how the family would benefit if the adoption went through. “We have seen other parents at the mission who have had their children adopted still living in their poverty. “They have not seen their children—all they see is pictures sent to them. We don’t want that to happen to this family,” he said. In accepting the foreign adoption of his child, his family and village still hope for his return to his culture.
"The Diva said she did nothing anyone else could not have done, despite overriding the eighteen-months-in-country fostering period, and having her new son escorted home in a private jet. Taking children from their culture, without concern for their families’ needs, is done all the time—not just by the rich and famous.
"Banda said that when he met the singer and her husband in court in 2006, when a judge gave the celebrity couple temporary custody of David, he was promised he would be seeing his son occasionally. Yet, in April 2007 when Madonna returned to Malawi to inaugurate her new orphanage in Lilongwe and to promote other phil-anthropic projects, it was reported she didn’t have the time to allow a visit between father and son during her six-day stay. Even after the adoption was finalized in May 2008, there were reports of Banda challenging the adoption on the grounds that the finalization did not contain the agreed upon visits “every three or four years....
"Karen Finley wrote in The Huffington Post of Madonna’s adoption, “Imagine if Madonna’s father could not have supported his children after the death of the mother? And a wealthy African family appeared in Detroit with entourage and took away little five-year-old Ciccone to adopt? Americans, white Americans would go nuts….This Malawi child is leaving his heritage, his people, his language, his family. Yes, he is poor. But now he is also impoverished.…Sounds like colonialism to me….The image of a white, powerful, rich woman and her entourage landing in Africa and selecting a black boy brings America’s history of slavery and the middle passage to mind.” The Stork Market, pp 44-5
David's father is "hoping" to get his son during her upcoming visit. Madonna has made no promises of any visitation between the son she took from his family and his relatives.
The girl, named Mercy James, that Madonna - now a divorced "good Christian woman" - has set her sights on is 3 or 4 years old and like David, her mother also died in childbirth. Like David, Mercy has a father and other family.
According to a recent Huffington Post: "The girl's relatives at first resisted the adoption but have now consented."
Money can do a great deal, can't it, whether it is direct payments to relaitves or her "Raising Malawi" charity that endears her to Malawians and makes them feel OBLIGATED to her.
He said the best interests of the child needed to be taken into account _ whether this was staying in an orphanage in Malawi or getting "an education with Madonna."
What 'education'? That money can buy anything including children? That appearing like a whore on stage is profitable?
Spokesman Dominic Nutt of Save The Children UK asked her to reconsider stating that
many international adoptions are often inappropriate and unnecessary - and some even feed into a criminal 'adoption industry'.... the whole process of international adoptions is often flawed.... barring exceptional circumstances, children should be kept in the care of their extended families or within their communities.
"We believe they are better looked after in their own country as far as is possible," Nutt said. "International adoption can actually exacerbate the problem it hopes to solve." Video available.
The publicity Madonna brings to the subject of the immorality of international adoption, and the high percentage of non-orphans in orphanages, is actually good. Her two adoptions are not atypical. Worldwide 87.8% of children in orphanges are NOT orphans but have at least one living parent. Many people in underdeveloped, impoversihed parts of the world use orphanages for temporary care or for medical care they cannt afford.
In many parts of the world children are stolen or kidnapped, papers and even DNA tests forged, and trafficked for adoption. Well-meaning adopters have wound up unintentionally being recipients of these stolen or kidnapped children.
The money paid by Westerners - $20-$20k and more per child, makes it impossible for locals to compete to adopt children with their own nation.
The really needy kids in orphanages are left behind just as the kids in US and UK foster care are, while baby brokers create "orphans" to meet a demand.
Resources on the truth of international adoption:
1. Child Trafficking by David Smolin. David coned the phrase "child laundering" to describe the network that passes these children through too many hands to trace.
2. Romania for Export Only - describes how numbers and photos are phonied to gain support for orphanages and alleged "unwanted" "orphans"
3. The Lie We Love by E.J.Graff
4. Red Thread or Slender Reed: Deconstructing Prof. Barthelot's
Mythology of International Adoption by Johanna Oreskovic and Trish Maskew
5. Read what those adopted internationally and or interracially feel as adults:
http://www.transracialabductees.org/index.html and: http://tinyurl.com/5qdjqe
6. The Stork Market: America's Multi-Billion Dollar Unregulated Adoption Industry
7.Read about the Hemlseys, awarded FamilyPreservation hero Award 2009
8. Read fleasbiting.blogspot.com by Desiree, who was told be her adopted daughters that they were stolen from their mother
9. Meet The Parents: The Dark Side of International Adoption