Her lawyer, Alan Chinula, called the singer this morning (June 12) to deliver the happy news. “It’s the wee hours of morning in New York, but she is excited at the news,” says Chinula. “As her lawyer, I am happy that this has settled this contentious issue.”
Originally, Madonna’s request to adopt the 3-year-old girl was denied due to the fact that she hadn’t lived in Malawi for the appropriate amount of time. Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo believed that other facts should have been taken into consideration in this ruling, such as Madonna’s commitment to helping disadvantaged children.
“In this global village a man can have more than one place at which he resides,” says Munlo. “The matter of residence should be determined at the time of application of the adoption. In this case, Madonna was in Malawi not by chance but by intention. She is looking after several orphans whose welfare depends on her. She can therefore not be described as a sojourner.”
Currently, Chinula is working on obtaining a passport for the three year old girl. Sources from the high court claim that Madonna and Mercy should be together by next Wednesday.
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Update 6/9/09: A rep for Madonna has spoken with Entertainment Tonight, denying reports that the Malawian courts have approved the adoption of four-year old Mercy, saying, “Madonna has not been informed that a ruling has been made. We remain hopeful.”
The 50-year-old pop star’s bid was blocked in March, due to the technicality that she had not lived in the east African state for a period of 18 months, as required. Since then, her lawyer has managed to persuade two of the three appeal judges to change their decisions, stating that the ruling was out of date.
The final decision will be announced next Sunday at Malawi’s Supreme Court of Appeal.
A close friend of Madonna’s had this to say about the singer’s determination: “She’s ecstatic. She made a promise that she wouldn’t give up on Mercy and, believe me, she could move mountains when she’s this determined.”
Providing the courts rule in Madonna’s favour, Chifuno, translated to Mercy in English, will join siblings Lourdes, 12, Rocco, 8, and David, 3.