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Our First Glimpse of Madonna's Adopted Baby Boy

Our First Glimpse of Madonna's Adopted Baby Boy

Madonna‘s one-year-old adopted Malawian boy arrived in Britian yesterday. You can see his right leg above! Wahoo! Madonna‘s son, David Banda, flew via Johannesburg from Malawi overnight with a bodyguard and Madonna‘s nanny/personal assistant. They arrived at London’s Heathrow airport early in the morning. Malawian authorities earlier waived local rules to grant Madonna and her film director husband, Guy Ritchie, an interim adoption. More pictures in the gallery!

UPDATE :: Pictures of David Banda‘s face have been added! And an open letter from Madonna has arrived! Check it:

My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi. I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter. After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family.

Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate. The procedure includes an l8 month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent. This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.

I am overwhelmed and inspired by my trip to Malawi and hope that it helps bring attention to how much more the world needs to do to help the children of Africa.

My heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes I have received and I hope the press will allow my family some room for us to experience the joy we feel to have David home.

Madonna Ritchie
October 17, 2006
London, England

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  • black

    Finally she won- but who is holding him……..the nanny- as usual…

  • Meli

    Madonna did a real good thing.I wish the best for that little boy and his new family.Adoption is not an easy desision,especially if you already have biological children.So don’t think that she did it for fun or publicity.It’s a great responsibility for the rest of her life.Of course there will be different opinions,but who can deny that this boy’s life is going to be a lot better now.And that’s the point.

  • http://justjared airhostess

    I hope she loves this child as he deserves to be loved.

  • http://none DJ

    This baby boy has a father, and Madonna MUST return to child. She is HORRIBLE.

  • http://none DJ

    OOPS I made a typo.

    This baby boy has a father, Yohane Banda. The father, to poor to raise his son, and fearing the child would die, put his son in an orphanage. Reportedly, he continued to visit his child when he could, riding his bicycle 25 miles each way to see his son. Madonna MUST return this child to his father. She is HORRIBLE if she does not return the child. If she has a heart, she will return this child to his father, with a check to support the child until he turns 21 and finishes college.

  • nunupie

    Even if Madonna gave him back, he’d go back to a life of poverty and he might come from a loving family but his chances in life are minimal in Africa. Granted some have said why doesnt she give his family money to look after him, in reality, its a drop in the ocean and one simply cant give make a difference, as an african myself, I can say that I understand and grasp the level of poverty in Africa, it simply isnt feasible to help them all! I say congrats to her, here is ONE person making a difference, may others follow her lead!

  • Orphan

    CAn she just support him without taking from his father? Its different if he’s an orphan, he can bring him to London.

  • http://none DJ

    Nunupie …. I agree, I can’t grasp the level of poverty in Africa. One rich person can’t make a huge difference in that economy. However, Madonna can ensure that this child is raised with her financial help. He has a father, he has a grandmother, and he belongs with them. If she wants to adopt, she should adopt an orphan. This child is not an orphan.

  • Jen

    Does anyone else find it a little weird that Madonna sent her body gaurd and nanny to pick up her newly adopted son, but did not go as well? She could’nt even take the time to be there too? Or was she told not to return to the country or something?

  • Liz

    The father grew up in Africa. He was never adopted. This is bullshit. Madonna is insane, and just wait until the father and the grandmother extort money from Madonna. Madonna is an idiot. This doesn’t change the conditions in Africa. How will this change corrupt governments there? Madonna cares about Madonna.

  • Me Again!

    For one we don’t know the entire story. From what has been reported on TV the David’s mom died either while giving birth or soon after and the child was placed in the orphanage. So where was David’s dad then? So just b/c your poor you leave YOUR flesh and blood in an orphanage where they can’t be around you and family…someone said the grandmother is there…why not give the child to the grandmother?

    There are so many questions to this situation and we shouldn’t be the judge of any of it…

    David has a home with a family…we don’t even know if his father regularly visited him or not…but he now has tha family core…just leave it alone.

    In the end…it will all work out whether he stays with the Ritchie’s or not….right!

  • Tiffany

    David was in an orphanage because his father couldn’t take care of him. He didn’t just dump him there and abandon him. He has said that his first inclination was to keep him instead of placing him in an orphanage. It was a hard decision to make. His father probably thought in his own way that he was doing what was best for David.

    I also found it unusual that out of all the AIDS orphans who are completely parentless, she would choose a child who has family alive.

