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Last Updated: Friday, 7 September 2007, 10:06 GMT 11:06 UK
Adoption official visits Madonna
Madonna and David Banda
Madonna took custody of David Banda in October 2006
Pop star Madonna has been visited by a child welfare official from Malawi to assess whether she should be allowed to adopt a child from the African country.

Simon Chisale was seen leaving the singer's home in London, but refused to comment to waiting reporters.

Madonna and her husband, film director Guy Ritchie, were granted an 18-month interim custody order of David Banda, then 13 months old, last October.

Mr Chisale is due to file a report on their suitability as adoptive parents.

The interim custody order could be revoked if officials believed David had been treated differently from the couple's other children - 10-year-old Lourdes and Rocco, who is six - or if they felt the toddler's rights were being violated.

The adoption will only receive final approval when Malawi's authorities are satisfied that the child is being properly cared for.

Celebrity status

Mr Chisale's visit comes after another Malawian official was removed from the case for allegedly taking money from the singer.

On Monday, a top civil servant in the ministry responsible for child welfare, Adrina Mchiela, stated that Madonna had been funding a member of ministry staff.

The singer was said to have paid for tuition and living expenses whilst an employee was studying in Britain.

But Madonna has denied using her celebrity status to evade Malawian laws during the adoption process.

Her spokeswoman stated there had been "absolutely no interference" with government officials and "no use of Madonna's 'celebrity'" to speed up the adoption process.

And Madonna's lawyer in Malawi said he was co-operating with Mr Chisale.


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