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Old 10-21-2006, 12:38 PM   #16
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Originally posted by corianderstem

EDIT: I just read somewhere else that Malawi has an adoption law stating that you must live in Malawi for 18 months before you can adopt. So yep, that makes it fishy.
I don't believe she followed the proper procedures in England either as far as the adoption was concerned.

This is a great example of the rich and famous circumventing the law. If you went down to Malawi, with the best intentions in mind, you'd have to live there 18 months.

In western African countries, it is more difficult to adopt children because of residency requirements. I know this because I actually looked into Nigeria specifically and it has a very similar law to Malawi.
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Old 10-21-2006, 12:39 PM   #17
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Originally posted by fly so high!
You see as much as your friends mum is a deadset legend for adopting this child....I think she did choose this child as you would if you were choosing puppy.......of course you are going to try everything to bring that child home after they want to be around you......your heart would be made of stone if that does not move you...what i'm saying is what about the little one at the back that can't speak or the mentally & physically delayed one or the little one that is disfigured....I just don't think i could choose one over another....
I guess you're assuming that my friend's mom chose him because he was cute? Well, my friend's brother had ENORMOUS problems growing up.

Also, I'm not sure the puppy analogy really works. I don't know about you, but the few times I've selected an animal to adopt, it was not about who was the cutest, who was the best behaved, or who was the best looking. Every time, one animal would catch my eye and there would be this connection. I wouldn't even look at the rest of them. Like my friend's brother, we've adopted animals with obvious signs of physical illness as well as documented behavioral problems. Same thing with my cousin - he was assigned to my aunt and uncle by the orphanage in Korea. He had been neglected his entire life and a series of life threatening illnesses kept pushing his arrival date back. My aunt and uncle never once considered "oh, maybe he's too sick and not cure enough, we better shop around for another baby." This is not like we're shopping for a cute new sweater. I know a family who has 14 kids, 11 are adopted and they are all from the most economically depressed countries, all of the kids had some form of mental, physical, or behavioral problem.

I see your point, but I think you're making VERY harsh premature judgements about people. Saying that dozens of families I grew up with, or my own aunt who practically raised me went "shopping" for their baby because of their own selfishness is like a slap in the face. I don't think you have a very realistic concept of what makes a child loveable.

Do you know anyone that's been adopted? Even better, do you know anyone that was adopted as a child, someone who remembers living in an orphanage? If so, run your theory by them. Speaking for the people I know, they'd MUCH rather have been adopted than stuck in a filthy orphanage where they were malnurished and neglected, simply because of some ideal that all kids should be saved simultaneously.
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Old 10-21-2006, 01:04 PM   #18
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I'm sure Madonna has the best intentions and the child will have a better quality of life than he would do growing up in an African orphanage but I can't help thinking that she should have chosen a child who was an actual orphan without any close family members rather than one whose father is still alive, or better still rather than adopt, donate some of her cash to sponsor all the children in the orphanage, although she may also be doing that anyway who knows.
I also agree with Mrs S's comments about celebrity parents. I remember reading in an interview with Bono a while ago that he gave a lot of thought to adopting one of the Chernobyl orphans but in the end he and Ali decided against it as they felt it wouldn't be fair to bring the child up in the glare of publicity. Unfortunately it's inevitable that this boy Madonna is adopting will receive too much press attention as he grows up and I just hope he will be able to deal with it and not resent his adoption as a result.
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Old 10-21-2006, 03:03 PM   #19
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Apologies if everyone else already knows all this (I hadn't bothered following this story until now), but as this article presents the father's full(?) view, it seemed relevant.
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Reuters/AP, Sun Oct 15, 2006

The father of the Malawian child pop star Madonna wants to adopt said on Sunday he had not originally planned to give up his son for good when he handed him to an orphanage after the death of his wife last year. Yohane Banda told a British newspaper he put his son David in an orphanage when he was just over one month old, fearing that he was ill with malaria, which killed his two other sons. "I suppose deep in my heart I always imagined that when he was better, or I had got another wife, I would go and take him back," Banda told the Mail on Sunday. "I did not think anyone would want to take him away."

