Madonna Wins Malawi Adoption Appeal

On Friday, Malawi's highest court ruled that Madonna can adopt a second child — 3-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James — from the African country.

"It's the wee hours of morning in New York, but she is excited at the news," Madonna's lawyer Alan Chinula told the Associated Press. "As her lawyer, I am happy that this has settled this contentious issue."

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Sources at the High Court tell Usmagazine.com that Mercy could be with Madonna as early as next week. "Her passport is already being prepared – we're not going to pause this over the weekend," says a senior-level insider. "Madonna and Mercy should be together by Wednesday [next week]."

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Mercy is currently being transferred to the Kumbali lodge, which is where Madonna resides while staying in Malawi. Chinula said he would now turn to arranging a passport for Chifundo, which could take several days. He said he is awaiting word from Madonna on travel plans for the girl. A lower court had denied Madonna's bid to adopt in April, claiming she had not spent enough time in the country.

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But in Friday's one-hour ruling, Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo praised the Madonna's commitment to helping disadvantaged children and slammed "old laws" that prevented first adoption attempts.

"The matter of residence should be determined at the time of application of the adoption," Chief Justice Lovemore Munlo said. "In this case, Madonna was in Malawi not by chance but by intention. She is looking after several orphans whose welfare depends on her. She can therefore not be described as a sojourner." He later added: "Every child has the right to love."

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