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Madonna adopts African child

Thursday, October 12, 2006

London (Reuters): Pop star Madonna has adopted a one-year-old African boy, his father claimed, saying he was happy his son would escape a life of poverty in Malawi, British tabloid newspapers reported today. The Sun splashed a picture of the singer dressed in a safari hat and smiling, with a young child it said she had chosen at an orphanage strapped to her back. Last week, a spokeswoman for Madonna denied comments by officials in the African state that the performer had adopted a child. A spokeswoman in Britain did not immediately return calls for comment on the latest reports.

The Sun and the Daily Mail said Madonna had chosen 13-month-old David Banda, whose mother died of complications after giving birth. The boy's father, Yohane Banda, 32, was quoted in both newspapers as saying: ''I am very happy. As you can see there is poverty in my village.'' Banda, who said he could not afford to bring up his son, did not meet Madonna but was told his boy was being adopted by a ''famous US musician''.

He said: ''I know he will be very happy in America. We are told David will be coming back regularly to know his roots.'' Madonna, who already has a son and daughter, was looking after David in an upscale lodge in Malawi's capital, Lilongwe, according to the Sun. The 48-year-old singer and her film director husband Guy Ritchie plan to raise the child at their homes in Britain and the United States once the legal adoption process is completed, it said.

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