Madonna Adoption Case Heard Amid Paternity Dispute - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Madonna Adoption Case Heard Amid Paternity Dispute

Posted: Updated:
BLANTYRE, Malawi (AP) - Malawi's highest court began deliberating on Madonna's bid to adopt a 3-year-old girl from the southern African country, as a dispute erupted over whether a man trying to stop the proceedings is the girl's father.

Madonna was not at Monday's closed-door hearing at the Malawi Supreme Court of Appeal, and a ruling may not be announced for several days.

The 50-year-old pop star is fighting a lower court's decision that she cannot adopt Chifundo "Mercy" James because she had not been screened over time by Malawi authorities. The court said the rules were bent when Madonna adopted her son David from Malawi last year.

Madonna's Malawian lawyer Alan Chinula said he was "hopeful" the appeal would succeed, and argued the lower court had relied on outdated law to block the girl's adoption.

Madonna found the girl in 2006 at Kondanani Children's Village, an orphanage in the southern town of Bvumbwe just south of the commercial capital of Blantyre. It was the same year she adopted David, whom she found at another orphanage in the central Mchinji district.

On Sunday, a man told The Associated Press he was the girl's father, and has sought help from the Malawi Law Society to stop the adoption.

James Kambewa, a 24-year-old a security guard, acknowledged he has never seen the child, who according to court documents was placed in the orphanage when her 14-year-old mother died a few weeks after giving birth to her.

But Kambewa said he now wanted to claim custody of Chifundo.

"I may be poor, but I think I have what it takes to raise a daughter," he said. "I will fight the adoption."

The brother of the girl's mother told the AP the family does not know Kambewa.

"How can he claim he is the father when he hasn't been around all this time?" said Peter Baneti, who explained that the girl was put in the orphanage because there was no one to breast-feed the baby.

Baneti said he had agreed to the adoption on behalf of the family, and that Kambewa was "just an opportunist."

Madonna spokeswoman Liz Rosenberg said in an e-mail message she doesn't know if Kambewa is the father.

"All I know is that Mercy has been in an orphanage since the day she was born," Rosenberg said.

Kambewa, in an interview to be aired Monday on CBS' "The Early Show," said he has only seen the girl "in newspapers and TV - not face to face." But he told CBS the girl "is a Malawian - so (I) need her to grow as a Malawian as well with our culture."

On the show, Kambewa wore a necklace bearing the girl's name.

Madonna has founded a charity, Raising Malawi, that helps feed, educate and provide medical care for some of Malawi's more than 1 million orphans, half of whom have lost parents to AIDS.

Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • 'Full House' to big house in college scheme? Experts differ

    'Full House' to big house in college scheme? Experts differ

    Thursday, March 21 2019 1:21 AM EDT2019-03-21 05:21:33 GMT
    Friday, March 22 2019 12:31 PM EDT2019-03-22 16:31:56 GMT
    (AP Photo). This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los ...(AP Photo). This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los ...
    (AP Photo). This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los ...(AP Photo). This combination photo shows actress Lori Loughlin at the Women's Cancer Research Fund's An Unforgettable Evening event in Beverly Hills, Calif., on Feb. 27, 2018, left, and actress Felicity Huffman at the 70th Primetime Emmy Awards in Los ...
    Will 'Aunt Becky' and other parents charged with college scam see prison time? Experts differ on the probability. 
    Will 'Aunt Becky' and other parents charged with college scam see prison time? Experts differ on the probability. 
  • Donny and Marie Osmond announce end of Las Vegas residency

    Donny and Marie Osmond announce end of Las Vegas residency

    Thursday, March 21 2019 2:11 PM EDT2019-03-21 18:11:19 GMT
    Friday, March 22 2019 12:31 PM EDT2019-03-22 16:31:55 GMT
    Donny and Marie Osmond say they will end their Las Vegas show later this year, concluding an 11-year run on the Strip. 
    Donny and Marie Osmond say they will end their Las Vegas show later this year, concluding an 11-year run on the Strip. 
  • David Letterman: I stayed on network TV for too long

    David Letterman: I stayed on network TV for too long

    Thursday, March 21 2019 10:41 AM EDT2019-03-21 14:41:14 GMT
    Friday, March 22 2019 12:11 PM EDT2019-03-22 16:11:56 GMT
    David Letterman tells Ellen Degeneres that he should have given up his network nightly talk show earlier than he did back in 2015. 
    David Letterman tells Ellen Degeneres that he should have given up his network nightly talk show earlier than he did back in 2015. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2019 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.