Madonna Gets OK to Adopt Malawi Twins; Critics Argue Star Getting Preferential Treatment

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Pop star Madonna, shown here visiting with Malawian children in the Kasungu District, Central Malawi on Nov. 30, 2014, is adopting from the country for the fourth time. (AFP/Amos Gumulira)

Madonna’s family just grew by two after the pop star was given the go-ahead to adopt twin girls from the southeast African nation of Malawi, federal officials confirmed Tuesday, Feb. 7.

The Malawi high court gave the singer permission to adopt the 4-year-old twins, Stella and Esther, contradicting previous claims that she wasn’t looking to adopt more children after she visited the country last year. The girls, who were adopted from the Home of Hope orphanage in Mchinji, will join Madonna’s four other children back in the U.S., including David Banda and Mercy James, who also were adopted from Malawi in 2006 and 2009, respectively, according to The Guardian.

The adoption hasn’t been finalized just yet, however. Although a Malawian judge ruled in the singer’s favor during a court hearing this week, the adoption is conditional on Madonna proving that she’ll provide an acceptable home for the young girls. The Guardian reported that a federally appointed chaperone would travel with Madonna, Stella and Esther back to the states and observe how well the singer looks after them. The official would then report his observations back to the Malawian government.

“Madonna has demonstrated over the years that she has passion for Malawi and her children, and therefore the court was satisfied and could not stop the adoption of the twins,” Titus Mvalo, an attorney for Madonna in Malawi, told Reuters.

The twins’ birth father was present with Madonna at the hearing this week and witnessed Justice Fiona Mwale’s approval of the adoption. According to The Telegraph, the girls’ mother died in 2012 shorty after giving birth due to complications from a cesarean section.

This is the fourth time the singer has adopted from the African nation, but it should be noted that she hasn’t always been well-received there. Back in 2013, Madonna was stripped of her VIP status by former Malawian president Joyce Banda, who accused the star of being “uncouth” and exaggerating her humanitarian efforts in the country, French news site AFP reported. Last July, Madonna also announced that she wouldn’t revive plans to build a $15 million girls academy in Malawi, which was halted following allegations of malfeasance.

Moreover, critics have accused the Malawian government of giving the pop star preferential treatment, exempting her from laws that prohibit noncitizens from adopting children to take overseas, according to The Guardian.

A representative for Madonna didn’t provide further comment on the adoption.

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