A Malawi judge
has approved Madonna's adoption of a Malawian boy she met
in an orphanage in 2006. The 49-year-old pop star wasn't in
court for Wednesday's ruling.
Madonna and her
husband, Guy Ritchie, have been caring for the boy, David
Banda, in London. David turns 3 in November.
died when he was a month old. His father has said he
believed he could not care for him alone and that placing
him in an orphanage was the best way to ensure David's
survival. The father has said he didn't object to the
Critics have said
Madonna used her celebrity status to circumvent
Malawian adoption laws -- allegations she denies.
Malawian law is fuzzy on foreign adoptions.
Regulations stipulate only that prospective parents
undergo an 18- to 24-month assessment period in Malawi, a
rule that was bent when Madonna was allowed to take
David to London.
reporters last week at the Cannes Film Festival, Madonna
said the criticism hurt.
''It was a big
struggle, and I didn't understand it,'' she said. ''But in
the end I rationalized that when a woman has a child and
goes through natural childbirth, she suffers an
Ritchie have a son, Rocco, 7, and Madonna has a daughter,
Madonna met David
while establishing charity projects in Malawi. She is
funding her own and six other orphanages in the country.
Malawi organization also announced that the singer is
funding a multimillion-dollar academy for
disadvantaged children in Malawi.
I Am Because We Are, a new documentary that
Madonna produced and narrated, shows poverty and disease
devastating the lives of Malawi's children and urges
people to volunteer. (AP)