Pop diva Madonna’s bid to adopt a Malawian toddler she found in an orphanage in 2006 is likely to be approved in court this week, her lawyer said Tuesday.
Alan Chinula said Madonna’s legal team and government representatives would be in Lilongwe High Court on Thursday.
The pop star and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, are not required to be present, and Chinula said on Tuesday that Madonna is too busy with other engagements to attend.
A court clerk said Madonna’s lawyer has asked for a later court date — the singer’s third request for a postponement — because their client “had other business matters to deal with.” He confirmed the judge could go ahead without her.
Judge Andrew Nyirenda will review two reports by Malawian officials overseeing the adoption of 2-year-old David Banda.
“We are confident he will grant the Ritchies permanent custody order,” said Chinula.
Chief social welfare officer Simon Chisale wrote two glowing reports, describing Madonna a “perfect mum” for David, who was sickly and malnourished when the singing star found him at the Home of Hope Orphanage. His mother died shortly after childbirth and his father was too poor to take care of him.
Nyirenda said in court proceedings in October 2006 that he would automatically revoke the temporary custody order if he was convinced David was being treated differently from the Ritchies’ other children, Lourdes and Rocco, or that his human rights were being violated in any way.
Madonna began adoption proceedings in 2006, and David has been living with the singer and her husband in their London home since then. She took custody of David when he was 13 months old, after his father had placed him in an orphanage following the death of his wife.
Some child’s rights groups, including the Human Rights Consultative Committee, have criticized the adoption, saying it would be better to provide more resources so that children can be cared for in their native countries. (The HRCC stated on Monday that it was no longer interested in pursuing the case, removing another obstacle for the pop star.)
Madonna has set out to prove she is helping to do that. She has set up a charity called Raising Malawi, and she is funding six more orphanages outside the capital, Lilongwe, that provide education and food for about 4,000 children.
She produced a documentary “I Am Because We Are,” which shows poverty and disease devastating the lives of Malawi’s children, and urges people to volunteer to help.
The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.