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excellent article......I am still trying to decide how I feel about this whole thing. but in the mean time, I hope that this little boy is adjusting to his new surroundings and finds the love and happiness all children deserve

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Pro golfer Bubba Watson--who as I write this is in a playoff with a good chance at winning the Masters tournament--adopted a one-month-old baby boy on March 26. It'd be quite a month to adopt your fir

I've always wondered about Celebrity Adoptions, Why they do it, why they adopt from other countries, i mean there are plenty of American babies who need homes, so i always think of it as publicity, a

Sex and the City star Kristin Davis has adopted as single mother domestically and transracially.

"I have to say, Madonna, that's a brave thing that you did,'' Winfrey said. "This audience, I know, applauds you for it.''

You just had to know that Oprah wouldn't get tough with the Material Girl. As usual, "the media" is to blame for Madonna's troubles. Not her own poor choices, not her questionable dealings in Africa. It's the fault of the media, that same group she so shamelessly seeks out in her endless attempts to sell herself, her books and her albums. I get sick of that line.

Now she's a "hero" to Oprah and her minions. This whole episode is very disturbing.

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Oprah doesn't air here until 4pm. But thanks for the heads up.

You know, you could go to Oprah.com and e-mail her a comment. Don't know if it would ever get read by the Queen of Daytime Talk herself, but give it a try! (Or better yet, write an "In My Opinion" piece for your newspaper!!)

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I saw the Oprah interview this afternoon as well. I don't know what to think about it. Madonna might actually have done the right thing this time. She did say she had a social worker and that she had completed a homestudy. I will give her the benefit of the doubt on that card. However, I HATE the attitude that people adopt to "save" children. We did not adopt our daughter to "save" her. We adopted her because we desperately wanted children and her birthparents could not provide the home they wanted for her.

I deplore celebrities thinking that adoption is all about "saving" a child. If they want to be humanitarians they should donate their millions to some reputable charities and save the child the heartache of living in a spotlight.

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I saw the Oprah interview this afternoon as well. I don't know what to think about it. Madonna might actually have done the right thing this time. She did say she had a social worker and that she had completed a homestudy. I will give her the benefit of the doubt on that card. However, I HATE the attitude that people adopt to "save" children. We did not adopt our daughter to "save" her. We adopted her because we desperately wanted children and her birthparents could not provide the home they wanted for her.

I deplore celebrities thinking that adoption is all about "saving" a child. If they want to be humanitarians they should donate their millions to some reputable charities and save the child the heartache of living in a spotlight.

Amen! Amen!!!

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I saw the Oprah interview this afternoon as well. I don't know what to think about it. Madonna might actually have done the right thing this time. She did say she had a social worker and that she had completed a homestudy. I will give her the benefit of the doubt on that card. However, I HATE the attitude that people adopt to "save" children. We did not adopt our daughter to "save" her. We adopted her because we desperately wanted children and her birthparents could not provide the home they wanted for her.

I deplore celebrities thinking that adoption is all about "saving" a child. If they want to be humanitarians they should donate their millions to some reputable charities and save the child the heartache of living in a spotlight.

So often when people know Clara is adopted, they say "Oh how wonderful. What a wonderful thing for you to do". WHAT?!!! My response is always "Yes, it was a wonderful thing her birth family did for her (and for us), to make a loving adoption plan for Clara." I think they saved us if there was any saving to be done! We are no heroes, just a grateful couple in love with a little girl. And she is what it is all about!

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I fully agree with the sentiments expressed here about how people believe adoption is "saving" a child. When people hear where I work I often get the response, "isn't so great there are people willing to adopt?" My response, "Certainly, and it's even better there are birthparents willing to selflesslessly place their children for adoption when they find themselves unable to parent."

