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Posted at 11:00 AM ET, 03/30/2009

Should Madonna Adopt Again?

By Liz Kelly

Madonna with daughter Lourdes in Malawi on Sunday. (AP)
Comment Box

It was inevitable, you realize, that it would come to this. To think we could have somehow avoided a set-to about Madonna's attempt to adopt again is March madness, indeed. And so, here we are.

The Objective Bits:
-- Madonna has started legal proceedings to adopt four-year-old Malawian Chifundo "Mercy" James, whose mother died soon after she was born, according to sources in Malawi. Her father is reportedly still alive, but not a part of the child's life. However, Mercy's grandmother has spoken to one London newspaper calling the adoption a "steal" and that she won't let her granddaughter go.

-- The now 50-year-old performer previously adopted son David Banda, now three, from Malawi in 2006 amid some controversy about possible loosening of the country's adoption laws. From all reports, Banda is thriving with Madonna, who also has two biological children: 12-year-old Lourdes and eight-year-old Rocco.

-- Madonna was granted a divorce from husband Guy Ritchie in November 2008 after nine years of marriage. A rumored affair with married Yankee Alex Rodriguez and a somewhat public dalliance with 22-year-old Brazilian model Jesus Luz have made Madonna a gossip column staple in recent months.

-- British charity Save the Children has asked Madge to reconsider her plans to adopt again. Spokesman Dominic Nutt called many international adoptions "unnecessary" and said that children should be left in the care of their extended families when possible.

The Subjective Bits:
-- Despite the recent disarray in Madge's life, all outward signs point to her being a good mother. Though the life she leads is hardly conventional, she easily has the resources to care for an entire classroom full of kids, let alone four. And, speaking of classrooms, Madge has pledged to help fund the construction of a school in the Malawian village of Chinkhota. (Video: Madonna Tours a Malawi Daycare Center)

-- Some Malawians support Madonna's bid to adopt again. "That baby is going to have the advantages of going to school and of becoming someone," said one to the Associated Press. "Here it is very difficult."

-- As one reader wrote in Friday's Celebritology Live chat the whole unconventional thing could also break the other way: "...all the other kids in the brood will have a father to visit except for the new one. How do you explain to a child that the other three brothers and sisters will be visiting Guy for the weekend or whatever, but it won't?"

So, where do you come down?

By Liz Kelly  | March 30, 2009; 11:00 AM ET
Categories:  Comment Box, Insta-Polls  
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Comments

I'm not sure Madonna is a good or bad mother(her children will have to make that call),but I think she is a controlling self-absorbed one. I'm sure in about 10yrs Lourdes will have write a tell-all-book.

Posted by: lisjaka62 | March 30, 2009 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Your poll didn't include the Save the Children option: the child should be cared for by extended family if possible. Madge may be a great mother, but why does she want to adopt children who have living family members who want to care for them?

Posted by: mat00 | March 30, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

"Despite the recent disarray in Madge's life, all outward signs point to her being a good mother"

Also (parents) Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Barbara Stanwyck, James Cagney, Bing Crosby...

Really, Liz. You can't be THAT naive.

Posted by: jezebel3 | March 30, 2009 12:07 PM | Report abuse

Ya, I don't know if she's a good or bad mom, but I don't like the way children seem to be an accessory in the lives of people like Madonna. It sometimes seems as if they're trying to show off how cool they are by having an "ethnic" child in their family. There are so many unwanted children in the US, in foster care, wards of the state. Why doesn't she focus her attention on them? What a great message that would send. Why Malawi?
And that's a very interesting point the Friday chatter made about the child and the older siblings.
In the end, Madonna can and will do whatever she darn well pleases but I question her motivation.

Posted by: pras40 | March 30, 2009 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Place me thoroughly in the "I'm not sure" category. There's no denying she has the resources to care for another child, but does she truly have the time to devote? She already has four and the tour and all the publicity rigamarole that goes along with it, plus likely getting ready for new recording sessions. Were it me in this situation, I think I would be more inclined to toss money at foster children organizations rather than picking up yet another child.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | March 30, 2009 12:13 PM | Report abuse

Putting on my adoptive parent hat and stepping onto my soapbox.

First, can we all recognize that we're talking about children here? And, e.g., refrain from using the word "it" as in that last comment in Liz's post? Yikes.

Second, Madonna's wealth means she can provide much for the child financially. All children deserve good lives. Money helps.

Third, while money helps, more important is being able to offer a child the love and stability he or she desperately needs, especially if the child's life to date has had upheaval. I question Madonna's ability to provide bonding and stability while touring, but she has resources most of us do not have.

Fourth, as for the "no father" argument, many single parents do a fantastic job, some better than two parents. So that argument doesn't hold a lot of water here for me. When the supply of adoptive parents exceeds the demand of children worldwide, then I might -- might -- suggest otherwise.

Fifth, I'd be more concerned about her becoming a mother again at 50, but I know parents older than her who have adopted and they do a fantastic job. We should not judge Madonna differently here because she is a celebrity.

Bottom line: Let her adopt. She has already done it once, so clearly her eyes are open again to the challenge. Who are we to judge?

Think you know better? Than set an example, either by ponying up with a contribution to an adoption-related organization and/or by considering adoption yourself. I now return you to your regularly scheduled snark.

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | March 30, 2009 12:20 PM | Report abuse

The only issue that I have is that Malawi doesn't allow single parents to adopt, so Madonna shouldn't be able get around that.

