Thursday, October 12, 2006

Madonna and Child

They said it wasn't true, but apparently it was. Madonna has gone and pulled an Angelina. She went to Africa and bought herself a little Black baby.

To be fair and honest, the child may not be Black, but I think most natives of Malawi are, but until I see pictures I cannot confirm. For an update on the still breaking story, check out MSNBC.

So is this the latest trend? Superstars rescuing AIDS orphans from impoverished African countries? Although it should be noted, the little boy Madonna and Guy Ritchie have in their possession is not an orphan, just motherless and Dad has given the OKAY to let the Material Girl be his son's new mom.

Some people are bristling at this seemingly new hobby of the rich and famous, or maybe they just don't think Madonna and Angelina Jolie are exactly overflowing with maternal wellness. 'What about all of the poor orphans in this country?' they cry out in righteous indignation. And they have a point. I, on the other hand, don't have an opinion on this one except that I think any time a child is given a loving home to live in as opposed to a disease infested orphanage, that 's a good thing. One person can't adopt all of the world's unwanted children.

Let's pray for these adopted children, that they will be able to retain some of their own culture and will be able to take advantage of all of the luxuries afforded the child of a superstar. Like Nicole Richie. And for the ones who still languish in foster care or one-room orphanages abroad, let's pray for a miracle.

Peace Out!


Nyaguthii said...

There's an Ethiopian guy who lived with a white British foster family for 11 years from the time he was three years old. He had a terrible experience and has come out strongly against these sort of international adoptions. (His website is I read about him on the BBC news website.) But, it also sounds as though his foster family was pretty messed up so I don't think it would necessarily be typical of such adoptions.

IMO, I think there's a greater risk that the adoptive family's money and fame will screw up the child than the inter-cultural, -racial, -national factors.

lori said...


I think you make a very good point. Money and fame can be just as detrimental to a happy home life as prejudice and racism.

Unfortunately, as evidenced by my neighbors, it takes a lot of money to adopt a child from a foreign country. They've been waiting for years to be matched with a a child b/c they can't afford to go to the country which apparently speeds up the process. So maybe the rich and/or famous are the only hope. I believe Oprah pretty much adopted an entire village in South Africa.

Thanks for reading the Meltingpot.

imagined-community said...

I've actually looked into international adoption. VERy EXpensive! Adoption can cost anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 from begining to end (various fees: agencies here and abroad, government fees, homestudy, etc). Most, but not all, countries require you to go to the country to meet and bring home your child, and to process the final paperwork. Depending on the country, the stay abroad can be as short as 2 weeks or as long as a month.

What I didn't like about the whole Madonna thing, and way the media dealt/deals with it (or the Jolie saga for that matter), is how the challenges, and joys if you are willing to do the work, of transracial adoption are glossed over. I would recommend two good starter books, "Are Those Kids Yours?" and "The Colour of Difference", stories told by 27 transracially adopted people in Australia. And there is a transracial adoptees bill of rights...

I agree that despite the numerous ethical & cultural challenges that are part of the package of intercountry and/or transracial adoption, when the other option is to leave kids in extreme, life threatening poverty, or even just garden variety poverty ,neglected and unloved, adoption is the better choice. But still, I wish there was a more thoughtful discussion in the media about the identity struggles of these kids and their adoptive parents and the responsibilities -- beyond being able to give a kid the best food and shelter they could ever dream of, a la Madonna -- that comes with international/transracial adoption.

Hmmn. Thoughtful discussions about complex issues in the media. What was I thinking?