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Madonna responds to adoption controversy post #1  quote:



POSTED: 4:41 p.m. EDT, October 17, 2006

LONDON, England (AP) -- Madonna said Tuesday she had acted according to the law in taking custody of a 1-year-old Malawian boy, responding for the first time to the fierce debate about the legality and morality of the planned adoption.

The pop star's statement came after she was united with David Banda at her London mansion. Madonna said she hopes to make the adoption permanent following an 18-month evaluation period, imposed by Malawi authorities.

"We have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law, like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate," Madonna said in the statement, issued via e-mail.

Madonna said she and her husband began the adoption process "many months prior to our trip to Malawi," but she had not disclosed their intentions because she wished to keep the matter private. As child-protection groups challenged Madonna's custody order, photographers swarmed outside the singer's home and bloggers and editorial-writers weighed in, that appeared a vain hope.

"After learning that there were over 1 million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family," Madonna said.

"This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly," she added. (Read the entire letter, in the following post.)

David, who has spent most of his life in an orphanage in poverty-stricken Malawi, arrived before dawn at Heathrow Airport aboard a British Airways flight from Johannesburg, South Africa. He was bundled into a waiting Mercedes minivan in the arms of an aide, surrounded by airport officials and armed police officers.

Photographers, reporters and camera crews clustered in the street as the van arrived at the brick Victorian town house near London's Hyde Park that Madonna, 48, shares with her husband -- the director Guy Ritchie -- daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6. Madonna also has a house in the English countryside and a home in Los Angeles.

Last week, Malawi's High Court granted Madonna and Ritchie an interim adoption order giving them custody of the boy for 18 months. Madonna's New York-based publicist, Liz Rosenberg, said that during that time, the couple would be "evaluated by the courts of Malawi per the tribal customs of the country."

The order waived a Malawian law requiring would-be parents to live in the country for a year while social welfare officers investigate their ability to care for a child.

Human rights and child protection groups were challenging the custody order in court in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe. They said they wanted to ensure that child-protection regulations were not swept aside to benefit a singer who has been generous to Malawi.

Madonna's charity, Raising Malawi, is setting up an orphanage for up to 4,000 children, and the singer has said she wants to raise at least $3 million for programs to support AIDS orphans. (TIME.com: Madonna's Malawi project)

Madonna said in the statement she had been "overwhelmed and inspired" by her trip to Malawi and hoped it would help focus attention on the needs of children in Africa.

"From poverty to easy street" said a headline in The Times newspaper -- but others painted a more troubled picture of young David's journey.

The Independent dubbed the saga "Madonna and child: a morality tale," and noted in an editorial that "reports that Madonna chose the child from a selection of orphans presented to her make the whole affair sound worryingly like a commercial process."

Max Clifford, a celebrity publicist, said it was up to Madonna and Ritchie to "convince people that what they've done is right and that the way they've gone about it is right."

Justin Dzonzi, a lawyer for a coalition of Malawian human rights and child advocacy organizations, said his group was concerned that no one explained the implications of the adoption to the child's father, Yohame Banda. David's mother died after giving birth, and the father -- a farmer -- had put his son in an orphanage.

Banda on Tuesday accused the rights groups of being "jealous of my son."

"What's their interest? I want David to have a bright future, not to live in this poverty," he told The Associated Press in his village, Lipunga, 80 miles from the Malawian capital.

Malawian government officials said they had no objection to the adoption.

Some children's advocates said the adoption brought welcome attention to the plight of millions of impoverished children in sub-Saharan Africa. The AIDS pandemic has left almost 1 million children orphaned in Malawi alone, according to the National AIDS Commission.

Madonna joins a growing list of celebrities -- including Mia Farrow, Angelina Jolie and Meg Ryan -- who have adopted children from developing countries.

Jonathan Pearce, director of the adoption-support group Adoption U.K., said celebrity adoption brought attention to the need for adoption -- but could give the impression adopting a child was a simple process.

"I am sure there is a perception that you can just go out there and purchase a child," he said. "Obviously that is not a good way to portray adoption."

Copyright 2006 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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Text of Madonna's letter post #2  quote:

(CNN) -- The following is the text of the letter Madonna sent news agencies, titled "An Open Letter from Madonna":

My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family.

Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate. The procedure includes an l8 month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent. This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.

I am overwhelmed and inspired by my trip to Malawi and hope that it helps bring attention to how much more the world needs to do to help the children of Africa.

My heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes I have received and I hope the press will allow my family some room for us to experience the joy we feel to have David home.

Madonna Ritchie
October 17, 2006
London, England


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post #3  quote:

Good for Madonna, and Guy. I think that it's great that people who have the financial capability to do such a thing, do this. There are so many unwanted children, for different reasons.

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post #4  quote:

I guess what bugs me is that celebrities go to foriegn countries to adopt and overlook the fact that there are so many young children in the foster care system waiting for a permanent home. Yes they saved a child that desperately needed one, but I think that if they had adopted a young child from the States who was in foster care, it would have done wonders to help the other kids here find permanent families. Just my thoughts.

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post #5  quote:

I think that it's up to each and every individual where they choose to adopt from. If their heart is set on helping an African child, then so be it. Jill (my pastor... you know her, Sher) has her heart set on having a child... but, she also has a huge desire within her, to adopt a child from Africa. She's been there, multiple times, and just loves those kids.

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post #6  quote:

I am kind of torn over this I mean on one hand she has given this kid a life he could only dream of but for the rest well the have life we could only have nightmares about, if she really wanted to help she could have given some of her money to the orphanage and the village's. Malawi is a terribly poor country ( poorets in the world) The Scottish government has " adopted " and gives money and support to the orphanges and hospitals and after reading about the place I think Madonna could have given something to help the people seriously what is 500,000 or 1 million to her but it is everything to them that means those kids live for a couple more years. Anyway rant over.

One thing I hope I don't see is Madonna selling pictures of her and David to the magazines because then it looks like she got him for profit. There are rumors that she is going back for a girl pretty soon.


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post #7  quote:

But Madonna IS giving money to them.... she's helping with the orphanages. Still, she's also adopting a child while at it, because her and Guy WANT another kid.

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post #8  quote:

I have no doubt they do want a child and I have no doubt that she is giving money to the orphanage I just wonder how much she is giving and for how long I know there is $3 million ( does someone like Madonna have to raise $3 mil?) but that only goes to AIDS orphans is there another fund for those hwo have lost thier parents to starvation, murder etc and if there is that a lifetime commitment or just the 18 months?


My main gripe is thate she will eventually sell the pictures to some rag. That kid arrives at Heathrow with his face opartially obscured and a bodyguard blocking the press from getting pictures that makes me wonder well that and the fact that some people are specu;ating that a picture of mother and child could reach 2 million while a picture of the whole family could reach in excess of 3 million for ione lucky snapper.

The thing is Angelina Jolie managed to do this without much fuss but Madonna manages to turn it into a worldwide media circus.


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post #9  quote:

Madonna tried to HIDE it... and she was successful for a very long time. Once the press gets a whiff of something like this, it's going to be all over the news. I don't think that she wanted to have such press on this.

I believe that she's trying to raise money, in order to get others involved. And I agree with that, 100%. People can spare a buck, or two. And those with a lot of money can spare much more.

Maybe Madonna will sell photos and turn all the funds over to the gov't, or the orphanages in the area. Who's to know what will happen.


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post #10  quote:

I don't see anything noble about purchasing children, dressing them up like a rag-to-riches Barbie dolls and parading them around acting like some great humanitarian.

Guess Madonna gets off a world tour then wants to adopt a kid. They say there is no bad press.

-HECK!


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post #11  quote:

Adopting a foster care child in the states isnt as easy as people think it is. No adoption from the states is easy.

Lets not forget that many people have put their children up for adoption only to come back years later to get them back...and the court ALLOWED it!

So, in this country, one can adopt and raise a child for a few years and then have that child stripped from them when the biological family changes their mind. (baby Richard come to mind??)

Foster care is worse...it takes years to have the courts strip away parental rights because they give that parent or parents the time to try and fix their lives first. A foster parent cannot talk adoption until the parental rights are taken, and if they do talk about adoption, the court can take the child and place them in another foster home.

Adoption from another country is easier, and that is why people do it.

if our courts would stop being so lenient on crappy parents or parents that abandon and come back, then more kids from the states would be adopted by good families.

So what??...she adopted a kid privately.

Unlike that ignorant reporter, her and her husband dont owe people anything about their adoption and how they went about it.

Trust me, if Madonna wanted a kid for some mystical underlying reason (as the reporters would make people believe), she could have one of her own. I doubt she went about it the wrong way.

