I swore to myself that I’d never write about celebrities – as there are so many sites dedicated to them already (which I also read) – but I’m about to break my own vow, because today reeeally got my goat.
You know what I’m talking about – the whole Madonna-Malawi-adoption saga.
According to the latest, The Material Girl – who was in the African country to pledge millions of dollars to help almost a million orphans with food, shelter, and education – has chosen to adopt a 13-month-old boy (that little guy, top left). But instead of following the laws of the country and going about this the correct way (which would be adhering to an 18-month adoption order as granted by the court), the woman has had the child whisked out of the country; by the time I post this, he’ll probably be halfway to his new life in London to his ridiculously rich new family.
While the little tyke’s dad – who lost his wife during the birth of said son – is happy his little boy is getting the good life he could never afford to give him, lobby groups are saying the exact opposite. Even the man’s own relatives are torn over his decision.
Now I understand the whole “celebrities put on their pants, one leg at a time, like other people” philosophy. Non-celebrities adopt kids from different races or cultures all the time. And sure, Madonna’s not the first one to adopt a child from another country. Meg Ryan did it. Ewan MacGregor did it. Angelina Jolie did it – twice. Way back when, actresses Mia Farrow and Julie Andrews did it.
But it just seems like lately, celebrities adopting a child from a foreign, often poorer country – or even talking about thinking about adopting a foreign kid – is, like the equivalent of starting one’s own Cabbage Patch Kid collection. But for real – no stuffed, cornsilk imitations for these elite folks.
And I’m sure that not all the people who do adopt do it ’cause it’s de rigueur. But where’s the line between adopting out of good conscience and because they want to provide for another human being, and adopting a kid because it’s “in” ?
And – apologies about the cliche – but what about the children? Sure, little David Banda’s barely walking and talking, never mind having a clue what’s going on. But he’s not having a say in what’s happening to him. And what will happen when he gets older and realizes, hey, I kinda am different from my adoptive family? Or, what will happen if he starts asking, exactly who am I? Where did I come from? Who are my people? Do I have any biological family left? And the myriad other questions that’ll swirl around in this little guy’s head when he’s old enough to think of them.
But I think my biggest issue is that Madonna – in my honest opinion – abused her star power by skirting the law just to get what she wants, because she can. No one else under normal circumstances would ever get away with what she did; why should she?
If she had just pledged the money and made a promise to visit every so often to check on the progress … or even just promise to help little David and his family out (or his village, since she could afford to toss a couple million dollars at almost a million kids), I’d totally understand. But I think whole adoption controversy just undermines what she went to Malawi to do in the first place, and basically cheapened it.
Instead of just giving, it seems she couldn’t leave without taking something – or in this case, someone – with her.