Step to the back of the queue, Madge

October 14, 2006 at 2:30 pm 1 comment

So it seems Madonna set off this week to Africa in a humanitarian effort, bringing financial aid to orphans in Malawi. She also filed papers in court, petitioning to adopt a child. The child is living in the orphanage due to the recent death of his mother and his father is unable to financially care for him. “If we didn’t send David away to the orphanage we would have buried him,” his father is reported saying.

And while it is crucial and admirable for those with privileged and high-prifile lives to step up and give back on a global scale (particularly to AIDS-ravaged and impoverished nations of Africa), Madonna might have done a little homework before she left home. According to multiple news reports, Malawi’s laws do not allow international adoption unless the parents live in the country for a year, during which time social welfare workers investigate their ability to care for a child. Malawian officials had indicated earlier that adoption regulations would be eased for Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie.

Eased? I would call that side-stepping. Abandoning. Making it all go away in the name of celebrity. It seems to me that this might be taking ‘ugly American’ to a whole new level. How much arrogance can you possess to pop into a country and throw money at the government and then expect that you can leave with a child? Let’s assume for a minute that Madonna has been going through all the proper channels in California and doing a homestudy and filling out papers and waiting and wading through all the red tape that is part and parcel to international adoption. Let’s just work on the idea that she did all the right things on this end. Except that why didn’t someone let her in on the fact that Malawi doesn’t allow for foreign nationals to adopt their orphans without living there first for at least a year? Which leads me to believe that there is no way that she sat down and filled out a single form.

If she were trying to upgrade her image, this doesn’t do it for me. What it looks like and smells like is baby-selling plain and simple. Money and fame bumps you to the head of the line and it gets entire nations to ‘ease’ their laws regarding their own. It’s bad enough that international adoption already can sound like a commodity issue when discussing it without Madonna going into a country without even the infrastructure to allow adoptions by foreign nationals. Why didn’t she go to other African nations that have begun to allow adoptions? If it was going to be this visible, she should have had to do what all other adoptive parents have to do. Wait, fret, fill out papers, and wait some more. Is it too easy a shot to throw in the label ‘Material Girl’ right about now? I couldn’t resist.

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Entry filed under: Adoption, International Adoption, Motherhood.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Amira  |  October 16, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    I completely agree. I’m a supporter of international adoption, but let’s follow the laws, shall we? It bothers me that there is so much attention showered on celebrities when they adopt internationally, especially when they’ve clearly gotten around the rules everyone else has to follow. It doesn’t give an accurate picture of the realities of international adoption.

    Reply

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