But Banda, 31, said he and his family had agreed to allow Madonna and her husband Guy Ritchie to adopt the child, believing it would give him the chance to receive a good education and grow up healthy. "He will always be in my heart. I hate to see him leave Malawi but I have come to accept the loss," Banda said. "The government people told me it would be a good thing for the country. He will come back educated and able to help us."

Until recently, Banda said he had no idea the woman seeking to adopt his one-year-old son was a world-famous celebrity. He said all he knew was that she was a "nice Christian lady". Banda met Madonna in court in Malawi at an adoption hearing. He told the Mail he looked into her eyes and "could tell from them that she was a good lady".

"Where were these people when David was struggling in the orphanage? These so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone," said Banda, a subsistence farmer. "As father I have OK'd this, I have no problem. The village has no problem. Who are they to cause trouble? Please let them stop."

Malawi's High Court granted the 48-year-old entertainer and her filmmaker husband an interim order allowing them to take custody of the boy less than a week ago but the adoption plan has sparked anger in Malawi and elsewhere. Malawian law prohibits adoptions by non-residents, but officials granted an exemption or waiver to Madonna. Human rights groups are challenging that decision and plan to seek a court injunction on Monday to stop the adoption.

The pop icon, who already has two children, could also face hurdles in Britain, where she lives, because she has failed to register with a local authority for adoption, the Mail said.
So, I guess I can somewhat see the argument either way. On the one hand, it sounds like the father's made it pretty clear that he arrived at this decision on his own, in good conscience, and doesn't appreciate these groups suing "on behalf of" his son. On the other hand, I can also see saying, "But once he made it clear that he hadn't intended to give up his child permanently, shouldn't she have backed off and maybe even said, ' How can I help this man to be reunited with his child? ' " But of course, there are probably thousands of Malawian orphans in the same situation--they DO still have relatives or even just family friends who in principle are willing to care for them, but in practice can't afford it. And maybe I'm being biased here, but as a parent myself, I'm inclined to guess that Madonna, being a mother of two already, knows from experience far too much about what raising this child will entail for this all to just be some kind of self-glorifying, ego-gratification thing. She already has in fact made large charitable donations to Malawian orphanages and would probably happily do so again. The prospect that this child might grow up in the limelight does suck (although hasn't she in general protected her other kids from that pretty well?), but as a parent there's not really a whole lot she can do about that.

I do think however, that if only for the sake of fairness towards all the other foreign couples trying (often with a lot less success) to adopt a child, that it's important there be an inquiry as to whether she really got "fast-tracked" or not.

And Madonna is not "old as fuck"...lol! She's only 48, same age my mother was when her last kid was born. Half a century ago when large families (such as the one Madonna came from) were common, it was quite normal for women to keep on bearing children right up until menopause, which usually happens around 50 or so. A fit and healthy older woman is not likely to be "in Depends" by age 68. Yeah, the kid might get a little less of the vigorous, being galloped around the house bouncing on mom's shoulders kind of stuff, but hey, that's what older siblings are for, right? I remember doing a lot of that with my little brother and sister. You don't need to be young to teach your kids the lessons that count.
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Old 10-21-2006, 03:35 PM   #20
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Originally posted by anitram
My grandmother's brother was adopted from an orphanage in the late 1930s. This was very rare at the time but it has been a wonderful and illuminating example for all of us in the family. I think we've all seen adoption as something very natural and wonderful as a result.

I have more issue with somebody like Madonna adopting a child who has a father whose only crime is that he's poor. In that scenario, I'd rather she, through her immense means, made it possible for the father to have the finances necessary to give the child a better life than just take the kid. Something about that doesn't quite sit well with me.
I feel the same. That's taking a child away from his parents. Adoption is fine in most cases, but this bothers me.
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:17 PM   #21
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I wonder if to a lot of these celeb-types it is like getting a pet. I also question the motives of adopting a child from another country vs. your home country. Are foreign children more worthy? Or is it a case of it being easier to pull strings & force the adoption through in another nation.

To expand on the pet analogy, isn't choosing the country of origin/race of the child analagous to choosing a breed of dog? I mean seriously, how do these celebs choose?

