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Christian Dad Not Told Truth About Madonna
October 16, 2006

By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

Dressed in dirt-stained pants and a black denim jacket, a 31-year-old man waited at the High Court in Lilongwe, the capital of Malawi, to meet the woman who would take his baby son away.

Yohane Banda had previously suffered the loss of his 28-year-old wife, Marita, a week after little David was born.

The baby was reportedly offered up for adoption without his father's knowledge. David's photo, along with pictures of 12 other "suitable" male infants, had been e-mailed to famed pop princess Madonna.

It is clear from Yohane's statements that he was unaware of the famous celebrity who wished to become his son's mother. In an interview with the London Daily Mail, Yohane explained that September 30, 2006 was the first time the idea of adoption had been brought to his attention. Two officials from Malawi's Ministry of Gender and Child Welfare had come to his village to tell him that "a white foreigner had seen a picture of David and liked him very much."

Yohane is a committed Christian. When his wife was alive, they sang together in the local church choir.

Yohane was unfamiliar with Madonna's music, image and, more importantly, her Kabbalah faith. Instead, he was told that she was "a very nice Christian lady," a description that is grossly inconsistent with a performance segment of Madonna's concert tour in which she dons a crown of thorns and "crucifies" herself on stage.

Told that the wealthy white lady offered a better life for his son, Yohane explained, "At first I wasn't very sure. I asked if it meant that I would never see him again. They said I would be sent pictures and when David was older he would be able to visit the village. My family and I agreed that this was a very good opportunity for David to get an education and grow up healthy."

Adding to his misfortune, Yohane is illiterate. He was unable to read the nine-page document delivered by retired minister Reverend Thompson Chipeta, which was written in English, and granted permission for the adoption. Chipeta manages the Home Of Hope Orphan Care Centre in a nearby town.

David had been in the orphanage since his mother passed away. Yohane's hope was that one day his son would return to live at home.

"I was scared he would die like my other children so I took him where he could be looked after properly. I felt very sore in my heart, but I could think of no other way," Yohane said.

For the past nine months Yohane has routinely ridden his bicycle 25 miles to see his only surviving offspring. "I wanted him to know that I was his father, that I love him very much. He is my only child still living and I think of him as a gift from God."

"He will always be in my heart. I hate to see him leave Malawi but I have come to accept the loss," Yohane said.

Sources told the Mail that after landing in Malawi Madonna rushed to see her chosen one. She immediately moved David and his nanny into a private room. She reportedly said that he had lovely hair and skin. "Oh, he's beautiful, I just adore him," Madonna said.

The emphasis on the baby's looks was reflected in the material girl's statements to Yohane when she finally met the baby's father at the courthouse.

"Your son is very beautiful and he makes me very happy. I promise to take very good care of him," Madonna told Yohane.

Generally, under Malawian law, non-residents are prohibited from adopting. In a move that suggests celebrity preferential treatment, Malawi's High Court issued a ruling that allowed Madonna and filmmaker husband Guy Ritchie to take custody of the baby.

Yohane's family members have written a letter to the orphanage requesting that David not be taken out of the country by a "rich white donor" and that he be raised with a knowledge of Malawian culture.

Madonna has not yet visited the 1-year-old's homeland village.

On behalf of dozens of non-governmental organizations, Eye of the Child, a child advocacy group in Malawi, has gone as far as filing the necessary papers to seek an injunction to stop Madonna from adopting the boy.

Serious questions about the adoption deserve a response, if merely on a human level.

• Since David's father is a committed Christian, why wasn't Madonna's commitment to the Kabbalah faith disclosed to him?

• Could not Madonna have chosen to adopt one of the hundreds of thousands of other parentless infants throughout the world who await a loving home?

• Is it in good conscience to separate a child from his natural father when within your means you have the ability to provide the resources that would allow the infant to remain with his father?

• What is in the best interest of Baby David and what action would be more truly born of love?

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Copyright © 2006
James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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