"I concede that the petitioner is not a Malawi resident, but I urge the court consider the best interests of the child. … If residency were a requirement, it would be unconstitutional as it would negate certain rights of the child."
This is a bizarre claim as the residency requirement is in place to protect children form baby brokers and child traffickers. Team Madonna has claimed it is an "outdated" law having been out in place 50 years ago. Unlike sealed records in the US, however, which also came about over the same time period, the logic behind the residency rule is more needed now than ever before as child trafficking has escalated in the interim years.
The three-member panel of Supreme Court judges presided over by Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo has indefinitely "reserved judgment" hopefully while they seek to determine paternity of James Kambewa who Madonna's lawyer called an "opportunist."
The Pressures of Greed and Demand
Mercy James' grandmother, 61-year-old Lucy Chekechiwa, is reportedly against Madonna's decision to adopt. "Why doesn't this singer pick other children?" she allegedly told Britain's The Sun. "It is stealing. I want to go to to court. I won't let her go."
Yet, in a statement we can all relate to Grandma Lucy tells The Early Show that she feels bullied into the adoption, saying: “I did not want my granddaughter to be adopted. But because they have been persistent enough, I have been forced to let my granddaughter go."
Shame, shame, shame on Madonna for bullying people into tragic losses like this! The world is watching and whatever the outcome, you will be branded for life as a callous BE_ATCH who wants what she wants and pays off everyone to get it. It diminishes all her charity work to totally disregard people and their rights and heritage like this. What is she role-modeling Lourdes and her son...that might makes right and money can buy ANYTHING or ANYONE?
Attorneys representing children's rights groups also offered submissions in regard to the 50-year-old singer's bid to adopt Chifundo "Mercy" James. One can only assume that in addition to - openly questioning her lifestyle, this is a concern as well, though bn one in power in malawi wants to raise it as an issue and insult (read bite) the hand that is generously offering to build a school. Her giving with one hand and wanting to take something as precious as a human being with the other puts Malawi in a very difficult position and is in itself immoral, selfish and corrupt IMHO.
The NY Times reported that Lawyers for Malawi's Human Rights Commission and the group Eye of the Child - who supported last month's High Court decision - briefly addressed the hearing as friends of the court.
"Our contention is that the issue of residency is of paramount importance in the determination of this matter. The courts should make inter-country adoptions an option of last resort," Jones Gulumba, the attorney for Eye of the Child, told the court. "In the absence of regulation, inter-country adoptions should be decided based on the best interests of the child - and should be carried out under all applicable laws and procedures," he said.
Maintaining international adoption as a last resort is not just a Malawian law – it is the ethical standard of all international adoption set by the Hague convention and the U.N.
Will Madonna become the poster-girl for all who wish to buy the kids they want? I pray the song Madonna will be singing when it's all over is: "You can't always get what you want" -- but we wait the final act of this real-life drama.
The focus on this case is not unfounded or merely about star gazing. The world adoption community is watching this as a microcosm of world child supply and demand - emphasis on demand, which leads and trumps all else.
Adoption today is a bizzaro upside world of reverse Robinhoodism in which those with "means' TAKE from those of lesser means. It is done not only with impunity and justification, but is praised as rescuing "unwanted" children. It is done with arrogance and entitlement; with the power of privilege and with the ethnocentric belief that the material end justifies the means and the tragedy of familial separation.
Motherhood, once revered because upon it depends the future of the human race, has become a “class privilege in America, and much of the industrial world,” a matter of who can afford to have children. For the rich, “today it is possible to order babies from a menu of convenient options,” including purchased eggs and sperm, gene selection, or renting a womb—options obviously not available to the less wealthy. Entitlement to a baby—even one’s own—is often based on financial ability or the advantages one has to offer.
The Stork Market, Page 18
Poor and resourceless mothers, instead of receiving the support they need to keep their families intact, are often exploited instead for a coveted and much sought-after commodity: their children. Historian and author Ricki Solinger found that “adoption only exists on the backs of resourceless women.” It is a relatively recent shift, notes Solinger—since the Reagan administration—that Americans have begun thinking that unless a woman has enough money and resources, she has no business being a mother.
The irony of it all is that she wants Mercy as a sibling for David - so that he can look into the face of someone who looks like him yet she blindly rips them both from all else familiar.