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Last Updated: Sunday, 22 October 2006, 17:39 GMT 18:39 UK
Father questions Madonna adoption
Madonna says she has followed all adoption procedures
The father of the Malawian boy adopted by singer Madonna now says he would not have agreed to adoption if he knew it meant giving up his son "for good".

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

Mr Banda had previously said the adoption was for the best of his child.

David was flown to Britain to live with Madonna after a Malawian judge granted her a temporary order to take him.

Malawi's High Court will on Friday hear a legal challenge to the adoption brought by a human rights group which argues that foreign adoptive parents must live in Malawi for 18 months.


Mr Banda had previously said the "so-called human rights groups should leave my baby alone".

However on Sunday, Mr Banda, who is illiterate, said he had no idea what the High Court adoption papers he signed had meant and he was "just realising" what the procedure entailed.

He said: "I was never told that adoption means that David will no longer be my son... If I was told this, I would not have allowed the adoption.

David Banda arrives at Heathrow Airport
David Banda has been flown to the UK to live with Madonna

"I want more clarification on the adoption. I would prefer that David goes back to the orphanage where I can see him any time I want, rather than send him away for good."

Mr Banda, 32, said he thought Madonna would just "educate and take care of our son".

But he still thanked Madonna for rescuing David "from poverty and disease".

"We pray for the good Lord to keep blessing her for her benevolence," he told Associated Press news agency.

Mr Banda's cousin, Wiseman Zimba, told AP: "Our understanding as family is that David is still part and parcel of our clan. After the good woman nurtures and educates him, he will return back."

Mr Banda's wife died shortly after childbirth so he left David in an orphanage.

Madonna, 48, insists she has acted "according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child".

However, the Human Rights Consultative Committee is challenging the adoption in Malawi's High Court, arguing residency rules were flouted and the ruling could set a human-trafficking precedent.

Madonna funds six orphanages through her Raising Malawi charity and is setting up an orphanage for 4,000 children in a village outside the capital, Lilongwe.

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