A court hearing on whether entertainer Madonna can adopt a Malawian child will resume November 15th.
A coalition of human rights groups is asking the court to make sure no Malawian laws were broken in the adoption process. Madonna, in a TV appearance Thursday, said she had done nothing wrong and rejected claims that she used her fame to influence officials or speed the adoption process.
The relief group ActionAid says the case is drawing attention away from the real issue of the problems facing African children. Jane Moyo is a spokesperson for ActionAid. From London she spoke to VOA English to Africa Service reporter Joe De Capua.
“I don’t think ActionAid wants to be mean spirited. I mean obviously we must welcome her work in highlighting the problem of over half a million children orphaned in AIDS. But actually ActionAid believes whether you’re Madonna, you or me, there are probably better ways to go about things. And we would love Madonna to have used her celebrity status to have campaigned on behalf of people living in the southern world to make a difference that way,” Moyo says.
Asked whether the only reason the adoption case is getting so much attention is because of Madonna’s celebrity, Moyo says, “We know she is going to pump millions of pounds worth and millions of dollars worth of aid into Malawi. But actually that for us is not the wider point. The wider point is that no matter how much your heart goes out to one child, little David is actually just that, one child. Now, in Malawi today there are a million orphans, most of them are AIDS orphans. And the reality is, inter-country adoption is never going to solve that problem. So what do you do to do that? And there has to be systematic, ongoing action at the community level because we believe the best way, if at all possible, to ensure that children remain with their parents if they are still alive.”
David’s father, Yohane Banda, is quoted as saying today he supports Madonna’s efforts and is critical of the human rights groups.