As predicted, the fix was in, and Madonna has acquired another human accoutrement. Citing Ms. Ciccone’s “investment” in the welfare of Malawian children, the Malawi Supreme Court overrode their country’s strict adoption laws and sent Chifuno “Mercy” James on her merry way to Madonna’s lovin’ lap of luxury.
Chief Justice Lovemore Munio, reading the three-judge panel decision said that Madonna’s commitment to helping Malawi’s disadvantaged children should have been taken into account in her initial petition to adopt Mercy.
This is from the AP story:
The appeals court said that was a narrow interpretation based on old laws
“In this global village a man can have more than one place at which he resides,” Munlo said in the ruling, which took more than an hour to read in court Friday. “The matter of residence should be determined at the time of application of the adoption. In this case, Madonna was in Malawi not by chance but by intention. She is looking after several orphans whose welfare depends on her. She can therefore not be described as a sojourner.
Talk about legal contortions! Madonna may not be a “sojourner” but neither is she a resident of Malawi. The court simply ignored universally accepted legal definitions of “residency” and “domicile” to legislate special adoption law from the bench to reward Madonna for her massive injection of funds into the Malawian child welfare system. Should we now expect the rich and baby-desperate, fat checkbooks in hand, to flock to Malawi to underwrite special laws for themselves, too?
The ruling also said the judges saw only two options for Chifundo, “either to stay at the orphanage without the love of family and live with the possibility of destitution or be with Madonna where she is assured of love.
“Every child has the right to love.”
Maybe it’s just me, but this doesn’t make any sense.
First, the court says Madonna was in Malawi looking after several orphans whose “welfare depends on her” and then that the justices see only two options for Mercy: the orphanage “without love of family” and possible destitution or to be with Madonna where she is “assured of love.” Does this mean that in Malawi the destitute can’t love their children?
Couldn’t Madonna love Mercy without whisking her off to London or wherever she lives now? Couldn’t she just as easily send Mercy’s family $100 a month for the girl’s care; thus keeping her out of destitution and with her biological family, who by all reports love her very much, but are currently pretty bereft of Malawian kwacha? Couldn’t she send Mercy to the private school she is building for a proper Kabbalahist/ British education?
Human rights advocates are disappointed at the ruling. Undule Mwakasungula, chair of a coalition of NGO opposition to the adoption said the ruling “disregarded” international agreements on children’s rights and adoptions. Since the ruling came down from the Supreme Court, though, there is no appeal. Madonna’s people in Malawi are working on Mercy’s passport and travel arrangements, and she’s expected to be “home” in a short time.
International adoption industrialists, of course, are thrilled by the ruling.
Mirah Riben, in her Family Preservation blog, quotes a statement from the NCFA- connected (scroll down for NCFA statement) ACT for Adoption, sponsored by Center for Adoption Policy, and the Child Advocacy Program at Harvard Law School, celebrating the globalization of the adoptee body, in this case, the body of Mercy James. I have not found the source statement online, but I think it came from the ACT for Adoption mailing list.
From Mirah’s blog:
We are delighted to report that Malawi’s Supreme Court has overturned an earlier ruling denying a petition by Madonna to adopt Chifundo “Mercy” James, and has granted a full adoption. According to the New York Times, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo, in reviewing the lower court’s ruling, said that the first decision was a narrow interpretation based on old laws and that “in this global village a man can have more than one place at which he resides.” We agree. Moreover, in our increasingly inter-connected world, a child should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of his country of birth.
The Child Advocacy Program is run by international adoption fanatic and all around adoption bitch kitty Professor Elizabeth Bartholet. The idea of Betsy heritage-is-overrated Bartholet and Madonnthe lust for other people’s children are the great equalizer