    I won’t be too critical yet. I want to see what her charity Raising Malawi actually accomplishes. Will it help the nation of Malawi or not have any impact? I guess it depends on how much time and effort is placed into making it work.

    I will be optimistic and say that I hope her aid will help the people regardless of whether we believe she’s materialistic or using the child for publicity.

    I always believe much-needed attention needs to stay on Africa. It may not be the form we hope or approve, but we need to be aware of the plight of its people and also their hope and joys.

  • ukusa

    #12 Me Again— read #5 by DJ before you spout — if what DJ says is true then this is really a sad situation – unless Madonna plans to send support to David’s extended family so they can survive to be there when he visits “frequently” as she has promised. The silver lining is that when he is old enought to realize what happened he may be in a position to help out everyone of his relatives and the village he was born into. Who knows Madonna may even ship in his father and other relatives to visit him occasionally. I sure hope so.

  • http://justjared airhostess

    Imagine if all the wealthy people in the world were to adopt one child,how many orphans would there be. If you have the means and the love to give to a child and want to adopt ,then do it. No child should grow up in an orphanage.

  • Pandy

    I love when people adopt celebrity or not!

  • gossippup

    This is so wonderful. BP and AJ are inspiring people. One child can change the world.

  • Me Again!

    14 | ukusa

    Not going to get in a match with you. Read the point of MY COMMENT.

    Just happy David has what he has right now and out of the orphanage…that’s it …that’s all

    I’m outta here!!!

  • gossippup

    the reality is that the country, parents etc care little about these kids. Let some be saved. People are not forced to support the whole family of adopted kids here… that is really stupid to say. Let her save this child and give him chance. Most of these AIDS orphans are due to men cheating on their wives culturally accepted. These men need to get a clue instead of killing their whole family for a piece of ass.

  • MALIBUMOM

    Here goes. There has been extreme war, poverty, starvation and diesease in Africa. Most of this came about because of greed and hatred. Africa is the richest Continent when it comes to natural resources, yet where are the Peace Keepers and US troops trying to create and maintain democracy? I am apalled that Madonna would adopt a child who has living relatives. What’s the problem here? Why not get a group of skilled laborers and ship some tools and building materials over to where you want to helpout. Build decent homes and schools and hospitals. It can be done if only one village at a time. The money some celebs spend on flying to a conference to speak or to hear someone speak can easily bve spent buying some wood, nails. . . Teach the ppl to build and maintain functioning communities. I refuse to believe it cannot be done. CARE, FEED THE CHILDREN, and all of these organizations have been collecting money in the name of charity since I was born. WHERE are the results??? Madonna could have brought David -his dad and grandmother out of that country and made sure they were educated and trained so that they could make it in life. What if she died in childbirth with one of her kids and what if Guy only made a little money. There is NO WAY she would want someone to take rocco or Lourdes away and raise them without their father. She is the epitome of ignorance, vanity, and selfishness. She DESERVES EVERYTHING that’s coming her way-

  • Dodo

    To # 17 gossippup. Give it a rest, just because u adopt a child does not mean that u have been inspired by Angelina and/or Brad, children have been adopted for ages before those two were even born. Let’s hope the boy is well taken care of and that he can have a good contact with his father/relatives.

  • LV

    Why is it that Angelina can run around adopting children but the first time Madonna does it the rip her to shreds?

  • Beebee

    6 | nunupie |
    Nice one nunupie. I totally agree with you. I can’t understand people giving her such a hard time as far as I can see its all good not bad. Every day children are adopted because their parent(s) can’t look after them. We should be praising Madonna not berating her.

  • VA

    Is being part of Madonna’s circus really better than living in poverty? Happiness is not defined by wealth. Will bringing him into her power parade and media insanity really make him a better person?

  • IMO

    So much judgement here! Lord have mercy I’ve never witnessed so many making this about themselves. Davids father has gone on tv more than once expressing that he is happy with his son’s being adopted by the Ritchies, and just because it isn’t put out there that arraingments have been made financially as well as making a way for Davids blood family to have continued correspondance with him doesn’t mean that isnt the case which I’m 100% certain that is in the cards because otherwise we would have never known the child had a family! Look outside of your personal opinions and thank God that this boy has been given “by his birth father,” a chance at a life that may very well be one to return and help in ways he may never had the chance to had it not been for his dad’s sacrifice. Can’t people just once stop pointing fingers and wishing ill because they don’t like the choices someone else has made? This isn’t your or my life, it’s theirs and this is what they’ve decided and God bless them.

