Page last updated at 11:09 GMT, Wednesday, 11 October 2006 12:09 UK

Madonna 'adopts child in Africa'

Madonna hopes to highlight the problem of Aids in Malawi

Pop star Madonna has adopted a one-year-old boy in Malawi, according to reports.

The boy's father, Yohane Banda, told the Associated Press: "I know he will be very happy in America."

Speculation the singer was planning to adopt began when she flew into Malawi and visited several orphanages.

Madonna's publicist initially denied the adoption reports but a spokeswoman has now said an official statement is expected within 48 hours.

Adoption papers

Mr Banda said: "I am the father of David, who has been adopted. I am very very happy because as you can see there is poverty in this village and I know he will be very well looked after in America."

He told reporters that his wife Marita died a month after the baby's birth from childbirth complications.

Since then the child had been cared for at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Centre in Mchinji, a village near the border with Zambia.

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Madonna said she had travelled to the region with her husband, film-maker Guy Ritchie, to help fight poverty and the problem of HIV and AIDS.

A government official in Malawi had claimed Madonna was due to file for adoption papers on arriving in the country last week.

The 48-year-old already has two children, five-year-old son Rocco and nine-year-old daughter Lourdes.

If the singer has gone ahead with the adoption she follows in the footsteps of Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie.

Jolie, who gave birth to Brad Pitt's child Shiloh Nouvel in Namibia, has also adopted children from Cambodia and Ethiopia.


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