Speedy adoption for Madonna
Madonna could leave Malawi with a new daughter as early as this afternoon (30.03.09), if a court hearing to adopt four-year-old Mercy James goes to plan.
Madonna is expected to leave Malawi with her new daughter today (30.03.09).
The 50-year-old singer arrived in the African nation yesterday (29.03.09) with her children Lourdes, 12, Rocco, eight, and David, three, who was also adopted from Malawi.
She is due in court in the nation's capital Lilongwe today to sign the final papers to adopt four-year-old orphan Mercy James.
If the hearing - in which a High Court judge will assess Madonna's parenting ability - goes to plan, the '4 Minutes' singer will be able to take Mercy back to America this afternoon.
A court source said: "Madonna will appear before a judge to petition the court to certify her adoption. Madonna will definitely be granted a temporary court order to allow her to take the child away with her."
Mercy - whose unmarried teenage mother died two weeks after giving birth to her - grew up in an orphanage in the southern town of Bvumbwe.
Madonna was introduced to Mercy when she visited the area in 2006.
Her remaining family is reluctant to let her move to America, claiming Madonna is putting unfair pressure on them.
Uncle Peter Baneti said: "We never wanted to let Mercy go. She's part of our family. My mother, brother John and I said no three times to the orphanage, which was pressing us on Madonna's behalf.
"Now we have been persuaded Mercy can have a better, healthier life somewhere else in the world with this rich white woman. We need more advice but everything is going so fast."
Madonna and Lourdes spent Sunday afternoon meeting kids and handicraft workers in the impoverished village of Chinkhota.
Madonna said it was "amazing" to be back in Malawi but refused to answer questions about the adoption, saying her critics should "mind their own business".
The star then took her eldest daughter to the Kumbali Lodge Hotel to meet the girl they hope will be the newest addition to their family.
After the court hearing this morning, Madonna is expected to take David to meet his father Yohane Banda, who hasn't seen his son for two years.
The singer angered human rights groups when she adopted David in 2008. They accused her of using her fame to manipulate Malawi's adoption laws.