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Last Updated: Monday, 16 October 2006, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
Madonna facing adoption wrangle
Madonna visited several orphanages while in Malawi
A group of Malawian charities aiming to stop Madonna adopting a local boy has deferred efforts to gain an injunction.

The Human Rights Consultative Committee claims the adoption of one-year-old David Banda is unlawful because Madonna has not lived in the African country.

A spokesman said they needed more time to follow up reports of family members opposed to the boy going abroad.

The singer and husband Guy Ritchie have been granted an interim court order approving the adoption.

The couple returned to the UK at the weekend after a 10-day visit to Malawi.

'Disgruntled people '

The boy remains in Malawi while passport and visa issues are being dealt with. Malawian officials said he was being cared for currently by members of Madonna's entourage.

The committee of 67 human rights organisations is seeking a judicial review and had been due to go to court on Monday.

The group says it wants to interview an unidentified uncle of David's who is "said to be opposed to the adoption plan."

Why not support the child's paternal father, house them, feed them, educate the little boy for life and give him the chance to succeed in his own society?
Maddelean, Cairo

Justin Dzodzi, who chairs the rights group, said it had sent investigators to the orphanage where Banda lives to "get a feel of what the villagers and relatives feel about the adoption and if anyone opposes it".

He added: "We want to thoroughly prepare for this challenge and part of our legal action is dependent on getting some disgruntled people to swear affidavits."

The committee insists that Malawian law prohibits international adoption and requires a minimum of 18 months assessment.

But Penston Kilembe, director of child welfare in the Ministry of Gender, Child Welfare and Community Services, said Madonna and Ritchie had broken no laws.

"The process did not start today - Madonna's people have been pushing the papers for some time and her coming was just to sign the papers to conclude the process," he said.

Father's consent

The child had been cared for at the Home of Hope Orphan Care Centre in a village close to the border with Zambia, after his mother died a month after his birth from related complications.

The boy's father, Yohame Banda, has agreed to the adoption.

"What I want is a good life for my child," he said.

Madonna travelled to the region with Ritchie to help fight poverty and the problem of HIV and Aids.

She has pledged to donate about $3m (1.6m) to help 900,000 orphans in Malawi.

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

Madonna on a visit to Malawi

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