The biological relatives of Mercy James, the child Madonna adopted in Malawi in 2009, are disheartened because they thought Mercy would stay in contact while growing up and that one day, she could even return home.
Peter Banet even tried to warn the family of the four-year-old twins Madonna adopted. Mercy’s uncle said he didn’t want the family of Esther and Stella Mwale to suffer a similar fate.
“You may never see your children again, never have contact with them. It will be as if your children have died. That is the pain we feel every day,” he told the Daily Mail.
It was Peter who signed the papers allowing the pop songstress to adopt Mercy because her 14-year-old mother died just days after giving birth. He claims that they were told that they would see the child again.
“I put my hand up in court, swore an oath and signed the adoption consent. I can never forgive myself for that, and there is sadness and disappointment throughout my family. I have to take the blame. I am ashamed.”
Ever since Madonna took Mercy to New York, they haven’t seen the child who’s now ten. While Madonna sometimes takes Mercy to Malawi for “cultural visits,” Peter claims that the celebrity’s team never reaches out to them.
In 2015, Madonna took her daughter to Blantyre’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital where they launched a project that raised $7.5 million. The funds went to building the Mercy James pediatric surgical ward that would open next year. According to Peter, they only knew about the visit when they saw his niece in the local newspaper. He made a plea to the songstress.
” Do you not care at all about Mercy’s family? Her family is here, alive, and we want to see her and talk to her. We appeal to anyone, in the government or in Madonna’s employment, to help us be in touch with Mercy again. We are glad that she is getting a good education, of course. That is a positive thing. But we are her birth family, her blood relatives, and we don’t even know where she is. No one is listening to us. We have been very badly deceived.”
As opposed to what others are thinking, he said they did not receive money after Mercy’s adoption. He urged the twins’ father, Adam, to reconsider his decision because it could mean a “future as if your children are dead and gone.”
The mother of the twins Madonna has adopted died after losing a lot of blood while giving birth. The girls have five older siblings. Their father has remarried and stated inability to support the twins financially.
It was recently confirmed that the pop star’s application was successful after Judge Fiona Mwale (not related to the twins) announced that she was satisfied with Madonna’s answers.
The “Material Girl” hitmaker was reportedly asked “uncomfortable questions” by the judge to determine her intentions. In the end, the judge ruled out that Madonna “is motivated by her desire to offer a home, love, protection and guidance to the infants.”
As per CBC, Judge Mwale asked such questions because she was aware that the “petitioner is a professional performer” and that there was a possibility of her “merely reciting a well-rehearsed speech,” but Madonna responded with “very candid answers.”
“There is no doubt that the petitioner can offer the infants not only the best education money can buy, but also guidance with a high likelihood of ensuring that the two infants grow to be self-sufficient adults,” Judge Mwale said.
Esther and Stella won’t have their birth names changed because Madonna wants them to maintain their identity as Malawians. A care professional from the country will also travel with the twins to New York to help them adjust.
Apart from Mercy, Esther, and Stella, Madonna has likewise adopted David from Malawi. She is also a mom to her two biological children, Lourdes Leon and Rocco Ritchie.
[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for J/P HRO]