Madonna Adoption Case In Malawi Nears Conclusion

BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) -- Madonna's bid to adopt a Malawian toddler she found in an orphanage in 2006 is likely to be approved in court this week, her lawyer said Tuesday.

Alan Chinula said Madonna's legal team and government representatives would be in Lilongwe High Court on Thursday.

The pop star and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, are not required to be present. Judge Andrew Nyirenda will review two reports by Malawian officials overseeing the adoption of 2-year-old David Banda.

"We are confident he will grant the Ritchies permanent custody order," said Chinula.

Chief social welfare officer Simon Chisale wrote two glowing reports, describing Madonna a "perfect mum" for David, who was sickly and malnourished when she found him at the Home of Hope Orphanage. His mother died shortly after childbirth and his father was too poor to take care of him. He has since been with Madonna and her family in Britain.

Nyirenda said in court proceedings in October 2006 that he would automatically revoke the temporary custody order if he was convinced David was being treated differently from the Ritchies' other children, Lourdes and Rocco, or that his human rights were being violated in any way.

Some child's rights groups have criticized the adoption, saying it would be better to provide more resources so that children can be cared for in their native countries.

Madonna has set out to prove she is helping to do that. She has set up a charity called Raising Malawi, and she is funding six more orphanages outside the capital, Lilongwe, that provide education and food for about 4,000 children.

She produced a documentary "I Am Because We Are," which shows poverty and disease devastating the lives of Malawi's children, and urges people to volunteer to help.

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