’s request to adopt a second child from the African country.
A Malawi judge ruled that Madonna would not be permitted to take custody of 3-year-old orphanChifundo “Mercy” James
because law dictates a would-be parent live in the country 18 to 24 months ahead of time, the BBC reported.
In a lengthy ruling on Friday, JudgeEsme Chombo
sided with critics who said the superstar would not get special treatment.
Chombo said other foreigners had adopted children from Malawi, but the only case in which residency rules had been waived was to let Madonna takeDavid Banda
out of the country in 2006 before that adoption was finalized in 2008.
“It is necessary that we look beyond the petitioner ... and consider the consequences of opening the doors too wide,” the judge said. “By removing the very safeguard that is supposed to protect our children, the courts ... could actually facilitate trafficking of children by some unscrupulous individuals.”
The judge made clear she was not questioning Madonna’s intentions and praised the “noble” work Madonna’s charity has done for orphans in the impoverished, AIDS-stricken country.
Madonna planned to appeal to the country’s Supreme Court later Friday.