  • the real tita

    I applaud anyone who adopts a child in an effort to give the child a good home and a love of family. Having said that, I don’t think Madonna’s real reason for adoption of this child is all that altruistic. This is all about Madonna, not the child.

    If she had cared enough to give, then she should have done just that. If she really wanted that child, she could have paid for a couple to do the adoption for her so the laws wouldn’t have been circumvented like what happened. When the child reaches London (after 18 months of mandatory regulations) then she could take the steps to take custody of that child. The problem with her is that she thinks because she is Madonna, she is not under obligation to follow the rules.

    She wanted to top Angelina in the adoption department that’s why she purposely went to a place where she could garner the most publicity. It wasn’t maternal instinct that was guiding her, it was her ego! If she hadn’t made such a production out of it, maybe she could have gone under the radar and avoided all this backlash. But no, this is what she was really after…controversy so she could generate more press. She just had to be out there! At the forefront, acting like the Earth Mother giving bounty.

    Now that she’s going to portray the dramatic martyr put upon by her detractors just because she wanted to give a poor not so orphan boy a rockstar lifestyle, she’s probably got her stylist running ragged with wardrobe changes and whatever else she needs for her close ups. She is such a media whore!

  • Kellie

    IMHO…I think the reason AJ isn’t being ripped to shreds like Madonna is for adopting a child is because AJ has been giving to poverty stricken countries for awhile now. Money for teaching, building, medicine, etc…as someone stated above that Madonna is not doing. Madonna simply picked out one child…and left. She didn’t even go back to pick him up, simply sent her nanny to get him. That’s gotta be pretty upsetting for this child!

    Also, AJ owns property in various poor countries so she pays money in that way, as a citizen, and tries to make a difference as a citizen and not just the Good Will Embassidor she’s been named.

    She travels to various poverty stricken countries to bring awareness and to donate her own time and money to help build up that area…not just to adopt one child.

    There’s a big, BIG difference between AJ and Madonna…

  • Tiffany

    I think the reason Madonna is receiving a backlash is partly due to how the adoption proceedings were handled. Plus, human rights groups are concerned about how David will adapt in an unknown country around unknown people. I think we assume too quickly that because he is being taken to a life filled with luxury and health, that he will have no problem adjusting. He is only 1, but children should be dealt with delicately. Especially when you are changing their environment and caregivers. I don’t think the human rights groups are saying, “let him starve in Malawi.” But I think they want adoption proceedings to be dealt with legally regardless of who the person is. Plus, giving David time to adjust to new caregivers. Let’s hope for the child’s sake and welfare everything works out okay.

  • MALIBUMOM

    I would also go on TV and anywhere else to say I wanted my kid to have the best. What parent wouldn’t want their kid to have the best or rather more than what you could give. The point is, why didn’t she help the dad help the kid? I am sure there are plenty of kids there who have NO ONE-But maybe those kids were too old. Maybe they were not healthy who knows. I am saying it is wrong to exploit poor people for your personal and professional satisfaction just as it is wrong to allow your self to be exploited. As a parent of 3 kids let me just say. It takes every fiber of my being to be there for them. They are all different, they all have different needs and different personalities. When you are TRYING your BEST to ensure your kids are well adjusted, intelligent, productive, God loving people, there is no room for you to play with the emotions of some other kid as well as your own. Like I said, Madonna has a God complex.

  • the real tita

    #23: LV, it’s because when Angelina first did it, she wasn’t even advertising it like Madonna is doing now. If it hadn’t been for her father, it wouldn’t have broken into press until the deed was done! When she adopted Zahara, it was only a big deal because Brad Pitt went with her to take custody of the child. There’s the difference!!

    With Madonna, she had a whole entourage and made such a big production out of it for maximum exposure. She was doing the anything Angelina can do, I can do better deal! Look at me, I can give more….and I’m fabulous too!!

  • nickybja

    its good thatthis little boy is going to have a better futer but i’m tsill hung up onthe fact that she left him there for someone else to pick up!This is going to be ur kid , u dont leave until u can carry him or atlleast u go and pick him for urself.I think this is just a big publicity stunt by madonna or her new fix cause she is bored.The problem is thatthere are just too manty chlittle black orphan for her to toy with and quite possibly decide that adopting orphans are sooo yesterday.I’m pissed she sent someone for him and not go herself.

