I realize UK journalism is more sensational than what we American folks are used to, but this Daily Mail story is quite outrageous. It goes out of its way to portray the father of the Malawi boy Madonna is adopting as a manipulated pawn, but the facts get in the way.
“The father of the little boy adopted by Madonna in Malawi has described his feelings of confusion and powerlessness in the face of the singer’s determination to take his only surviving child away.”
The poor thing! But in reality, we learn, straight from the father’s mouth, that his family agreed even before Madonna’s visit. During the visit:
“I looked directly into her eyes and said, ‘Although I am giving you my son I want you to look after him well as he is the only one I possess. I want you to keep this boy, raise him, educate him – but you have to know he is my son and he is a Malawian.’
“Then she thanked me for surrendering my child into her care. She said: ‘I could not have taken him if you had not wholeheartedly consented.’”
He also reveals that, when the boy’s mother died, he sent the sick child to live in an orphanage, as the family was too poor to feed and care for another person: “The orphanage made me sign a letter to show that I was handing him over to their charge, but I suppose deep in my heart I always imagined that when he was better, or I had got another wife, I would go and take him back.”
As I’ve qualified in previous posts, I’m not defending Madonna’s capabilities as a mother. But the objections posed by aid groups have had nothing to do with that; they have been that removing a child from a Third World country and bringing him to the First World is a bad thing. The Daily Mail should be lauded for explaining the problems the child had in his home country — but shame on the publication for downplaying them with its editorializing.
Toward the end of the article, apparently through some sixth “sense,” they inform us that “there is a sense that this committed Christian, who sang with his late wife in the local church choir, has a niggling suspicion that what has happened is not right.”
Robert VerBruggen blogs at http://robertsrationale.blogspot.com.