Madonna Gets No Mercy From Malawi Government
It looks like Madonna's Adoption Drive 2009 has come to an unsuccessful end.
The Associated Press reports that a judge in Lilongwe, Malawi, rejected the Material Mom's effort to adopt three-year-old Malawian girl Chifundo "Mercy" James on Friday.
The 50-year-old singer arrived in Malawi last weekend in anticipation of the hearing, and amid no small amount of protest over her adoption plans. Malawian officials brought up objections on "moral" grounds, and Mercy's grandmother, Lucy Chekechiwa, adamantly declared, "I won't let her go."
Judge Esme Chombo apparently sided with the detractors, ruling that exceptions to Malawi's residency requirements for adoption should not be made for Madonna on account of her fame and charitable efforts in the poverty-stricken country.
Judge Chombo's ruling noted that the singer "jetted into the country during the weekend just days prior to the hearing of this application...In my opinion, this would completely remove (Madonna) from the definition of 'resident.'"
Also at issue is a current regulation requiring welfare officials to observe prospective adoptive parents with the children they hope to adopt for a period of 18-24 months.
While denying Madonna's request, the judge also praised her charitable programs to help the orphans of Malawi, including her Raising Malawi foundation, calling such efforts "noble."
Madonna can appeal Friday's decision to Malawi's Supreme Court, though so far no statement has been issued saying she will do so.
Have your say in the comments section: What do you think of the judge's ruling?