Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie will enter the next phase in the adoption process of David Banda next month, as a court-appointed official from Banda’s home nation of Malawi has been granted permission to visit and assess the family in their UK home.
“There has been a change of mind by my government minister, and she has allowed me to leave for the UK on Sept. 4,” Penstone Kilembe, the director of Malawi’s Child Welfare Services, told Reuters. “I am expected to spend two weeks.”
Madonna and Ritchie’s attempts to adopt Banda hit a bump earlier this month, when the Malawian minister of women and child development denied Kilembe permission to travel to Britain to assess their “suitability” as parents.
A Malawi newspaper reported Kilembe was prevented from making the trip because he had accepted a plane ticket and money from Madonna without government approval. Kilembe denied the report.
“What we had with the minister was just a misunderstanding and that has been resolved,” Kilembe said yesterday. “Madonna herself has been informed about the new proposed dates because she has been looking forward to this so that her adoption process is not hampered.”
Madonna and Ritchie had been granted temporary custody of then 13-month-old Banda in October, under the stipulation that they would be visited twice for evaluation by the official.
Kilembe’s testimony is expected to be considered when the High Court of Malawi rules on whether Madonna will officially adopt the child in a hearing next year.