Papa Don’t Preach
So we had a knee jerk reaction to this story, especially as it was being covered by the “official government responses” but rather than succumb to irrational emotionalism we decided to dig into it a bit more.
I decided to do a google search on Madonna to find a photo of her in Malawi, and as you can see I did find one, but trust me, unless youare into leather, don’t Google “Madonna Malawi” for images.
According to the state department you can adopt a child in Malawi, and it will only cost you about $600 US. Basically the process is this, you have to move there for residency, once you have a home you find a lawyer ($300 to $500) and file for the adoption, you are granted guardianship and there are periodic checkups over the next 18 months to 2 years. At the end of this time you are given legal full custody. Where upon you file for the new birth papers, etc.
Now IF Madonna adopts from Malawi she can do one of 3 things.
1-She can get the government to waive the 2 year period. Although slightly frustrating that names and money can do things like that, trust me, even here in the USA if you are picking up a 3 million dollar tab and doing what the government can’t afford to do, well exceptions happen. Honestly if it happens I think this is the most likely option.
2-She can purchase a home in Malawi, thus establishing residency, and just schedule her tours so she can be “home” for the checkups. She has more than enough cash to be able to travel as much as she wants, and as long as she is providing stability with the child on the tours I don’t see how this would be a problem.
3-She can have the orphanage she is starting provide the care for the first 2 years. Where upon at the completion of the time period she is given full custody and then can obtain the visa to bring the child to whichever home she is choosing to raise the child in.
Is Madonna going to get flack for following a Hollywood trend? Yes.
Is it extremely funny that she is going to get a bunch of Malawi orphans to wear a red string on their wrist to reduce stress? I think so.
Is she breaking any laws? No. Even if the government waives the residency requirements it’s not breaking the law if the government waives the law for you. Is it breaking the law when a cop lets you go with a warning instead of a ticket? (not the crime you were busted for but the being let off the hook) Well it’s the same thing here.
Of course if Malawi does exempt Madonna there will be those that want the same waiver in the future. If Malawi opens the door for Madonna there will be those that follow in her shadow. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though, if Madonna can open up the borders to Malawi for international adoption, and bring interest for people to adopt, well than she is bringing in a part of the solution for the problem. And for that we should be thankful as it does take people with money and power on occasion to open certain doors.
Just my 2 cents.