The High Court in the Malawi capital, Lilongwe, has given American diva Madonna the go ahead to permanent adopt a two-year-old Malawian toddler, David Banda.
“It’s now official, David is Madonna’s baby,” a relieved Malawian lawyer to Madonna, Alan Chinula, told journalists who had waited at the court for six hours.
In his one-hour ruling, Justice Andrew Nyirenda said he was satisfied Madonna and her British film-maker husband Guy Ritchie “are perfect parents” for the toddler.
Madonna found the then frail and sickly David in an orphanage, where he was placed by his biological dad, Yohane Banda, a month after he lost his wife, Marita. Marita died due to birth complications a week after David was born.
Chinula, who described Madonna adoption saga as ”extremelely stressful”, said he was happy it was all over. “Even my wife will testify I have never been this stressed up in an adoption,” he said, adding that he would call Madonna to break the news straight away.
Chinula said after Justice Nyirenda made the ruling, David would officially be called David Ritchie, despite Malawian Women and Children Affairs Minister Anna Kachikho saying the Malawi government would insist that David should retain the Malawian clan name to preserve his identity.
David’s biological dad, Banda, said he was glad the adoption was successful. “I am glad it’s all over,” said the 33-year-old farmer, who ekes out a living growing tomato, maize and onions. “I am glad David has a new, good home,” he added.
A group of human rights activists initially challenged the adoption but later withdrew after realising the majority of Malawians, including President Binguwa Mutharika, supported it. Panapress .