Also is anyone else offended when the child's name is changed? I suppose it's one thing when you're talking about a baby, but you see some of these adoptions, the kid is 3-4 years old, and they change their name?
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Old 10-21-2006, 07:45 PM   #22
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I wonder if to a lot of these celeb-types it is like getting a pet. I also question the motives of adopting a child from another country vs. your home country. Are foreign children more worthy? Or is it a case of it being easier to pull strings & force the adoption through in another nation.
For the adoption agency my mom worked for, most people chose foreign countries or were encouraged to adopt from foreign countries because in the past there were mistakes made with kids being adopted to close to home and running into birth-relatives, things like that. This was a long time ago, but back then the agency had central locations in three cities and if someone insisted on adopting a baby from the US, they had to connect with their offices in whatever city was the farthest away.

A lot of children that are put up for adoption come from families that really do want them and still miss them when they are gone. A family friend has 8 kids, many of which are adopted from India. With her last baby, she wanted to adopt one from the US. It turned into a terrible situation where the grandmother of the baby found out where she was and was constantly meddling and pushing for visitation rights, even though her daughter had made the choice to give up the baby.

Also, I think a lot of people visit other places and when they've made the decision to adopt, they think of it as the way they can help. I don't think that this is selfish at all. My accounting professor took part in a teaching program in Siberia and after working with a group of orphans, decided to adopt a girl (I think she's about 10). He talked about her in class everyday, and she was absolutely thrilled to leave the orphanage for a real home. If I ever adopted a child, I'd probably look into Tanzania first since I've visited orphanages there. The most emotionally draining experience in my entire life was visiting an orphanage and seeing the joy on the kids' faces one they finally got some attention, but then having to pry them off while they are sobbing and tearing at your clothes and just walk away....

I'm curious as to why we're assuming that the motivations of celebrities are any different that a "normal" person? Is there something about being a celebrity that makes them inherently incapable of being good parents? Why such harsh judgements?
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Old 10-21-2006, 09:26 PM   #23
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I was only joking around a bit yolland, i know shes not <i> that </i> old

But reading your news articles this bit

<b> "He will always be in my heart. I hate to see him leave Malawi but I have come to accept the loss," Banda said. "The government people told me it would be a good thing for the country. He will come back educated and able to help us." </b>

That seems really sad to me. Also, I don't like these 'government people' Do you really think his son is going to come back to Malawi? I just think its a big can of worms really, the Dad might get really sad and try and get his son back, or some people might try and make him extort money from Madonna to 'keep' his son. When his son grows up and finds that he was taken from his real father, what sort of issues will come from that? I just think it would be better if Madonna takes the child back, and gives some money for his schooling and homelife to Banda, and choose another one thats true parents are dead or something. I just think its a really messy situation!
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Old 10-22-2006, 12:42 AM   #24
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Yeah, I do understand the take-him-back-and-give-his-father-the-money-instead argument, and maybe it is the correct one in this case. And you're right that he'd probably be unlikely to return to Malawi. The thing is, even if she did that (and assuming that money is the only "real" problem here--it's actually not clear to me that that's in fact the case), there would still be a "Why this child and not another" dimension involved. Because Malawi has over a million orphans (more than 10% of its total population!), 700,000 of them AIDS orphans, and I'd bet a LOT of them in fact have surviving relatives who would happily take the child back themselves but feel they just can't--because they don't have the money, because they're HIV-positive themselves, because they've already lost so many family members to AIDS, malaria, famine etc. and feel they just can't go it alone, and so on. And I doubt most orphanages are that forthcoming about the existence of such potential claimants in a given child's case. So no matter what she does, there will still be someone with reason to think, "Unfair! Why was that family helped out and not ours?" or "Why didn't she take this disabled older girl instead of a healthy baby boy?" or whatever. It kind of reminds me of the incident where Bono was begged by an African man--can't recall which country--to take his son back to Ireland with him and raise him himself; not because the man didn't love and want his child, but because he regarded his future as so hopeless that he reckoned handing the boy over to this apparently kindly and clearly wealthy stranger couldn't possibly be any riskier.
Quote:
Originally posted by CTU2fan
I also question the motives of adopting a child from another country vs. your home country. Are foreign children more worthy? Or is it a case of it being easier to pull strings & force the adoption through in another nation.

