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Last Updated: Wednesday, 25 October 2006, 15:14 GMT 16:14 UK
Madonna's Oprah interview: In quotes
Madonna has appeared on Oprah Winfrey's US chat show to talk about her planned adoption of 13-month-old Malawian boy, David Banda.

The pop star addressed the media storm over her plans, and dismissed claims that the adoption was illegal.


I wanted to go into a third world country - I wasn't sure where - and give a life to a child who might not otherwise have had one.

I'm financing a documentary about orphans in Malawi, so I was allowed to view footage and photographs of a lot of the children.

An eight-year-old girl who is living with HIV was holding this child. I became transfixed by him. But I didn't yet know I was going to adopt him. I was just drawn to him.

When I met him, he was extremely ill... He had severe pneumonia, and he could hardly breathe. I was in a state of panic, because I didn't want to leave him in the orphanage.

We got permission to take him to a clinic to have a bronchial dilator put on him. He's still a little bit ill, not completely free of his pneumonia, but he's much better than he was when we found him.


I assure you it doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa.

There are no adoption laws in Malawi. And I was warned by my social worker that because there were no known laws in Malawi, they were more or less going to have to make them up as we went along.

And she did say to me: "Pick Ethiopia. Go to Kenya. Don't go to Malawi because you're just going to get a hard time."

[Malawi is in] a state of emergency. As far as I'm concerned, the adoption laws have to be changed to suit that state of emergency.


I didn't realize that the adoption was causing any controversy until I came back [from Africa].

There were a million film crews in the airport and press camped outside my door. I don't read newspapers or watch television, but all of my friends have let me know what everybody's talking about and what's going on in the news.

So it didn't really hit me until I got back to England. It's pretty shocking.


Here's what I knew - David had been living in this orphanage since he was two weeks old.

He had survived malaria and tuberculosis, and no one from his extended family had visited him since the time he arrived.

So from my perspective, there was no one looking after David's welfare.

The pop star says she later met David's father, who agreed to give him up for adoption.

Yohane Banda now says adoption services in Malawi never told him the procedure meant that 13-month-old David would no longer be his son.

Madonna says she believes Mr Banda has been manipulated by the media.

I looked into that man's eyes... I believe at this point in time, he's been terrorized by the media.

They have asked him things, repeatedly, and they have put words in his mouth.

They have spun a story that is completely false.

I understand that gossip and telling negative stories sells newspapers.

But I think, for me, I'm disappointed because it discourages other people from doing the same thing.

I feel like the media is doing a great disservice to all the orphans of Africa, period, not just Malawi, by turning it into such a negative thing.

Madonna was speaking on The Oprah Winfrey show (Harpo Productions).

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