Madonna ready to sign adoption papers for girl

Madonna holds her adopted Malawian son, David Banda, in 2007.
Madonna is expected in a Malawi court Monday to sign papers seeking permission allowing her to adopt a second child from the country.

The singer, who adopted her son, David Banda, from Malawi in 2006, arrived in the impoverished country Sunday. She was seen walking through the village of Chinkhota with her daughter Lourdes, 12, after touching down at the airport in Lilongwe. A security guard said the star spoke to villagers about building a school and was seen looking at an artist’s impression of the proposed building, the British Press Association reported. The girl, who is about 4, is named Mercy James. Her uncle was scheduled to sign adoption agreement papers in a Malawian court on Monday, ITN reporter Martin Geisler told CNN. PA said Madonna was also expected to sign court documents Monday. Geisler said Malawians’ public opinion toward Madonna softened after she was interviewed by the Malawi Nation newspaper and released family photographs showing a happy Banda. “The sense, I’m told, in Malawi after that, was, ‘Well, the little boy looks well, he looks happy, he looks well looked after. Perhaps we shouldn’t be so hard on her,'” said Geisler. Save the Children spokesman Dominic Nutt said the child would be better off staying in Malawi than being raised by the recently divorced singer, who has three other children, including the adopted Malawian boy.

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“The best place for a child is in his or her family in their home community,” he said. “Most children in orphanages have one parent still living, or have an extended family that can care for them in the absence of their parents.” Critics of the singer had argued she should donate money to orphanages in Malawi, rather than adopt another child. The charity argued that foreign adoptions should happen only if a child does not have any relatives, and all other options have been considered. The 50-year-old performer is a big supporter of Malawi. She made a documentary, “I Am Because We Are,” which highlighted poverty and AIDS and other diseases devastating Malawi’s children. She also helps run a nonprofit group, Raising Malawi, which implements initiatives to help the needy in the southeastern Africa nation. On Sunday, Madonna toured the village of Chinkhota, assessing plans to build a school there and other possible Raising Malawi investments. Do you think Madonna should be allowed to adopt another child