Madonna leaves Malawi after failed adoption bid

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Apr 5, 2009 at 12:10 PM EDT

American pop icon Madonna left Malawi Sunday after a court rejected her application to adopt a second child from the southern African country, an airport official said.

"She came in a convoy of four vehicles and used the cargo terminal to take-off in her jet," the official at Lilongwe's international airport told AFP.

Madonna on Friday filed a notice to appeal her failed bid to adopt a three-year-old girl, after the High Court turned down the singer's application and warned the case could open the door to trafficking in children.

The child would have been a sibling to another adopted Malawian toddler.

The appeal notice was filed after Madonna, 50, was briefed about the outcome of the adoption application and hearings are expected to start this week, her lawyer Alan Chinula said.

The recently-divorced singer and actress jetted into Malawi on March 29 accompanied by 12-year-old daughter Lourdes and three-year-old David Banda, whom she adopted in 2006 after seeing him in an orphanage.

The following day she filed her application to adopt Chifundo "Mercy" James, sparking fresh controversy over foreign adoptions. Her lawyer has insisted the law had been followed to the letter.

Normally anyone seeking to adopt in Malawi must have been resident in the country for at least 18 months -- which was waived in the case of Banda.

Malawi is one of the world's poorest nations, with more than half of the population of 12 million living on less than one dollar a day. The singer has a personal fortune estimated at several hundred million dollars.

Madonna has set up a charity, Raising Malawi, which provides support for orphans and vulnerable children.

She has already built a multi-purpose community centre at Mphandula village, 50 kilometres (30 miles) from Lilongwe, which looks after more than 8,000 orphans from scores of villages in the area.




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