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I too have been trying to figure out how I feel about all this...I have to say, I was not at all "impressed" by the Madonna interview on Oprah - she used this horribly antiquated way of thinking analogy when describing why she thinks David's biological father is saying he didn't realize adoption is forever - I can't remember how it went exactly other than she implied that how most adoptions are done here, these days, are where the birthmother never sees or hears from the adoptive parents again. At that moment, I realized that Madonna is just so representative of so many normal people in the US who are just so clueless and uneducated about adoption - she is no different - despite her celebrity'ness, wealth, etc - she's totally clueless and has a lot to learn. I guess, from that perspective, I don't feel angry at her for her reasons, etc for this adoption - I think, like many people, she (despite her saying she doesn't watch TV or read the newspapers) has heard all the cries for help for Africa and the orphans in Africa (and other 3rd World Countries) and felt that by adopting a child, she was helping. Where she (and the child) were failed I believe has to do with the messages that are being sent - even when we attended the Fost-Adopt seminar when we briefly considered going that route for our 2nd adoption, the message, clearly was - there are so many children in need of homes, all they need is a family to call their own (I'm overly simplyfying that - there was also discussion about their needs, etc) and I think many of the people there were also motivated to be there for saintly (for lack of a better word) reasons. I think people come to adoption for so many different reasons - not all are the reasons I personally believe is a reason to adopt, and whether or not David (or any other child who was adopted by their parents as a way for them to feel good about "giving a home to a child who may die otherwise" (or whatever she said - which I'll get to in a bit) will grow up with a positive feeling on his adoption and his birthparents and his parents is a question I'm certainly not prepared to answer - maybe he will, maybe he won't.

What did make me feel very uncomfortable was when Madonna said something about how if she and Guy Ritchie hadn't adopted David, he would basically be dead by the time he was 5 (or sooner) or something like that. I thought to myself - "Gosh, that's a huge burden for a child to grow up with - why did she say that? No child who has been adopted should ever feel grateful to their parents, like they owe their life to their parents, for being brought into their homes/lives" I'm not sure I'm conveying what I'm thinking very well - I just felt it was wrong for her to publicly say (and privately think) that if it weren't for them, David wouldn't be alive. How will she be able to raise him without that hanging over his head if she is thinking it so much that she's willing to communicate that to millions of viewers across the world?

Clearly, she has not had any adoption education (or if she has, it's been with some very outdated social workers and adoption professionals) and hopefully, she'll be open to learning as she goes (as we all have done and continue to do) for the benefit of her son's future and self-image, and her own enlightenment.

As for those who adopt to save a child, I agree - it's not a reason I personally subscribe to but there are so many organizations that send that message and it's sure to appeal to some people - I just hope and pray that even when someone looks to adoption and initially, it's not for the right reasons, that they reach out to the wealth of information on adoptees and adoptive parenting and can have a different perspective on the kind of life and parenting they want to offer their child.

Adoption is just so complicated from so many different angles - I have worried, numerous times about my child who I placed for adoption, if she has any issues as an adoptee - have her parents nurtured whatever questions, feelings, thoughts, etc she has had about adoption, etc? And...which issues would have been worse? The issues she would have faced being parented by me while I was still trying to grow up - because I still had so much to learn and I know those first few years would have been quite a struggle for us and I have no doubt she would have issues as a result of that...or, her issues that she may or may not have as an adoptee??? Who's to know?

And, completely off the subject - I do find it terribly disturbing that so much attention has been put on Madonna's adoption when there are obviously some horrible and very wrong adoptions going on still - there was a Dateline Story (and I think Oprah devoted all of about 10 minutes to the story) on a little girl named Masha from Russia who was adopted by a divorced dad who did not receive a proper homestudy or homestudy update (the adoption was handled by some facilitator I think) and for several years, he sexually abused her and posted pictures of her on the internet - I have a hard time believing she is the only child who has ever been adopted to basically be abused by some sick'o. I wish more attention would be put on outing those types of wrongful adoptions then whether or not Madonna's adoption of David was legal and genuine.

-Lisa

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What did make me feel very uncomfortable was when Madonna said something about how if she and Guy Ritchie hadn't adopted David, he would basically be dead by the time he was 5 (or sooner) or something like that. I thought to myself - "Gosh, that's a huge burden for a child to grow up with - why did she say that? No child who has been adopted should ever feel grateful to their parents, like they owe their life to their parents, for being brought into their homes/lives" I'm not sure I'm conveying what I'm thinking very well - I just felt it was wrong for her to publicly say (and privately think) that if it weren't for them, David wouldn't be alive. How will she be able to raise him without that hanging over his head if she is thinking it so much that she's willing to communicate that to millions of viewers across the world?

-Lisa

Lisa,

I have heard this comment several times and it always gets under my skin. I am with you....what a horrid burden for this little one to have to grow up with.

I haven't yet watched the interview. I have it dvr'd, I am hoping to get to watch it this weekend.

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The saga continues: Clearing the Record: Birthdad of David Banda says he and other family members visited orphanage often, and that child's mom didn't die of AIDs.

What will this child think, one day, when he reads all the press that surrounded this adoption?

In the infamous words of Stephen Covey: begin with the end in mind!

