Madonna said the
13-month-old boy she plans to adopt from the African
country of Malawi is healthy and thriving in her London
home. In an interview that aired Wednesday on The
Oprah Winfrey Show, the 48-year-old pop star
said David Banda was healthy despite having overcome
malaria and tuberculosis.
''David is amazing,'' she said. ''What really
surprises me is how great my children are with him and
how he's transitioned so easily from living in Africa
in an orphanage to living in our house.'' Madonna, who is
married to film director Guy Ritchie, has two children:
daughter Lourdes, 9, and son Rocco, 6.
The 30-minute interview with Winfrey, conducted
via satellite from London and taped Tuesday, was the
first time she had spoken in depth about the adoption,
which has been challenged by human rights groups that allege
the singer used her fame and fortune to flout Malawi's
''If only my wealth and my position could have
made things go faster,'' Madonna said. ''I assure you
it doesn't matter who you are and how much money you
have--nothing goes fast in Africa.''
Typically, prospective parents are required to
stay in the southeastern African country during an
18-month evaluation period, but the judge who granted
the interim custody order said the issue of residence is not
specified in the law. A hearing on a lawsuit challenging the
government's decision to allow Madonna and Ritchie to
begin adoption proceedings was scheduled for Friday in Malawi.
Winfrey, whose talk show is based in Chicago,
praised Madonna during a lunchtime appearance at the
U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. ''What's happening to
her right now, being attacked for trying to save a life, I
believe is both shameful and ridiculous,'' Winfrey said.