Original source:

A Malawi judge rejected Madonna’s request to adopt a second child from the country on Friday because of a requirement that prospective parents live in the country for at least 18 months.

The judgement runs against the first time Madonna adopted a Malawi, when the residency rule was waived without explanation in 2006.

The millionaire pop star was allowed to whisk her son David to London before his adoption was formalised in 2008.

Madonna’s efforts to adopt three-year-old Chifundo ‘Mercy’ James drew criticism from activists who emphasised that the little girl would be better off with relatives in her own country.

NGO coalition the Human Rights Consultative Committee said that adoption should be the last resort and that children need to be taken care of by their own family.

The coalition declared: ‘Mercy James is a child who has her extended close family members alive and we urge Madonna to assist the child from right here.’

And Save the Children said that the best place for children is with their family in their home country.

Spokesman Dominic Nutt said: ‘International adoption can actually exacerbate the problem it hopes to solve.

‘The very existence of orphanages encourages poor parents to abandon children in the hope that they will have a better life,’ Mr Nutt observed.

He went on to say that international adoption and the orphanages that provide the children to adoptive parents from overseas ‘can divert money that could be better spent keeping families together and preventing children from having to be taken away from their parents in the first place.

‘We urge any celebrity to set an example, to follow internationally agreed procedures to protect the child and to ensure that the child in question has no other options in their home community,’ Mr Nutt declared.

Madonna had promised to make Mercy a permanent part of her family and spare her the ‘hardship and emotional trauma’ of life as an orphan.

On Thursday, Malawi’s child welfare minister endorsed Madonna’s adoption application.

Women and Child Welfare Development Minister Anna Kachikho said: ‘We have close to two million orphans in Malawi who need help. If people like Madonna adopt even one such orphan, it’s one mouth less we have to feed.’

Over half of Malawi’s population of 12 million survive on less than 67p a day.