Dad knew of Madonna adoption plan – govt


A SENIOR Malawian government official on Monday dismissed as untrue remarks by an illiterate father who said he was misled into signing over his son for adoption by pop diva Madonna.


Yohane Banda, father of the one

-year-old boy, told Reuters Television on Saturday that he never intended his son to be adopted by Madonna. He accused senior officials in government of not telling him the truth about the papers he signed.


“Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that,” Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.


“It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him,” he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border. Banda said what he was told by the officials was that the papers he signed said Madonna would look after David, educate him and bring him back.


But his comments were categorically denied by Penson Kilembe, director of child welfare in the Ministry of Women and Child Development, who told Reuters the ministry explained every detail of the process to Banda and his family.


“We explained every detail and Madonna herself explained her intentions in the face of the judge and in Banda’s presence,” Kilembe said. “He (Banda) was asked several times in court if he understood what was going on and he said he did.”


Kilembe is one of the senior government officials whom Banda said he met several times over his son, David, and whom he said had made him sign papers he later said he never understood. Banda told Reuters he could not read or write and relied on what government officials told him. Kilembe said Banda was told 12 children had been presented to Madonna who picked David, and that the singer would select another child if Banda did not want his son adopted.


Malawian child rights groups, accusing the government of breaking its own laws in granting an interim adoption order to a non-resident, are challenging the process in court. The High Court in Lilongwe will today start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee, an alliance of 67 rights groups, which argues that Malawi laws forbid international adoption. —  Reuter.