This time around, Madonna isn’t getting into the adoption groove.
Despite backing from the government and assurances from her lawyer that it was a done deal, a Malawi court today shot down the Material Mom’s request to adopt a second child from the African nation on a technicality. The judge chalked up the denial to Madonna not meeting a simple residency requirement — a would-be parent must live in the country 18 to 24 months ahead of time.
“I must have to decline to grant the application to Madonna,” Judge Esme Chombo wrote in a ruling following the closed-door proceeding. The pop icon was not present for the ruling.
But Madonna, who sought custody of 3-year-old orphan Chifundo “Mercy” James, isn’t taking no for answer. “I just filed the notice of appeal [with the Supreme Court] on instructions from my client,” her lawyer, Alan Chinula, later announced.
Chombo apparently stuck to the letter of the law in reaching her decision—a law that was skirted back in 2006, when Madonna and then-husband Guy Ritchie adopted David Banda, now 3, amid controversy over calls of favoritism and rule bending.