Madonna heads for Malawi amid adoption row
Published 29/03/2009 | 08:39
Madonna is expected in Malawi today as the star's plans to adopt a girl as her second child from the poor African country begin to draw criticism.
The 50-year-old star has filed papers in Malawi setting out her intention to adopt a four-year-old orphan called Mercy James, who she hopes to take back to the US if a Malawi court approves the plan.
The girl's grandmother has reportedly accused the star of trying to "steal" her.
Mercy's father is believed to be alive but no other details were available from a welfare official and people close to the case who today said the girl's relatives have now consented to the adoption.
Austin Msowoya, legal researcher with Malawi's Law Commission, played down concerns that a second adoption by Madonna would violate any laws.
He said the best interests of the child needed to be taken into account - whether this was staying in an orphanage in Malawi or getting 'an education with Madonna'.