Despite the original decision to deny Madonna the right to supersede laws in Malawi requiring adoptive parents to live in the country for a period of at least a year, an appeals court allowed her to adopt the child based on:
[the belief that the initial] decision did not take into account the singer’s commitment to helping disadvantaged children
the child would have a better life with the star. (BBC News)
While I do think adoption is an important solution to a failing foster system around the world, I do not think that celebrities adopting children as part of self-aggrandizing “humanitarian aid” should be celebrated. Instead of commenting on this, I am going to quote a friend’s reaction to a Times Magazine cover on “the plight of Africa” that featured celebrities from all over the world but less than 1% of African activists or inernal organizations:
The West needs Africa to be perpetually failing. It confirms their racist assumptions about black rule and about white saviors formed in the initial colonial contact. If they [the West] focused on the successes in Africa, on the organizations and people who work daily, without cameras nor concerts, to make the lives of their people better with them, part of them, as them, then the West would have to put their capes away. They would have to address how chaos in Africa was born of a map carved through her skin for European wealth and re-carved daily for raw materials like diamonds, gold, coltan, even rainforest wood. It’s easier to talk about the starving and the dying as problems indigenous to a black continent than to address how many women and children have died because of HIV when the west has the coctail or talk about wars and genocides without ever asking where the weapons come from or why. So bully for Bono and Oprah and Angelina Jolie, without them, we would all just open our collective fetid mouths and die . . .