Madonna's Mercy James Adoption Delayed by Malawi Court

By Chloe Bunker on March 30, 2009

BLANTYRE, Malawi — Madonna's hopes of adopting a second child from Malawi have been put on hold until at least Friday.

The 50-year-old singer spent about an hour in court Monday before her adoption application was delayed until the end of the week, officials confirmed to The Associated Press.

Madonna is seeking to adopt a 4-year-old girl named Mercy James, whose parents are both dead. She comes from the Mchinji Home of Hope orphanage.

Word broke late last week that Madonna was traveling to Malawi over the weekend with the intention of adopting another child from the impoverished African country. She previously drew criticism when she adopted her 3-year-old son, David Banda, from the country in 2006. Malawian law requires would-be parents to reside in the country for one year before adopting, a rule that was essentially broken in her case.

Madonna's latest plan is also controversial since Malawi does not typically grant adoptions to single or divorced parents, an issue after her recent split from Guy Ritchie. One person against the "Material Girl's" latest adoption plan is the grandmother of Mercy James.

"Why doesn't this singer pick other children?" 61-year-old Lucy Chekechiwa told Britain's The Sun. "It is stealing. I want to go to to court. I won't let her go."

It remains unclear whether Chekechiwa was in court Monday.

In addition to David, Mercy James would join Madonna's two biological children, Lourdes 12, and Rocco, 8.

Madonna first visited Malawi during a charity mission and to film a documentary on the poverty and AIDS crisis there. She runs the charity Raising Malawi and is also establishing a school for girls there.

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