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Malawi supports Madonna's adoption

MALAWI'S government supports American pop singer Madonna's bid to adopt a second child from the southern African country, the information minister said yesterday, a position likely to anger rights groups.

Malawi's High Court is expected to rule today whether she should be granted an interim adoption of a four-year-old girl, Mercy James.

The government came under fire after Madonna adopted a 13-month-old Malawian child, David Banda, in 2006, with critics accusing it of skirting laws to give her special treatment.

Malawian Information Minister Patricia Kaliati said Madonna had helped in the country and was a worthy mother. "Madonna has been good to us, she is supporting over 25,000 orphans in this country and she has proved that she can take care of David," Kaliati said.

"Very few rich and famous people can take time to fly all the way to Malawi to support our children. We support her adoption process."

Malawi civil society groups oppose the adoption and a local human rights activist said it would amount to child trafficking.

Madonna, accompanied by David, arrived in Malawi on Sunday ahead of the court hearing of her application.

The star, who was divorced last year from British film director Guy Ritchie, has sold more than 200 million albums.


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