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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'As painful as giving birth': a reflection on the Madonna adoption saga
Author:Mezmur, Benyam D.
Periodical:The Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa
Geographic terms:Malawi
international law
African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child
Abstract:The adoption of a Malawian child by American singer Madonna has attracted a significant amount of media and public attention. It has been described as 'controversial', 'emotional', and 'painful'. Madonna herself said that the process had been 'as painful as giving birth'. It was the first time that Malawi allowed an inter-country adoption without the residency requirement having been fully met. This article comments on the decision of the High Court of Malawi handed down on 28 May 2008 in the matter of the Adoption of Children Act (CAP 26:01) and in the matter of David Banda (a male infant), or 'the Madonna judgment'. This is discussed in the context of the Convention on the Rights of the Child and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child. The article examines a range of issues such as the status of inter-country adoption in international law, the principle of the best interests of the child, the role of culture, the right to privacy, and the child's participation. It concludes that the implications of the case are far-reaching and predominantly positive. Notes, ref., sum. [ASC Leiden abstract]