Mercy's father wants her back
Relatives of Mercy James, the four-year-old Malawian girl Madonna is trying to adopt, are furious after her biological father said he wants her back
The father of the girl Madonna is trying to adopt wants her back.
James Kambewa claims he had no idea four-year-old Mercy James was still alive until he heard the singer - who saw her adoption application rejected by a Malawian court on Friday (03.04.09) - was trying give her a home, but now wants to be part of her life.
Security guard James - who fathered Mercy with now-deceased 15-year-old Mwandida Maunde - told People magazine: "Now that I know Mercy is alive I am willing to support her.
"Mwandida's parents were furious that I had messed up their daughter. They caused hell for me so I left town.
"I am afraid to approach her family because of what I did to their daughter, but I will see what I can do."
However, Mercy's surviving relatives - who have approved her adoption by the American pop superstar - are furious with his reappearance.
Her uncle Peter Baneti said: "Where was he all this time? He wasn't there when his girlfriend was pregnant, he didn't even attend Mwandida's funeral when she died eight days after giving birth to Mercy. We don't think he even knew she had a baby."
Another uncle, John Ngalande, added: "If he cared he should have attempted to find out the fate of his daughter. We can't accept him coming into Mercy's life simply because she is now famous. We are angry with this boy."
Madonna - who flew back to England yesterday (06.04.09) - has reportedly instructed lawyers to fight the adoption decision, which was rejected due to the 50-year-old star not living in the African country for 18 months.
She reportedly said: "Do whatever you can to get me my Mercy, I can't imagine her going back to the orphanage."
Mercy's family initially opposed Madonna's bid to adopt the girl but relented after negotiations with government officials and the 'Miles Away' singer's Raising Malawi charity.
Peter says he is "sad and surprised" at seeing Mercy's chance for a better life taken away and welcomes an appeal against the court ruling.
He said: "I'm just very surprised that this has happened. And I'm so sad for Mercy. This was her chance for a better life and I think this has been taken away from her now."
Madonna has also been boosted by the support of ex-husband Guy Ritchie - with whom she adopted another Malawian child, David, now three.
The British film director - who also has a son, eight-year-old Rocco, with Madonna and helped raise the singer's 12-year-old daughter Lourdes - released a statement after the hearing on Friday praising his former wife's parenting skills.
He said: "Madonna is a fantastic and loving mother who cares deeply about her own children, and children who may need additional help and support."