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Madonna and another Malawi child?

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"You could argue that the benefits, the finances that Madonna will be able to bring to that child's upbringing and education could be in the best interests of the child," Ms. Bloemen adds, "but when you have 11 million orphans in the countries of Africa, this is not a sustainable solution."

In previous interviews with local Malawian media, Madonna has indicated that she was considering a second adoption after her 2006 adoption of David Banda, who was then a year old. (Madonna has two biological children as well, Rocco and Lourdes.) Her interest in Malawi stems from a film documentary she is working on about the effect of AIDS in that central African country. There are a reported 1.5 million AIDS orphans in Malawi alone, a country with only 13.9 million people.

According to reports verified by the Monitor, Madonna plans to adopt 3-year-old Mercy James, an orphan now living at Kondanani Orphanage in Thyolo, a town situated 18 miles south of the commercial hub, Blantyre.

Her second visit to Malawi, as with her first trip to Malawi in 2006, has sparked a heated debate among locals and Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs). Government officials have maintained an official silence on the issue, but some civil society organizations say that the pop star was using her influence to speed the adoption and manipulate the weak adoption laws.

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