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Madonna's adoption bid

MADONNA, the original Material Girl, landed in Malawi yesterday, where she was expected to begin proceedings this week to adopt a young girl.

Air traffic controllers at the airport in the capital Lilongwe confirmed that her plane landed yesterday.

This would be the second child the 50-year-old pop star has adopted from the African country.

The adoption for her Malawian-born son David, 3, was finalized last year.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a Malawian welfare official and another person involved in the proceedings said the girl Madonna is hoping to adopt is about 4 years old and her unmarried mother died soon after she was born.

The girl's father is believed to be alive but no other details were available.

Madonna and the girl's uncle are expected to appear in court today to sign adoption papers.

Madonna faced harsh criticism over David's adoption. Children's advocacy groups accused her of wielding her wealth and influence to circumvent Malawian law requiring an 18 to 24 month assessment period before adoption.

Austin Msowoya, legal researcher with Malawi's Law Commission, played down concerns that a second adoption by Madonna would violate any laws.

He said the best interests of the child needed to be taken into account - whether that was staying in an orphanage in Malawi or getting "an education with Madonna."


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