Belfast Telegraph

Madonna recalls difficult journey to adopt daughter Mercy

Madonna was told she wasn't fit to adopt daughter Mercy James because she was a divorcee.

Madonna has urged people to "never give up" on their dreams as she opened a new hospital wing in Malawi on Tuesday (11Jul17) named after the daughter she fought to adopt.

The singer was granted permission to adopt then four-year-old Mercy in 2009, after a three-and-a-half year battle. But while the process was tough and emotionally draining, Madonna believes it can serve as a motivational tale for others going through similarly challenging situations.

Speaking at the opening ceremony of The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care, named after her now 11-year-old daughter, Madonna told the audience: "I was granted permission to adopt (my son) David first. And some time later, I filed a petition to adopt Mercy. But this time, the judge who was presiding said no. I was recently divorced, and she informed me, as a divorced woman, I was not fit to raise children and that Mercy James was better off growing up in an orphanage."

At the time, Madonna was in the process of legally separating from Guy Ritchie, her second husband, and also did not fulfil the Malawian law that requires parents-to-be to live in the country for one year prior to adopting.

However, she was unwilling to accept that ruling, and appealed.

“If you know me, you can imagine how I received this information. It’s true, I am a freedom fighter. I am a feminist. I am a rebel heart. But I am also a compassionate and intelligent human being. And if you cannot give me a logical reason for the word ‘no,’ then I will not accept the word ‘no.’ I hired a team of lawyers, and I took my case to the supreme court, and it was not an easy battle,” she continued.

"I never gave up. And I never backed down. And I believe that if you want something badly enough in life, the universe will conspire to help you get it. It may not be exactly when you want it, it may not come exactly when you think it’s gonna come. It may not come in the package that you want it. But if you persevere, you will win."

Concluding her heartfelt, passionate speech, Madonna said: "I fought for Mercy, and I won. It wasn’t easy. And with the blood, sweat, and tears of so many people here today, we fought for this hospital - and we won. So I’m here to say: never, ever give up on your dreams. Never stop fighting for what you believe in. And finally: Love conquers all."

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