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How Madonna managed to beat the law of adoption

Publish date: 13 February 2017
Issue Number: 714
Diary: IBA Legalbrief Africa
Category: Family

International celebrity and businesswoman Madonna made world headlines this month when she adopted two more orphans from Malawi. The twin girls, from tragic and desperately poor circumstances, were living in an orphanage. Now they have joined a family that consists of two other Malawian children already adopted by the singer, as well as Madonna’s two biological children. But what do the courts in Malawi have to say about inter-country adoption? And how has the star been able to overcome local legislation that prescribes adoptive parents must be ‘resident’ in Malawi? This week, in her column, A Matter of Justice, journalist and leading legal commentator, Carmel Rickard, has been looking at what the courts in Malawi have said about the Madonna adoptions. It turns out this is an unexpectedly rich field as there are at least five judgments on her various adoption applications – not all of them successful. The column will be sent to readers tomorrow, but is already available to Legalbrief Africa subscribers on the Legalbrief Today site.

A Matter of Justice