As for her getting money for the pictures, I dont always agree with that, but all celebs in cases like this pose and request money.

As for Jolie...she was able to do it quietly because she was out of the country for sometime. However, when she did come back...the reporters were there!

I cant believe this is "breaking" news in the world. How pathetic has this world become that this story is worthy of huge news.


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post #12  quote:

Hey Mys

I hear you, if this is headline news I think we need to take a look in the mirror and double check our spot on the evolution chart.

The whole adoption system is wacky. I know a couple who spent over a hundred grr just trying to adopt a kid. It's insane. Celeb's obviously can grease those wheels easier because they have the moolah.

Maybe I'm just a cynnic but I don't see Madonna doing this as some good faith mission. If it was she'd be back in a missionary position popping out kids as the good book infers. I just don't think Madonna is thinking about the kid as much as the publicity behind it.

-HECK!


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post #13  quote:

Well, the fact of it all is that NONE of us are Madonna and Guy Ritchie. They decided to adopt a child from Africa, and that is their business, and no one elses. It's pretty pitiful, in my eyes, to think that that could be wrong. So, I guess everyone who goes outside of their own country to adopt is wrong? I don't believe so. And to be judged for that is wrong. She's too old to be birthing a child, since the baby could be born with any number of problems.

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post #14  quote:

First of all, you don't know that I am not Guy Ritchie

But seriously, I do question her motives. Celebrities are of a different breed. She has been doing this for decades. She just gets done with a tour where she had to go and make headlines by hanging on a cross. I think if it would help album sales or make someone see her horrible movies she would adopt a whole village and drape them in clothes from Saks.

-HECK!


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post #15  quote:

Firstly she did not try to hide it, she was in some country before Malawi looking at babies and the story is that somebody from her camp let the fleet street boys know all about it and let them know Malawi was the next stop, Madonna had body gurads and armed guards and you think she could not keep the press away I think she could if she really wanted but Madonna is hardly one for avoiding trhe cameras now is she.

If her and Guy Ritchie wan to adopt a kid from Africa and give it a better life then fine that is very noble I guess but there are times when people can do the right thing for the wrong reasons.


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post #16  quote:

But, you don't know her reasons... at all. I don't know them. They could be dishonest, or totally honorable. But, since we don't know them, personally, and what is going on in their heads... we don't know why they did it. It's really as simple as that.

Sure, Madonna is one of those people who has done a lot to get attention. And this could be another. But, regardless of that, she took in a child and is giving it a loving home, instead of allowing him to starve to death.


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post #17  quote:

True, we don't know.

What I do know is that I'm a material girl and I'm livin' in a material world. Or boy- er, man. You know what I mean.

Anyone that has that as their mantra and can suck a watermelon dry doesn't really get a vote of confidence from me.

-HECK!


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post #18  quote:

Well, come on.... one, it is a song, and two... it was a LONG time ago. People can change. Doesn't mean that she has. I don't know her... but, I don't want to judge this one too fast.

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post #19  quote:

quote:
Maybe I'm just a cynnic but I don't see Madonna doing this as some good faith mission. If it was she'd be back in a missionary position popping out kids as the good book infers. I just don't think Madonna is thinking about the kid as much as the publicity behind it.


Madonna tried to have more kids, but she is too old and couldn't get pregnant. I think she just wanted more and now decided that this is the way to expand her family.


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post #20  quote:

quote:
Lawless said this in post #18 :
Well, come on.... one, it is a song, and two... it was a LONG time ago. People can change. Doesn't mean that she has. I don't know her... but, I don't want to judge this one too fast.


Kissing Britney Spears and hanging from a cross wasn't all that long ago though. She has a long history of pulling publicity stunts. I admit I'm coming across a little judgmental, but hey, it's me.

-HECK!


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post #21  quote:

My only opinion of this is... I mean... why this kid? There are some really bad cases who need help... this kid was living in poverty, but he was being fed and cared for... I don't know... it's just... if it was me, I'd seek out the kid with the worst chance of survival, and help them instead...

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post #22  quote:

Madonna's rich and bored and can have ANYTHING she wants. She gets clucky, so she flies over to Africa and helps herself to a baby, and while she's at it, thinks she's doing some good as well. Such is the privelaged lifestyles of the pampered spoilt super rich.

I'm sure the baby will have a great life, and who knows, maybe the guilt of learning where he came from when he grows up might not be too much of a burden to bare.

