Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Malawi and Madonna

The newswires have been rife with stories about Madonna's failed adoption of another Malawian adoption of a 4 year old little girl named Mercy. This was to be her second adoption from Malawi, with her first being of her son David. Most of us are quite familiar with the story, but I am curious what your thoughts are about it all.

From what I gather, Madonna has done a lot of humanitarian work in Malawi, has donated millions of dollars for relief efforts and many other worthwhile causes there. But let me ask the questions...does that mean she should be able to skirt the residency requirements that any other adoptive parent would have to meet? Does the good she has done outweigh the need to keep strict requirements in place for all prospective adoptive parents? Were the Malawian officials doing the right thing when they denied her the right to adopt, knowing it could easily mean the end to millions of dollars in much needed aid? Literally...does this decision mean people might die because of the dire need there?

In my opinion, I think the Malawian government got it right.

It's not class envy on my part, it is not some need to gleefully see a mega-celebrity get their comeuppance. There are rules, they should be followed. We all have to follow them. We may not like it, we may at times find it ridiculous, we may complain and rant and rave. But we have to follow them.

I say this as I spent most of the entire day chasing down more dossier documents and signatures, after having just labelled photos of every room in our house including bathrooms and our toilets, after yet again having to ask others in our life to once again complete another document even though they have nothing to gain from it. Am I sick of it all? You bet!! Do I have millions to throw at the issue to try and skirt the requirements? No. If I did would it somehow be justified to allow me not to go through the proper steps? No, it definitely would not.

There has been much talk about corruption in international adoption lately. There are unanswered questions, there are frustrations, there are accusations that fly freely. And when a country decides to make someone adhere to it's rules, there are cries of outrage. After all, don't they understand the kind of life of privilege Madonna can provide a child? Don't the officials understand that the advantages are obvious? Can't they see that they are jeopardizing millions of dollars of aid money?

And I ask...can't anyone see that they did the right thing? That rules are in place to be followed, and it shouldn't matter the status of the person attempting to adopt? That we are seeing government acting fairly here?

I don't know if Madonna is a good mom, I wouldn't begin to judge that. I do know she is divorced, that she has had multiple relationships with men in and out of her children's lives. That is well documented. I know she can financially provide for a thousand children, should she so desire.

I also know that according to Malawian officials, she did not meet the residency requirements they have in place for adoption.

What remains to be seen is what the end result will be, if Madonna's motives were indeed pure when donating millions of dollars to assist the poor in Malawi...or if it was just an attempt to see to it that she was assured the opportunity to adopt again. Only time will reveal the truth behind the actions. If the purse strings are suddenly closed tight, I guess we will all have a better understanding of the level of Madonna's compassion for the Malawian people.

I, for one, hope that we find that the horse led the cart in this case, rather than the opposite. I hope we see that Madonna's love for the country and it's people led her to try and adopt another child, and not that her desire to adopt led her to offer an extreme form of payoff in advance for the "right" to have another child in her arms.

If it is the latter, then it would seem another case of corruption was thwarted.


pearly1979 said...

Aren't the rules in Kazakhstan to travel blind and choose a child there? Those in glass houses.....

Mala said...

Couldn't think of a better person for the interview!
Hopefulyy some good news will follow!

Mala said...

Opps, I did it again. That comment was for a different post.

Paige said...

Thank you, Cindy and to all the families who sent letters, photos, and prayers on our behalf. I'm very angry with the situation but at the same time feel that it's all in God's plan and that's what keeps me going. God bless!

Anonymous said...

I think her heart was in the right place, and I think adopting children (true orphans) is a good thing. But..... Several things bothered me about Madonna's adoption tactics.

To start the little boy she adopted had a father and grandmother that visited him on a regular basis. Why couldn't she have adopted a child with no parents? That father had recently lost his wife and clearly grieved giving his only son up for what he thought was a better life. So she took this child away from his father and now she is divorced so I guess David has lost yet another father. The birth father meanwhile has remarried and their first child died.

It did seem that no one else in the world had, or has been, able to adopt a child from Malawi but Madonna. That was only after she gave a huge amount of money to Malawi. Maybe she had the best intentions in the world, maybe it is OK to cut corners if you have the fame and fortune, but what if someone with bad intentions wanted to adopt a child for evil purposes. It looks like if they pay enough that is OK .

I went to the third world to adopt my child, after waiting to travel for my referral for over one year, once there I could not get the paper work through. It took several months. I had to stay with my child until it went through the foreign country, and then it had to go through the US Embassy for the visa. I sat in third world he!! for over three months. I had been told a few weeks and it took months. If the US embassy had decided not to issue the visa I would have been there an additional two years.

I still don't understand; when she adopted baby David...after picking him out at a visit to the orphanage, she went home to England and then had her assistant/body guard pick the baby up later and take him to England on her private plane. Then she flew him to New York to her other home a few months later (remember she was on Oprah). All this travel with out the adoption being finalized.

I could not go home with my child. I had to stay in the country. They would not have let me leave with her and they certainly would not have let me leave the airport on the US side. When I could finally get the visa and flew home with my child, I in fact went through England we had a long wait for the next plane. I was told not to leave the airport with the child.

As a US citizen I could go into England, but my child was not a US citizen until she set foot on US soil, and they did not "let that" (third world person) pointing to my darling baby, into their country.

Did Madonna even have a home study done before she adopted?

Michelle said...

I think that Madonna should move to Malawi for 18 months. If I had millions of dollars and Kyrgyzstan officials told me I had to move to Kyrgyzstan for 18 months...I would pack our bags. If Madonna truly wants to bring home Mercy..move to Malawi! She will tour for 18 months but not move to Malawi to adopt her daughter?!

Bob; Carrie DeLille said...

Amen and amen!!