Malawi dad gives up fight on Madonna's adoption

By AFP

June 18, 2010 Updated Jun 14, 2009 at 8:10 AM EDT

A Malawian man who claims to be the father of pop star Madonna's newly adopted daughter told AFP on Sunday that he has given up his fight to block the adoption, and said he wished the singer well.

Malawi's Supreme Court on Friday granted Madonna's adoption of Chifundo James, whose name means "Mercy". Lawyers are now preparing travel documents so the three-year-old girl can join her new family.

"Truly, I wish her well, but I only ask Madonna to look after my daughter Chifundo properly. She must grow knowing that her father still lives in Malawi," James Kambewa told AFP in an interview.

He said he was "definitely disappointed" with the court ruling.

The court in Malawi listed Mercy's father as "unknown" and said that she was born to a 14-year-old mother who died three days after giving birth.

Kambwea, 24, said that he believed the infant had died with the mother in 2006, until he saw newspaper reports that Madonna was seeking to adopt her.

"I was misinformed that my girlfriend Mwandida and her daughter died in 2006," Kambewa said.

Kambewa said he has never seen the child, except in newspaper photos.

Madonna first met Mercy at Kondanani orphanage in the southern Malawi district of Thyolo, 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the commercial capital Blantyre, during her first visit to the poor southern African nation in 2006.

She has already adopted another Malawian child, David Banda, and has said that she wanted him to have a sibling from his home country.

Yohane Banda, David's father, said he was "happy my son will have a Malawian sister."

"The court has been kind to Madonna... she deserves Mercy and the girl needs a better life than that offered at an orphange," Banda, told AFP by mobile phone from his rural village in Mchinji, in central Malawi.

"We need more kind-hearted people like her to help the plight of orphans in this country," he said.

Malawian officials said the country of 12 million people had two million vulnerable children, with 1.5 million of them orphaned after both parents died of AIDS.




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