a disturbing adoption story

So Madonna and her husband have indeed ADOPTED AN IMPOVERISHED BABY FROM MALAWI.

Note that I did not say that she adopted an orphan; the boy's mother died in childbirth, but his father is very much alive, and says he's glad Madonna is adopting the baby, so he can escape the grinding poverty of the African country.

This disturbs me.

Madonna could undoubtedly afford to spend the money to support this young father and his baby and allow them to remain together. She could "adopt" him by making sure he gets an education, good health care, and all he needs, all while remaining with his own birth family. But instead she's taking him away from his family, to be raised in London as her own child.

This really does bother me.

Adoption is a beautiful thing, but keeping families together when possible is also beautiful.


Anonymous said...


I don't see how keeping this family together was possible when the father had placed the boy in an orphanage months ago per numerous press reports. This wire story you've linked is quite short and doesn't give the full picture. With many adoptions, foreign and stateside, one and sometimes both parents are still living. So, FYI.

Anonymous said...

This gives more stories (if it goes through).

katie allison granju said...

Absolutely, I don't have the whole story.

But I guess my point is that **IF*** poverty is the only reason this child was in an orphanage, separated from his living father, then fixing that family's situation seems a more humane approach than taking the child away.

Anonymous said...

Yes indeed. I know your heart's in the right place. Have you seen the teeshirt MAKE POVERTY HISTORY. Wouldn't that be great?

britney said...

Finding adequate education and health care in Malawi could be a challenge (depending on where in the country). It's not always as easy as throwing money at poverty to "fix" the situation. What happens when one family suddenly has worlds more money than everyone else in the village? It may be that relocating father AND child elsewhere could keep them together. But what about the rest of the family? It's basically an issue of sustainable development - how do you do that? NGOs have struggled with this question for years.

Sarada said...

Although I'm not a Madonna fan, I read that she was in Africa specifically because she had donated a lot to a project for children with AIDS and orphans of AIDS. So it isn't as if she just came in to get status child and was oblivious to the needs of Africa.

But yes, I agree with you. The dad seems fine with it, though.

Anonymous said...

I heard on NPR this morning that there are 130 physicians in all of (I believe) Malawi, with something like 12 million people in the country. Getting a child out makes sense to me--all the money in the world won't buy you decent health care in a country essentially without doctors.

Just a thought: Why can't every interested first world family be matched with a third world family and help support them?

Marcia said...

Britney said, " It's not always as easy as throwing money at poverty to "fix" the situation." and "It's basically an issue of sustainable development - how do you do that? "

Yes, exactly. I certainly wish celebrities would use their money to advance sustainable development, but at the same time, change would come too late for this little boy's life.

Sista Smiff said...

I'm somewhat disturbed at the Angelina Jolie fad of having a foreign baby on your hip, however, this kid Madonna has adopted will certainly have a much better life and better opportunities than living in an orphanage.

I'm not an expert on African parenting styles, but, I would bet in the more remote places single fathers are probably not as equipped to raise kids alone without mothers. It seems to me that attitudes there are still pretty primitive there about stuff like this. I may be way off, but, I don't get the feeling they are as forward there in regards to male/women roles.

Anonymous said...

The plot thickens. If there are 900,000 children in run-down orphanages in Malawi, and the country makes foreign adoptions difficult, I wonder if it should rethink that on humanitarian grounds? Just asking, leaning towards yes.


jag said...

Katie, I agree with you. She could have helped the child, or helped the father to take care of the child.

Granted, I'm not there and don't know the particulars. But with what I do know, yep, still agreeing with you.

Anonymous said...

That`s what always complicates the issue of adoption. Very few adopted kids are orphans. Ifyou adopt from Africa, China, Russia, Haiti, Guatemala... the same could be said. Why not just give the $ to ther family rather than take their child?