If Maddona really had this particular babies interest at heart, then why didn't she just give the babies dad some money and let him look after her, thus killing two birds with one stone?


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post #23  quote:

Maybe the dad wanted his child to have a better life... maybe he didn't want to riase the boy. Who knows.

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post #24  quote:

Maybe it wasn't an option given to him. We just will never know. I would hope that Madonna will keep the dad involved. Hopefully he will get pictures of David and when David is older have Madonna bring the family to visit.

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post #25  quote:

You know, had this just been some other rich person, people would think that they did a great thing. Suddenly, since it's Madonna, there must be ulterior motives.

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post #26  quote:

I kinda of felt the same way about the whole Jolie thing. Difference is, to me, Jolie doesn't jock for attention the same way Madonna does... at least not totally the same. But Jolie giving her show kid a mohawk and $300 shoes is lame too. Makes you almost respect Cruise and Holmes for keeping their kid hidden. And speaking of Cruise, when him and Kidman adopted their kids they didn't make it a big deal. Meanwhile the Material Girl is adding to her Material World and letting everyone know about it.

I just think rich people buying kids is horrible.

It's a fad right now. In about 20 years about 1/2 of all celebrity children will come from third world nations. "Hey, aren't you Mumba Wumba Skyler Aniston-Vaughn?" "Oh look, it's Hirohito Tsang Cao Akins-Seacrest!"

-HECK!


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post #27  quote:

quote:
Lawless said this in post #25 :
You know, had this just been some other rich person, people would think that they did a great thing. Suddenly, since it's Madonna, there must be ulterior motives.


Her motive was clear - she wanted a kid. She's rich (fame probably helps too) so she got one very easily. The kids going to have a great time, spoilt, pampered, privelaged, living in luxory. He can invite his dad over for tea some time.

Also I can't see Maddona allowing the kids dad to die of some kind of desease or starvation or even live in poverty. Her new son would never forgive her, surely. So everyone's a winner.


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post #28  quote:

Wow....I cant believe the crap Im reading in here.

So...she adopted a kid. So what? Why that kid?? Why any kid? Why do any adoptive parents going to another country adopt a particular kid?

I mean for goodness sake...if you are gonna ask it from her...why not ask everyone else why they adopted the kid they did?

Why is her family life such a problem for people?

When did unperfect humans start throwing morals around like they have never done anything themselves to benefit themselves???

Oh yeah...since the beginning of time.


Old Post 10-20-2006 06:35 AM
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post #29  quote:



There's no business like showbusiness like no business I know...

-HECK!


Old Post 10-20-2006 04:20 PM
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post #30  quote:

NBC: Special won't show Madonna on cross

NEW YORK - Backing away from a confrontation with religious groups, NBC said Thursday it has decided not to show pictures of Madonna mounting a Crucifix when it airs a concert special with the pop star next month.

The concert, which lists Madonna as an executive producer, is scheduled to air Nov. 22.

During the provocative passage in her concert, Madonna is shown on a mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns. She has explained that it was meant to illustrate a theme of confession.

But this angered some religious leaders, who called it a bad-taste publicity stunt. Several religious groups in the United States told NBC they would organize a boycott of one of the concert's commercial sponsors if the cross scene appeared, and were meeting next week to decide which company to target.

NBC didn't explain its decision, with a spokeswoman saying the network doesn't discuss how its editorial decisions are made. NBC Entertainment President Kevin Reilly ducked out of an industry function in Los Angeles Thursday before reporters could reach him.

"NBC did the right thing, but the fact that it did not say why the offensive part of Madonna's concert was cut shows cowardice," said Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League. "What NBC should have done is to admit that since it refused to air the Danish cartoons that Muslims objected to earlier in the year, it felt obliged not to treat Christians in a discriminatory manner."

NBC will still show a performance of "Live to Tell," but use different camera angles so that Madonna isn't seen until she gets off the cross, the network said.

The pop star, whose video for "Like a Prayer" likewise left some religious leaders cold two decades ago, explained earlier that she wasn't mocking the church and considered the scene no different than a person who wears a cross.

Asked about it an interview late this summer, Reilly told TVGuide.com that the crucifixion scene would probably be in the special. He said Madonna "felt strongly about it."

"We viewed it and, although Madonna is known for being provocative, we didn't see it as being ultimately inappropriate," Reilly said then, according to the Web site.

---------

....like no business I know...

-HECK!


Old Post 10-20-2006 05:24 PM
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