Malawi Adoption Judge Had ‘Uncomfortable Questions’ for Madonna

The judge said she didn't want a "well-rehearsed" answer.

By Hayden Wright

This week, it was revealed that Madonna successfully applied to adopt twin girls from Malawi, the African nation in which she’s spearheaded aid efforts for years — a source of both praise and controversy. The latest additions to her family will join her children David and Mercy, who were also adopted from Malawi. To keep the review process candid, Judge Fiona Mwale says she took Madonna off-script with some “uncomfortable questions.”

Related: Madonna Adopts 2 More Children from Malawi, Africa

“The petitioner is a professional performer and I guarded myself against the danger of her merely reciting a well-rehearsed speech by asking her some rather uncomfortable questions to which she gave very candid answers,” Mwale wrote in a court document.

“There is no doubt that the petitioner can offer the infants not only the best education money can buy, but also guidance with a high likelihood of ensuring that the two infants grow to be self-sufficient adults,” she added.

Legal precedent for international adoption existed in Malawi thanks to Madonna’s two previous adoptions. Nevertheless, the judge sought to determine Madonna’s sincerity and weighed the consequences of sending children to live abroad.

“In determining her motives, I questioned the petitioner at length about the impact of her decision which could be construed as robbing Malawi of its most precious resource, its children,” wrote Mwale.

According to court documents, the twins’ mother died shortly after childbirth. Their father (who has five other children) is reported to be incapable of providing for such a large family. In addition to approving the adoption, the court confirmed plans for a transition period, during which a caretaker from Malawi will help ease the children into their new lives.

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