n Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - 'As painful as giving birth' : a reflection on the Madonna adoption saga

Volume 41, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



The adoption of a Malawian child by Madonna has attracted a significant amount of media and public attention. It has been described as 'controversial', 'emotional', and 'painful'. Madonna herself said that the process has been 'as painful as giving birth'. The aim of this note is to comment on the decision of the High Court of Malawi handed down on 28 May 2008 in the matter of the Adoption of Children Act (CAP. 26 : 01) and in the matter of David Banda (a male infant). The conclusion underscores what the macro level contribution of the Madonna Judgment has been, and reasons that, even though it might have been as painful as giving birth, it has indeed been worthwhile.

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