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Saturday, March 28, 2009

Madonna's Kids

Well, fresh from her British divorce, it appears that American pop singer Madonna is on the verge of adopting another child from Africa. This time it is reported to be a four-year old little orphan girl. You may remember that Madonna adopted a boy not that long ago, from Malawi. (These African adoptions are not Madonna's only children.)

Save the Children - a British children's charity - is urging Madonna to "think twice." In a press release this week, Save the Children said they are in no way suggesting that Madonna hasn't done everything "by the book." But they said that "sometimes the book can fail." They went on to explain that these orphan children really should be kept in their extended families and in their ancestral communities.

This of course is not the first time an American celebrity has adopted from a third world country. (As of late, it seems to be quite the thing to do!) It is also not the first time such a celebrity has been criticized for adopting these children. I doubt that it will be the last.

So here's the thing. There are something like 30 million orphans in the world right now. I haven't seen hoards of people lining up from any country to adopt them. So Save the Children, I respectfully disagree with your conclusion. On the one hand, we can leave this four-year old little girl in her community in Malawi. She'll be raised in poverty, with poor nutrition, poor education and probably not have a long or fruitful life. Or she can become Madonna's daughter, where she'll get the best advantages the world can offer in terms of health, education, welfare and opportunities. Which do you think is better?

I've blogged before about the plight of Africans who remain in Africa versus those who get out. Generally speaking, those who get out of Africa - even if as descendants of slaves - are doing much better. They live better and they live longer. They are probably happier. And there is no doubt that they are more resourced and more capable because of it.

I don't know how good of a mother Madonna is. But generally speaking, I'd say, "Way to go, girl!" Rescue that child from a hard, impoverished and miserable life. God bless you for it. Now we just need to find about 30 million more people who care enough to stand in the gap for the world's unwanted kids.

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