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Mother-in-law sticks up for Madonna

Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have today been described as “loving and wonderful parents” – by the pop star’s mother-in-law.

The singer was ardently defended against claims she had bypassed laws when adopting Malawi toddler David Banda last October.

Guy’s stepmother Shireen Ritchie insisted: “He’s a very lucky little boy.”

She was speaking on ITV1’s GMTV programme, which is highlighting the thousands of children in the UK who need adoptive homes.

Madonna and her husband were granted temporary custody of David, then 13 months old, after his father placed him in an orphanage following the death of his mother.

The singer began the adoption process after she found David in the orphanage while in Malawi to launch a project to help the country’s 2million Aids orphans.

She has previously come under fire for allegedly attempting to bypass normal Malawian adoption rules, an allegation she has strenuously denied.

Mrs Ritchie, Kensington and Chelsea council’s cabinet member for family and children’s services, was asked about the current situation.

She said: “It is working very well. They are wonderful parents – loving and wonderful parents. And he’s a very lucky little boy.”

Speaking generally, she said the children hardest to find adoptive parents for were sometimes sibling groups and older children.

She added: “Adoption processes in other countries are different, that’s true. “But I mean I think what we have in Britain today is a very robust system which puts the child at the heart of the adoption system.

“It is the interests of the child, what is best for the child, that is considered the whole time.” She praised social workers, having to deal at the sharp end with difficult and tragic situations.

National Adoption Week runs until November 11.

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