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RE: [ujeni] Fwd: MALAWI: Madonna takes a new baby home

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  • Christine Chumbler
    On this theme, I have to share this cartoon from South Africa. ... From: kristen cheney Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com To:
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 13, 2006
      On this theme, I have to share this cartoon from South Africa.

      ----Original Message Follows----
      From: "kristen cheney" <kcheney12@...>
      Reply-To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      To: ujeni@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [ujeni] Fwd: MALAWI: Madonna takes a new baby home
      Date: Fri, 13 Oct 2006 18:09:45 -0400

      At the risk of generating more discussion...Whaddayall think of this???


      Kristen Cheney, PhD
      Asst Prof of Anthropology
      University of Dayton
      300 College Park
      Dayton, OH 45469-1442
      ----- Forwarded by Kristen E Cheney/A&S/FacStaff/UDayton on 10/13/2006 06:08
      PM -----
      *"IRIN" <IRIN@...>*

      10/13/2006 05:37 PM
      To
      "Kristen Cheney" <cheneyke@...> cc
      Subject
      MALAWI: Madonna takes a new baby home




      MALAWI: Madonna takes a new baby home

      [This report does not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations]


      LILONGWE, 13 October (IRIN) - Pop star Madonna's act of plucking an orphaned
      child from Malawi to give it a better life has triggered concern and
      confusion, and has even conjured up images of slavery among people living in
      one of the world's poorest countries.

      Ranked in 2003 as the United Kingdom's eighth highest earning woman - one
      place behind Queen Elizabeth II - with an annual income of about US$28
      million and an estimated fortune of $462 million, Madonna, 48, was granted
      an interim adoption order for David Banda in the High Court in the capital,
      Lilongwe, on Thursday, before the 13-month-old boy was whisked away to his
      English home to meet his new siblings, Rocco, 5, and Lourdes, 9.

      A spokesperson for Madonna and her husband, British filmmaker Guy Ritchie,
      initially refused to confirm speculation that she was planning to adopt a
      child from a country where more than three-quarters of its 12 million people
      live on less than US$2 a day, but the boy's father, Yohanne, whose wife,
      Merita, died during childbirth, said he was relived because he was "very
      poor to keep him".

      Reports that an advance party selected 12 children, who were then paraded
      before one was chosen for adoption, evoked unpalatable images of the past.
      "The line-up of children - it used to be called slavery," commented Rafiq
      Hajat, director of the Institute for Policy Interaction, a Malawian
      think-tank, even though the child would have "the trappings of wealth".

      Earlier this week Madonna and president Bingu wa Mutharika met at State
      House. No details were provided about the meeting, but Malawi is believed to
      have waived its ban on foreign nationals adopting children for the singer.

      Hendrina Mchiela, Principal Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Child
      Welfare and Community Services, declined to comment to IRIN about the
      adoption.

      Madonna is the latest in a long line of celebrities with a penchant for
      adopting children from the developing world. American actress Mia Farrow,
      who began adopting children from poorer nations in 1973 and is now mother to
      14, is generally regarded as pioneering the trend. Her marriage to her third
      husband, American film director Woody Allen, disintegrated after Farrow
      discovered that Allen had begun a sexual relationship with her adopted
      daughter Soon-Yi, who later married him.

      Hollywood star Angelina Jolie has adopted two children from the developing
      world so far: a daughter, Zahara, from Ethiopia and a son, Maddox, from
      Cambodia. She recently had her own child with her current partner, Brad
      Pitt.

      Madonna's trip to Malawi was billed as a private visit to participate in her
      'Raising Malawi' project, which is constructing an orphanage that will
      provide food, education and shelter to about 3,000 children, and where the
      mystical Jewish faith of Kabbalah will be taught for spiritual instruction.

      Maxton Tsoka, a research fellow at the Centre for Social Research at
      Chancellor College, near Blantyre, Malawi's commercial hub, sees the
      "foreign adoption" as contributing to the erosion of the extended family
      system.

      "I do not think that our law provides for adoption. The government is quiet
      on the matter because it knows it is not in its interest. Even the orphanage
      centres that are sprouting are being allowed because the ... [number of
      orphans] has been worsened by the HIV/AIDS epidemic and government cannot do
      anything about it."

      Malawi has about 1 million AIDS orphans and UNAIDS estimates that 14 percent
      of the sexually active adult population is infected with the virus.

      Tsoka said the child "will have to grow in a different cultural and social
      environment", and it was unlikely that his biological father would have any
      parental claims on the boy.

      Levision Ganiza, director of Youth Development Initiative, a local
      nongovernmental organisation, said the boy was "too young to be adopted, and
      I think something sinister is going on".

      "Why should the authorities give away a boy of one year? If the boy was over
      five years, that would have been fine. As a country, I think we are being
      taken for a ride just because we are poor," said Ganiza. "Government signed
      a number of charters on child rights, and it should respect them."

      rm/go/he/oa

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