You’ve got to give it to Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.  Those two sure know how to legally adopt orphaned children.  They go to impoverished countries, do some charity work, and collaborate with established adoption agencies in order to make educated decisions about adding a child to their family.  Madonna, on the other hand, seems to have no clue.  She goes to Malawi, grabs an “orphan” with a father and a grandmother, and runs for it (or at least she paid/coerced her assistant to run for it). 

I hesitate to call the Material Mom an idiot, but I’m pretty close to doing so.  The continent of Africa literally has millions of children whose parents have died from disease or war, and this well-intentioned celebrity decides to adopt a child that has family capable of going to the media.  This situation kind of makes Madonna look like a loon.  One of the reasons I am concerned about this at all is that there is a seemingly helpless Malawian father involved.  Another reason is the safety of the children remaining in the orphanage is at stake.  Malawi’s adoption program is so strict in part because there are sickos out there that traffic children for labor and sex.  The existing protocols are in place to protect the kids from that kind of exploitation.  Should Madonna be exempt?  Perhaps, but not at the detriment of the remaining children or the ignorant father.

I hope this confusion is resolved amicably and that any good people that are thinking of adopting from Africa continue to pursue the option.  We shouldn’t let one famous person’s mess color how we feel about adopting from nations in crisis.  We should also remember that even though it’s currently in vogue to adopt from oversees that there are children right here in the United States of America in need of loving homes.  Either way, it’s all about the health, safety, and happiness of the children.