To expand on the pet analogy, isn't choosing the country of origin/race of the child analagous to choosing a breed of dog? I mean seriously, how do these celebs choose?
In the United States at least, and based on what I know from the experiences of friends who've adopted, both domestically and internationally, the most common reason for choosing an international adoption is simply getting fed up with waiting on a domestic one that never comes through. Generally speaking it is very, very difficult to adopt here--the number of children who get placed in any one year is always far, far below the number of parents who are actually looking, for all kinds of reasons: reluctance of agencies (and/or birth mothers) to place nonwhite children with white parents, or any child with single or recently married parents; preference for a hard-to-come-by baby over an older child; ridiculous state rules specifying that the prospective parents cannot be over 40, etc., etc. So a lot of prospective parents simply give up after awhile and go for an international adoption. They might then choose a particular country because the agency that's helping them here has ties to orphanages there, or because it's particularly cheap and lacking in red tape, or because they really want a girl and China has a surplus of girl orphans, or because as Lies mentioned they already have personal ties to that country for some particular reason (which many orphanages abroad, aware of and uncomfortable with the adoption-as-cultural-imperialism image, regard as a huge plus).

Madonna I think holds dual US/UK citizenship, so it's possible that she actually went about all this using her US papers, which might also have been a factor in any string-pulling that occurred.
Quote:
Originally posted by Liesje
I'm curious as to why we're assuming that the motivations of celebrities are any different that a "normal" person?
I am puzzled by this as well...especially in the case of someone like Madonna who already has two children of her own; obviously she's going to be well aware that what she's about to embark on is a wee bit more involved than raising a puppy.
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Old 10-22-2006, 05:14 AM   #25
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The whole thing with Madonna does sound kind of fishy. I don't think she's doing it to glorify her own ego or anything, but I think that she's probably used to getting what she wants, and right now she wants to give this kid a new life with her.

But it's hard to say. . .

I find quite fascinating and sad, the response of the father. In a way I think he's being taken advantage of, not just by Madonna but by those "government people." I'd also point out that for many parents in poverty-stricken parts of the world, love means letting your child go so they can have a better life.

My wife and I even had one of our Chinese students approach us a few years back (she was about 12 at the time) and ask us to adopt her, even though she was living with both her parents at the time, and they were perfectly able to care for her. But she would have been able to become a U.S citizen and there would have been all kinds of other perceived advantages. The thing is, if we'd been willing, I wouldn't have been surprised if the parents had gone for it. There's a family in our church where three of their four children are adopted by a Japanese man they know who also lives on Saipan. The biological parents still raised them, and they lived with their biological parents, but they carried the last name of their adoptive father. I'm not sure what the percieved benefit was, but you can be certain there was one.

I'm pretty certain such adoptions aren't technically supposed to happen, but in many parts of the world parents feel it's the "loving thing to do" to provide their child better opportunities through adoption.
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Old 10-22-2006, 06:56 AM   #26
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I guess you're assuming that my friend's mom chose him because he was cute? Well, my friend's brother had ENORMOUS problems growing up.

Also, I'm not sure the puppy analogy really works.
After reading your post i do see why you would take offense to the whole puppy thing and you are right, it does not work and I was very careless with this use of words .........i am going off the track with my honest reason why i have a problem with celebrities adopting , i believe that celebrities have the monetary power to bypass laws and legislations, they find it extremely difficult to adopt in their own country but find it relatively easier in third world countries because really some of these families and institutions would give anything to survive including giving up their own children....I think it opens the door for child trafficking and criminal activity.....I guess i would like to see more celebrities be more like Bono and Ali and fight world poverty on a more proactive level than adopting a few kids and spoiling them stupid!
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Old 10-22-2006, 02:36 PM   #27
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After reading your post i do see why you would take offense to the whole puppy thing and you are right, it does not work and I was very careless with this use of words .........i am going off the track with my honest reason why i have a problem with celebrities adopting , i believe that celebrities have the monetary power to bypass laws and legislations, they find it extremely difficult to adopt in their own country but find it relatively easier in third world countries because really some of these families and institutions would give anything to survive including giving up their own children....I think it opens the door for child trafficking and criminal activity.....I guess i would like to see more celebrities be more like Bono and Ali and fight world poverty on a more proactive level than adopting a few kids and spoiling them stupid!
I guess I'm not really understanding what you're saying here. It looks like you're making correlations between things that don't really relate. As I and yolland have pointed out, it's much harder to adopt a child from within the US. Besides, I'm not sure why adopting from within the US makes the adoption more genuine....? Yes, celebs often use money and power to bypass the waits that normal people are subjected to, but why base your entire theory on Madonna and this one case of a fishy adoption? I never said I agreed with what she did. I see her situation as an outlier here and I'm not going to comment on it one way or another because it doesn't change my views or experiences with adoption. How do you go from Madonna adopting a child to trafficking??? Also, are you saying that people give up their children so that THEY can survive? In my experience, the complete opposite is true. They give up children so that the CHILDREN have a chance at survivial (read - to be adopted). Personally I think adopting a child as your own is one of the most gracious and unselfish things a human can do.

