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Judge defers ruling on Madonna adoption challenge

Malawian lawyers said that a judge had Tuesday deferred a ruling on whether rights groups could challenge pop diva Madonna’s bid to adopt a local toddler whose mother died shortly after childbirth.
“There is nothing … we are still waiting to hear from the judge and hopefully a ruling will be made next week,” Alan Chinula, an attorney for Madonna, said.
Judge Andrew Nyirenda was due to make his ruling Tuesday behind closed doors in the administrative capital Lilongwe but postponed the judgment for a third time.
Lawyer Justin Dzodzi, who represents the Human Rights Consultative Committee grouping 67 local children’s rights organizations, said: “The arrangement was that it would be up to the judge to call us to say when ruling is ready.”
The coalition first lodged a petition in October, insisting that current laws did not permit for intra-country adoptions and asking for the right to bring a fully-fledged appeal at a later hearing.
Judge Nyirenda, handling the first high-profile adoption case in Malawi, granted an 18-month interim custody to Madonna to enable her to take David Banda to Britain.
The 14-month-old baby is now living with Madonna and her British filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie in London even though would-be adoptive parents are usually subject to an 18-month monitoring period by social workers in Malawi.
Madonna has denied using her vast wealth to fast-track the process while David’s father Yohane Banda has called on the coalition to drop their action over fear that the singer will return the child to a life of poverty back home.
source : afp