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Father of boy
adopted by Madonna wants news of him

Father of boy
adopted by Madonna wants news of him

The father of a Malawian boy adopted by pop diva Madonna wants to ask the American singer how his son is getting on, a newspaper reported on Tuesday.

"I don't have her phone and mailing addresses. All I want is to find out how my son is, but I don't know how I can do it," Malawi's Daily Times newspaper quoted Yohane Banda as saying. "I only talked to her once at the high court, and I want to talk to her now and find out about my child."

The father of 1-year-old David Banda made the comments after the newspaper presented him with a check for 400 pounds ($788) from Scottish nun Christine Webster, who told the paper she believes Banda would have been better off staying in Malawi.

Madonna's adoption of the child grabbed world headlines and caused some human rights groups in Malawi to question whether she had used her celebrity to bypass laws governing the adoption of Malawians by foreigners.

Madonna signed interim adoption papers when she and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, visited in October on what they said was a humanitarian mission to help Malawi orphans.

Under the interim order, the child was to stay with Madonna for 18 months, during which time his progress would be monitored by Malawian officials before deciding whether final approval may be given for him to remain with her family. The high court order angered human rights groups who described it as illegal and took the issue to court.

The court has since granted the advocacy groups an application to be part of the adoption proceedings of Madonna, a move that offered some relief for her as it did not amount to a green light for the rights groups to mount a full challenge against the adoption.

The controversy over Madonna's adoption of the boy has helped to spotlight the plight of orphans in Malawi.

Over 900,000 children in Malawi are orphaned, and another 500,000 have lost at least one parent.

Banda dismissed any suggestions that he wants the child back and asked human rights groups not to interfere in his attempts to speak with Madonna. "All I want is to find out how my child is doing and not to have him back," he was quoted as saying. (Reuters)

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