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Another perspective on celebrity adoptions, this one by Linley Boniface, out of New Zealand, from a website called www.stuff.co.nz:

What Would The Fairy Godmother Say To This One? And in case the link goes bad...

A list of the things for which it is difficult to forgive Madonna might begin with the following: Kabbalah; Shanghai Surprise; breast cones; Sean Penn; the wearing of leotards by the over-40s; and her pioneering use of the microphone head set, a device that has spawned countless herds of corporate motivational speakers and televangelists. No 1 on the list, however, must be the appalling decision Madonna made in Malawi.

I refer of course to her decision to hand out translated copies of her children's story to orphans in Lilongwe. Her book, The English Roses, is about four junior fashion plates taken in hand by a fairy godmother after they snub an excessively foxy classmate.

The girls discover the outcast spends all her free time doing chores for her widowed father, at which point the fairy godmother remarks: In future, you might think twice before grumbling that someone else has a better life than you.

It's difficult to know precisely what relevance this message might have for the Aids orphans of Malawi, who would surely be justified in assuming just about everyone had a better life than them. And then there was that other decision Madonna made in Africa.

Not content with bringing home a carved wooden giraffe, Madonna decided a baby would be a suitable memento of her visit. Predictably, chaos ensued: human rights groups claimed the adoption was illegal while the paparazzi jostled for a shot of the baby arriving in London under a blanket.

Madonna joins a growing number of adopting celebrities, including Tom Cruise, Jamie Lee Curtis, Hugh Jackman, Rosie O'Donnell, Sharon Stone, Michelle Pfeiffer, Lionel Ritchie, Meg Ryan, Ewan McGregor and Angelina Jolie.

For me, and I suspect for other adopted people, the facile way the media reported Madonna's decision to make David Banda her legal son - he's cute as a button! chirruped Sky - illustrated society's contradictory attitude to adoption.

On one hand is the assumption that adoption wipes the slate clean for a child of doubtful parentage: it's a fresh start, a year zero. On the other, genealogy is the fastest-growing hobby: people cherish blood ties that give them their sense of self, while insisting that adoptees need no foundation on which to build their lives.

In Britain, one in five adoptions fail. Inter-country adoption is a particularly murky area, with Unicef estimating that one in four adoptions involves a commercial or criminal element.

High-profile cases in the United States have highlighted the tragic results of some foreign adoptions: the adoptive parents jailed for a decade for allowing a seven-yearold Russian boy to die of hypothermia in an unheated basement; the woman who attempted to re-sell her adopted Russian daughter on the Internet.

Adoptive parents of foreignborn children might protest that there are equally dreadful cases involving parents harming their birth children, and they'd be right, but there's no denying adoption is a risk factor for children. Adoption is associated with a raft of physical and emotional problems, and adopted children are significantly more likely to die prematurely than those raised in birth families.

Last week, this newspaper ran an article by a columnist in The Times ridiculing the apparently outlandish suggestion that adoptive parents were motivated primarily by their own wish to have a child, rather than the selfless desire to help another human being.

I suppose that explains why the neediest children - those who have physical or mental handicaps, or have been abused, or are older - can reasonably expect to spend the rest of their lives in care, while prospective adopters fight it out for the few cute babies that come on the market.

The parents I know who have adopted children from overseas are, as it happens, fabulous parents. But I hope they, and all of us, begin to acknowledge that adoption is about pain as well as joy.

As far as David Banda is concerned, I think Madonna almost certainly saved his life. There are 48 million orphans in sub-Saharan Africa: one abandoned child will not be missed.

With luck, David will become an averagely screwedup, dysfunctional child of the very famous. And he'll certainly never go short for fingerless gloves or enormous crucifixes.

Without Madonna, David, like his two brothers, would probably have died in infancy. Perhaps, when he is older, David will return to Africa to visit his brothers' graves, and meet any family he has left.

Then he'll realise how much he's gained, and how much he's lost.

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  • 1 month later...

Rumor has it that J.Lo and her husband, Marc Anthony, are now looking into adoption and are hoping to take placement of a baby born in Puerto Rico... anybody have their home address on your Christmas card list? because I'm quite sure Abrazo could help them find a child of Puerto-Rican descent but born in Texas...?! and wouldn't they be a fun addition to any orientation weekend?! :lol:

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You know everytime I see or read an interview with Trista and Ryan (the Bacchelorette and her suitor) she talks about how badly they want to be parents. Now they haven't mentioned adoption yet that I know of but you think if they went for it ABC would make a reality show special out of it????

