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Malawi High Court OKs Pop Icon’s Adoption Petition

Posted Jun 12, 2009 5:25 PM CDT
By Molly McDonough

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Madonna has the blessing of Malawi's highest court to adopt her second child from the African nation.

Friday's decision reverses a lower court, which had ruled that Madonna didn't meet adoption requirements because she hadn't resided in the country for 18 consecutive months.

So what prompted the change of course?

The Associated Press reports that the Malawi court cited Madonna's love, determination, and "income tax returns."

The decision means Madonna can take custody of 3-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James, whose mother died soon after giving birth.

The AP reports that Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo said that the lower court should have considered Madonna's commitment to helping disadvantaged children. She adopted a son, David, from Malawi last year. And in 2006 she founded a charity, Raising Malawi, to help feed and care for the country's orphans.

A coalition of nongovernmental organizations had opposed the singer's adoption petition and decried Friday's ruling. Opponents were concerned that rules in place to protect children were being bent because of Madonna's celebrity.

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