I have no way of knowing if Madonna is a good or bad parent, the fact that she's a superstar doesn't really count one way or the other.

Posted by: mcleve | March 30, 2009 12:22 PM | Report abuse

I realize this is morbid, but if someone adopts at Madonna's age, isn't there a higher risk of the child being orphaned than if adopted by a younger parent?

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 30, 2009 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I'm 100% in favor of adoption, even if it's by celebrities that we love to hate.

What bugs me about Madonna is the children she chooses. This is the second time she's picked a child who has an extended family, living in a country which does not allow adoption by foreigners.

Why Malawi? Why does she need to get herself special treatment, on an international legal level? And with all the true orphans out there, why these two? Were they the prettiest?

Say what you will about Angelina, but I've never heard that she circumvented the law in her adoptions, and never heard about a father or grandmother laying claim to one of her kids.

Posted by: WDC2 | March 30, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Ho can sing. Doesn't qualify her as a parent.

Posted by: reddragon1 | March 30, 2009 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of Madonna's fitness as a parent (and while she doesn't have the most stable life, it's no worse than the lives of many average people), I hope the judge in this case applies the law as written. If that means that a single parent can't adopt, then she shouldn't be allowed to adopt. If this child's status as an orphan is being challenged in court by a grandmother, then that case has to be heard to its conclusion.

Posted by: northgs | March 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure that every time Madonna adopts another one of these kids, Lourdes can't help but think that her inheritance is just getting smaller.

Posted by: buffysummers | March 30, 2009 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I can't go against a child having food every day - clean water - clothing and shelter.

Posted by: unidos945 | March 30, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I guess I'm in the "I don't know" camp as well. I have no doubt that she would be able to provide clothes, food, shelter, medical care, to the children, but I also question her motivations. It's kind of like an extended mid-life crisis, but instead of buying a sports car, she's collecting kids.

I have no doubt her eyes are open to the challenges of adoption and child-rearing, but are her nannies' eyes open?

My guess is that she tried to adopt Jesus, but decided that a toddler is easier to mantain than a young adult model.

Posted by: eet7e | March 30, 2009 1:49 PM | Report abuse

There are generally country- or agency- rules that would prevent one of us from doing this second adoption. Certainly her age, her divorce, the short space between this and the last adoption, etc. would be taken into consideration. There would be visits from a social worker to query why this is important to us and there would most likely be a required trip to a counselor and a medical doctor as part of the process. Of course, the judge and the child's family plays a role in the decision too. The adoption process is not fast, easy, or cheap.

If Madonna passed all this, then I would be hard pressed to deny the adoption from my arm chair. I have a bit of a grudge factor, though, because I know a couple of stable couples who have been denied for such slight things (depression meds or having too large of a BMI, etc. One agency turned us away because we weren't Christian) when they would be very good parents. But since Malawi isn't one of the few countries the U.S. has an adoption agreement with, it isn't as if Madonna is taking a child away from a couple I might happen to know. Whether she is fit to adopt or is wrongfully attempting to take one away from Malawi family members is best left for the Judge and agency to decide.

Posted by: sarahabc | March 30, 2009 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Whoops, I said "one" when I meant "child" earlier. That's what you get when you don't proofread.

By the way, if you read international adoption forums, there are discussions like this one every day. Most adopted parents struggle with whether they are doing the right thing, when all that money (adoptions can be from $25-100K) could have actually improved many children's lives. Madonna has at least been working to improve the conditions for other children in Malawi.

Posted by: sarahabc | March 30, 2009 2:03 PM | Report abuse

I think Madonna should adopt Dorkus Maximus and give him a princely allowance.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 30, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Based on Jesus Luz, I'd guess that Dorkus Maximus is too old for Madonna, Sas.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 30, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Shout out to the Dorkus... hope he is well where ever and what ever he is doing...

Posted by: LTL1 | March 30, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

LTL, I believe our baby Dorkus somewhere in the wilds of South Carolina.

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

...Dorkus IS somewhere... Ack!

Posted by: Nosy_Parker | March 30, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

Oops -- sorry, td: the "it" in my post wasn't meant to refer to the child, but to all the rigamarole involved with touring. Probably should have made that a little clearer. :\

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | March 30, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

I vote for choice #5: "It's none of my or your freaking business."

Posted by: GlennSG | March 30, 2009 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I guess my question would be are these families really involved with these children or is that just what people are assuming. Again, I think people need to get past the misconception that children who are adopted are "orphans". I think most children that are adopted do have some sort of family, be it a Mother or Father or extended family. I honestly can't get up in arms over a child being taken from an orphanage into a good home. Now, weather or not that is the case with Madonna is for the courts and social services to decide. While it's frustrating to think that those with money and status get preferential treatment I can't get upset because a child who needed a home got one.

Posted by: Vienna8425 | March 30, 2009 6:08 PM | Report abuse

What WDC2 said. I applaud the impulse to adopt and give a child a much better life. I decry the need to adopt children who have families from only one particular place. If there are indeed hundreds of thousands of children who need adoption, Madge should not have any problem finding an appropriate, available son legally. The fact that she circumvents laws and is willing to separate families makes me question whether her motives are really for the best interests of the child, or whether she is more interested in buying the cutest one she can find.

Posted by: msame | March 30, 2009 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Maybe she should adopt Jesus. She's old enough to be his mother. Then she & Woody Allen could have a support group.

Posted by: kabuki3 | March 31, 2009 10:54 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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