Madonna has been raising David Banda since 2006
Madonna has compared the "painful" struggle of her controversial adoption plans with the suffering women go through in natural childbirth.
The singer was speaking at a press conference at the Cannes Film Festival about her film, I Am Because We Are, about Malawi's Aids orphans.
"Hopefully, after we get through this adoption, it will be easier for people to adopt children," she said.
She is currently in the process of adopting a two-year-old Malawian boy.
"It was painful, and it was a big struggle, and I didn't understand it," she said.
"But in the end I rationalised that, when a woman has a child and goes through natural childbirth, she suffers an enormous amount.
"So I sort of went through my own kind of birthing pains with dealing with the press on my front doorstep accusing me of kidnapping or whatever you want to call it."
The 49-year-old has been raising David Banda since 2006, when she met him while in Malawi establishing charity projects there.
However she dismissed the criticism of her adoption plans.
Sharon Stone attended the European premiere of the film in Cannes
"There is nothing controversial about the adoption. It is just there's a lot of bureaucracy and administration," she said.
"This adoption essentially was the beginning of the creation of adoption laws in Malawi. I am the template or the role model so to speak for future adoptions."
Madonna wrote, produced and directed I Am because We Are, which shows a stark picture of desperate poverty in Malawi.
Featuring former US president Bill Clinton and Archbishop Desmond Tutu among others, the movie follows the real-life stories of children and their parents who have died.
The singer will join actress Sharon Stone later on Thursday to raise money for Aids research charity Amfar.