You want the child to be punished simply because the adopting parent is a celeb and has money to spoil them? Adoption agencies aren't stupid; they don't let morons adopt children. Most of them are hardly spoiled at first. For example, a neighbor who's never married adopted a girl from China. Everyone was buying her presents and decorating her nursery b/c we wanted her to feel spoiled like she was loved and adored for the first time in her life. The adoption agency came in and said we had to get rid of it all, the walls had to be plain, the toys had to be put away because the children are so neglected that they risk overstimulation when they arrive. It was a big wake-up call for everyone and we learned thanks to the agency that really all the children need is for someone to spend time with them and hold them. They're NEVER going to get that if you advocate for them not to be adopted, but for people to just give money and stuff to the orphanage. They don't need stuff, they need parents.
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Old 10-23-2006, 02:31 AM   #28
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I guess I'm not really understanding what you're saying here.
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Old 10-23-2006, 03:00 AM   #29
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I find quite fascinating and sad, the response of the father. In a way I think he's being taken advantage of, not just by Madonna but by those "government people." I'd also point out that for many parents in poverty-stricken parts of the world, love means letting your child go so they can have a better life.
The latest on this story seems to be that the father is now saying he didn't realize that adoption usually means permanent loss of custody, that none of the officials who helped him with the papers explained that to him, and that the agreement he had with Madonna as he understood it was that she was merely agreeing to raise the child for him in an environment where he would be healthy and well cared for and receive a good education, then be returned to his village afterwards. She herself has not publically commented on this yet. So, hard to tell without knowing her side of the story, but it doesn't sound good.

Again, I'm reminded of the story about the father who begged Bono to take his son home with him (and wondering if perhaps he had somewhat the same idea). A colleague of mine, a sociologist who does fieldwork with Roma (Gypsy) communities in east central Europe and the Balkans, told me this morning that setups like that--only more internal to the community--are very common among them: parents will often give a son or daughter to an in-law, or third cousin, or relative of some old family friend, who then takes the child with them as an apprentice and helpmate of sorts on some moneymaking venture, which might be anything from salvaging work to peddling to freelance construction--usually with the understanding that the child will be returned no later than when s/he's old enough to marry (which is typically arranged by the parents). Most of the time this works out as well as could be expected, given their generally marginal socioeconomic status; but unfortunately it does too often lead to children being drawn (or worse, sold) into the criminal underworld in some way, with the parents typically then having no recourse, as Roma relationships with police and officials are usually very poor. Nonetheless, even though most parents are aware that such risks inevitably exist, they continue to do it because it's what they've always done, and one of the many ways they've developed over centuries of living on the fringe to ensure a future for their children as best as they can. I wonder if Mr. Banda is working from some such traditional assumption...or if it's just that the dreadful humanitarian situation which prevails in modern Malawi has led to a de facto and widespread recasting of orphanages as places where you consign your children for (hopefully, but one never knows) temporary safekeeping when you simply don't know what else to do--not just a place you abandon them to forever once you've resolved that your parenthood of them simply wasn't mean to happen, for whatever reasons. If so, then perhaps the best overall outcome of this situation would be for it to call widespread attention to the extent to which their society has collapsed beneath the combined weight of AIDS, famine and extreme poverty.
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Old 10-23-2006, 05:56 PM   #30
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....how you got from celebs adopting to an increase in child trafficing....?

If anything, I'd think that more adoptions means LESS opportunity for children to turn to being pawns in crime or selling their bodies in order to survive.
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