Hearing in Madonna Adoption Case Is Postponed

Human rights groups protesting the singer's adoption will go to court on Nov. 13

A hearing in Malawi scheduled for Friday to consider Madonna’s adoption of 13-month-old David Banda has been adjourned until Nov. 13.

“The hearing has been adjourned … for the judge to hear other parties involved,” Madonna’s Malawian lawyer, Alan Chinula, told Reuters after he and counsel for the child rights groups that oppose the star’s adoption of David met in the chambers of high court Judge Andrew Nyirenda.

Neither side would provide details of the proceedings.

USA Today reports that Judge Nyirenda delayed the hearing to give Attorney General Jane Ansah time to consult with the Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services.

The Human Rights Consultative Committee has asked Judge Nyirenda to review the adoption process and insure that the laws have been followed properly. The alliance of 67 groups is challenging the interim adoption order that permitted Madonna take David out of Malawi.

Undule Mwakasungura, a lawyer for the HRCC, said the committee “is not necessarily against the adoption,” it just wants the laws to be followed, according to USA Today. “We note that laws were flouted, and our concern is that government may set a precedent that can legalize human trafficking.”

David’s father, Yohane Banda, was also in the courtroom in central Lillongwe on Friday, saying that his presence was a protest against efforts to block the adoption.

On Thursday, Banda told the Associated Press: “I am afraid Madonna may get angry and frustrated and decide to dump my son because of these people. These so-called human rights activists are harassing me every day, threatening me that I am not aware of what I am doing. I’m afraid David may be sent back and the orphanage may not even accept him back. So where will he end up? Here? He will certainly die.”

Banda also said on Thursday that the activists have pressured him to side with them during the proceedings: “They want me to support their court case, a thing I cannot do for I know what I agreed with Madonna and her husband.”

A spokesman for the child rights groups, Maxwell Matewere, said the alliance would not “move an inch to stop the legal action” despite Yohane Banda’s appeal, the BBC reports.

On Oprah Winfrey’s show this week, Madonna said she received no special consideration when adopting David. “If only my wealth and my position could have made things go faster,” she said. “I assure you it doesn’t matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa.”

Next week, Madonna is scheduled to appear on Wednesday and Thursday’s Today show, Thursday’s Dateline NBC and Wednesday’s Live with Regis & Kelly, the New York Post reports.

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