There has been controversy throughout the Malawian adoption process for 1-year-old David Banda.Â Madonna & her husband Guy Ritchie have begun the paperwork to adopt the boy, but have run into many snags & slaps on the hand.
For one, Malawi has a law stating that a child cannot be adopted and taken out of the country, which they lifted for the queen of pop.Â Also, the father has made many attempts to have a say in his son’s life, but has been ignored.Â With David Banda already on a chartered plane to London to meet Madonna at her UK home where she will begin her 18-24 month interim adoption, there are still questions that remain unanswered.
Take a peak at this article from London’s Daily Mail newspaper where the father of the 1-year-old Yohane Banda speaks out.
[Yohane Banda] said: â€œThey told me a mzungu (white foreigner) had seen a picture of David and liked him very much.
â€œThey said she wanted to adopt and take him to America. They said that she would give him a better life.
â€œAt first I wasnâ€™t very sure. I asked if it meant that I would never see him again.
â€œThey said I would be sent pictures and when David was older he would be able to visit the village.â€
â€œMy family and I agreed that this was a very good opportunity for David to get an education and grow up healthy.
â€œThere were some minor disagreements about his Malawian culture but we said yes.â€
Yohane had never heard of Madonna, or her raunchy songs. He was told only that she was â€œa very nice Christian ladyâ€œ.
â€œI am a single man with no experience of these things. My in-laws, who live in Zambia, did not want him and my extended family is too poor to take him in.
â€œI was scared he would die like my other children so I took him where he could be looked after properly. I felt very sore in my heart, but I could think of no other way.
â€œHe was one month and seven days old. 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. I did not think anyone would want to take him away.
â€œBut I was persuaded by Rev Chipeta. He said that I was to hold fast and not waver in my decision.
â€œHe said many people would come to the village and tell me things but that I should go ahead and let the woman have my son – that it was the best thing for Davidâ€™s futureâ€¦â€
Meanwhile Yohane still struggles to come to terms with what he has done. He says he has received no money in connection with the adoption of his child, but 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.
Certainly he has never behaved like a man who willingly abandoned his son.
For the past nine months he has visited his son whenever he could – regularly cycling the 25 miles from his home in the village to the orphanage along treacherous dirt and stone tracks more suited to rugged four wheel drive vehicles.
He said: â€œI would bring him food from my garden, then sit and play with him for a while. I wanted him to know that I was his father, that I love him very much.
â€œHe is my only child still living and I think of him as a gift from God. He is also the best memory I have left of my wife.â€
Was Madonna right to adoptÂ the young Malawian David Banda?