Monday, October 16, 2006
So it's 'amtlich', Madonna is trying to adopt a boy in Malawi. Should she be allowed to do so? A whole bunch of professional do-gooders believe she shouldn't. Mostly children's charities operating in Malawi and the perhaps inescapable church groups. They're currently going to court in Malawai to prevent the adoption from going ahead.
This leads to various interesting questions, chief among them whether Madonna's course of action was the best she could have taken under the circumstances. This question is being asked by lots of commentators and the opinion of most is that Madonna is doing something wrong. Their main rationale is that she could help more orphans in Malawai if she sponsored instead schools or sponsored a much larger number of children thru a charity.
The critics clearly have a point here. However, that taking legal action in order to prevent the adoption from going ahead is the right response is doubtful. Imagine if it became a universal rule that unless you undertook a particular course of altruistic action some charity or other would sue you and demand that you do what it believes is the best thing (usually probably sponsor the charity and its staff...). In Madonna's case, it seems somewhat clear that everyone is better off (the child will have a fairly comfortable upbringing together with Madonna's other pampered off-spring; Madonna got the additional child that she wanted, the kid's biological father is supportive because he doesn't have to worry anylonger abbout the child's welfare).
So, while we're probably entitled to snigger at Madonna's action, clearly the actual outcome is desireable. There certainly is no reason to take legal action to prevent the adoption from going ahead.
A second question that puzzles me a bit is this: If the charities are really so concerned about children in need, is it acceptable to put a lot of stress on a little child in order to pursue a legal (and, let's face it, political) case against Madonna. After all, while the kid is getting used to seeing Madonna and her other half as his parents, there are these children's charities trying to bring this process to an end. How would the kid feel if they succeeded? Surely it's not better off returning to an impoverished African orphanage. The point I am trying to make is that the legal case is surely not in the child's best interest, quite to the contrary.
This, again, makes me wonder about the charities' motives.
I can't help thinking that this adoption is also a fairly powerfulstatement against racism...