By Raphael G. Satter
LONDON (AP) — A British children’s charity has urged Madonna to stop and think before adding another African child to her celebrity family.
Save the Children UK said Saturday that the recently divorced star risked sending the wrong message by adopting a second child from the poor southern African nation of Malawi.
A person involved in the Malawian adoption proceedings, speaking anonymously due to the sensitivity of the subject, told The Associated Press on Friday that Madonna plans to adopt a 4-year-old girl there. The recently divorced star has already adopted a Malawian boy.
“Please think twice,” Save the Children spokesman Dominic Nutt said, explaining that many of the international adoptions that occur around the world are unnecessary.
Nutt said he was not suggesting that Madonna was doing anything wrong — but he said the whole process of international adoptions is often flawed.
“I would not want to, for one second, suggest that Madonna hasn’t done anything by the book,” Nutt said. “But sometimes the book can fail.”
Nutt said that, barring exceptional circumstances, children should be kept in the care of their extended families or within their communities.
Madonna’s spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg in New York, who has not commented on the adoption reports, told The Associated Press on Saturday that the star would make no comment on Save the Children’s appeal.
Madonna was harshly criticized for her adoption of David Banda, now 3, to her family in 2008. The process was criticized by children’s advocacy groups who accused the 50-year-old star of wielding her wealth and influence to circumvent Malawian law requiring an 18- to 24-month assessment period before adoption.
Reports that Madonna wants to adopt a girl from Malawi have been circulating for some time. But the first official hint came from the star herself last week.
In an interview in Malawi’s leading daily The Nation, the singer said she was considering another adoption but would only do it if she had “the support of the Malawian people and government.”