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Question for the "Chicks" : Do you think a celebrity like Angela, Madonna or JLo could even attempt an open adoption in the States? Wouldn't the celebrity status influence a birth mothers decision, ( either positive or negatively) or get in the way some how? I wonder.....

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Actually, Heidi, you're right. Historically, celebrity adoptions were closed, and elaborate schemes (falsified adoptive parent bios, altered birthdates, faked pregnancies) enacted to "shield" the "safety" of famous adopters. (And one shudders to think of what steps unscrupulous adoption pros might have taken to ensure their powerful, monied clients didn't get "stood up at the nursery"-- birthparents' rights be damned.)

Even today, in many celebrity adoptions, attorneys hide behind their clients "status" to justify keeping those birthparents in the dark. Yet in my experience, birthparents are more hesitant to choose to place with high-profile parents, out of concern for the added risks this may impose on their child's life. And sometimes, celebrities are so used to everyone else "doing for them" just because, professionals have to take extra precaution to ensure that the adoption is happening the right way and for the right reasons-- on both sides. Surely birthparents should have enough information and say to decide whether to entrust their child to a family for whom the circus of celebrity may forever be a complicating factor in that child's life!

But those birthparents who do place with celebrities in open adoptions (at least those with whom I've worked) have been diligent about safeguarding their child's family's identity from others and respecting their privacy. I have yet to see one take advantage of their child's adoptive parents' celebrity status, in any way. However, celebrity adoptions can make openness more of a challenge, in some cases, because of the security details, public intrusiveness, ignorance or control issues among their handlers, and whatnot.

Yet it doesn't have to be that way; the best celebrity clients I've known were the ones who were less impressed with their "station in life" than everyone else, and didn't let themselves become jaded by everyone else wanting some piece of them-- rather, they were magnaminous enough to still have plenty of love and authenticity to share with their new child and his/her birthfamily.

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(T)he best celebrity clients I've known were the ones who were less impressed with their "station in life" than everyone else, and didn't let themselves become jaded by everyone else wanting some piece of them-- rather, they were magnaminous enough to still have plenty of love and authenticity to share with their new child and his/her birthfamily.

Elizabeth, I'm so happy to hear this. I've been troubled for a long time about these very public adoption stories of celebrities, and I can't help but feel that the children will suffer because of them. The fact that you know of cases where celebrity adoption has been different and apparently successful is a comfort.

Well-meaning celebrities have just as much right as we do to go through this process. That some are willing to not cut corners is testament to their integrity. It also makes these public displays all the more questionable. If you can make an adoption plan quietly (although not secretly), without trying to cast yourself in the media (or on Oprah) as some kind of saint, why wouldn't you do it?

The answer, of course, is that publicity for some of these folks like Madonna is more important than anything else, including the child.

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I also got the impression that Madonna selected this particular boy because he was the youngest one at the orphanage. She made the point of saying he was the youngest one there.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Madonna's sons birthfather is asking for more information as to how his son is doing.....

News Story

Banda dismissed any suggestions that he wants the child back and asked human rights groups not to interfere in his attempts to speak with Madonna.

"All I want is to find out how my child is doing and not to have him back," he was quoted as saying.

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For those of you with an interest in Madonna's adoption of David from Malawi - here is a very interesting article published in Adoptive Families magazine this month, February 2007, it is a condensed reprint version - the original version appearing in The Guardian as referenced by AF. I'm posting a link to both articles (note - the article was originally published 10/20/06 and there has certainly been a lot of water under that bridge since then) - but still, what I found interesting about this article was how it addressed the more human side to this story - the early part of David's life. Anyway, I haven't been following this closely but did come across this article and thought I'd post it.

ADOPTIVE FAMILIES - About a Boy Everybody knows that Madonna adopted a boy from Malawi. Few know why his father said yes

GUARDIAN - About a boy

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  • 1 month later...

Ms. Jolie's newest adoption plan is not without scandal, ala Madonna: officials are now saying that Vietnamese adoption law prohibits placement of Vietnamese children with unmarried couples, and some are arguing that special exceptions are being made for Jolie solely because of her star status.

What are your thoughts? Should Jolie be allowed to adopt there anyway (despite the fact that she and Pitt are obviously co-habitating), or should her adoption plans be held to the same standards applied to other, less high-profile adoptive parents?

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I agree. I don't think her celebrity status (or is it $$$$) should allow her special favors.

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