  • MALIBUMOM

    By Mike Collett-White
    Tue Oct 17, 9:02 AM ET

    LONDON (Reuters) – Controversy and criticism have followed Madonna every step of the way on the path to stardom, more often enhancing her career than hindering it.

    ADVERTISEMENT

    But even she may be surprised by the strength of the backlash over her plan to adopt a small boy from Malawi.

    One-year-old David Banda arrived in London on Tuesday and the welcome he received from the international media camped out at Heathrow airport and outside Madonna’s London home was a sign of how radically his life was about to change.

    That change is what concerns many children’s charities, who wonder how Banda will cope with leaving a Malawi orphanage for a world of luxury homes, private jets and press intrusion.

    “What we’re saying is, rather than taking this child overseas and caring for him in a totally alien environment, why not support the father to take care of his own son in his own community?” said Philippa Lei of the World Vision group.

    Banda’s mother died shortly after giving birth, but his father is alive and has told reporters that he only intended to leave David in the orphanage for a short time. He did, however, welcome Madonna’s decision to adopt his son.

    The debate about the adoption has inevitably moved to the Internet, where similar concerns are being aired.

    “To take him away from his father is cruel and selfish, an act designed to provide Madonna with favorable publicity,” wrote one contributor responding to an opinion piece in Britain’s Observer newspaper that was strongly in favor of Madonna.

    “That child will grow up to resent her for taking him away from his natural parent.”

    Not everyone is against the adoption. Madonna’s supporters point out that she is donating considerable time and money to Malawi and that, on balance, the boy stands to gain.

    “Angelina Jolie, Meg Ryan and Mia Farrow have done it too, drawing criticism of rich celebrities, western arrogance, racism and fashionably cute babies. But surely what counts most is the happiness of one child?” Britain’s Guardian newspaper wrote in an editorial.

    MOTIVES QUESTIONED

    Madonna’s motives have been questioned, as commentators wonder whether the 48-year-old is imitating other “A”-list stars.

    Jolie has adopted children from overseas and Africa has become a major draw for celebrity campaigners including Gwyneth Paltrow and U2′s Bono.

    “I think in her mind she thinks she’s doing the right thing and putting her money where her mouth is,” said Michael Musto, a celebrity columnist for the Village Voice in New York.

    “But I think the cynicism is coming from the fact that this looks like a copycat of Angelina’s actions and Madonna seems to view an African orphan as the latest hot accessory.”

    Another raw nerve exposed by the adoption story has been what outsiders view as the special treatment given to Madonna because of her wealth, fame and power.

    Malawian law bans adoptions by non-residents, but officials are granting an exemption to Madonna.

    “The rich shouldn’t get preferential treatment. I am fine with the idea of the adoption but I want people to go through the system,” said Emmie Chanika, director of the Civil Liberties Committee.

  • nik

    but why is it that there are soo many wee kids in britain needing a loving home and a mum and a dad, why dus she need to go over there and adopt a wee boy? seriously tho its like fashion ange started it meg ryan has a wee girl aswell its like the dogs that paris hilton and all tht lot have a mean get a grip… and she flouts the law aswell 2 weeks and she has a wee boy 2 take home?!? if any “normal” person wants to adopt a child from Malaway u have 2 have lived there for a year before they even consider u as suitable parents for adoption!! its ridiculous because she has the money dus not make her the best parent for the job… shes on tour and wasnt it just recently reported that her and guy were haveing problems!?! eh yes she is doing it out of the goodness of her heart! we will see this wee boy in a few years time totally americanised (not that there is anythn rong with tht) but his home land isnt here it britain or america… he wont even knw his biological dad who he has been with for a year! she has “clearly” thought this thru… angelina didnt even have this much press wen adopting wee maddox and zahara … she just loves the attention … why else wud she wear a leotard in her vids at the age she is… she needs sumone 2 tell her when to stop!

  • karen

    If Madonna wants to be a true philantropist, she should sponsor the child monetarily. Why take the child away when he has loving father who probably is overwhelmed and confused with the current situation.

    What’s with celebrities going to orphanages for photo ops and taking a kid home as a SOUVENIR nowadays??!

  • me

    she’s ridiculous. bonded with this child to the point of wanting to adot him but has the nanny bring him to her her rather than making the trip with him? cares so much about orphans but adopts a kid who ha a father? i’m sorry but none of this seems right…

  • maia

    there’s a lot of backdrop to this story. the child’s mother died shortly after giving birth. When the boy became ill, the father took him to the orphanage where he could receive proper care. According to AP he visited his son weekly, making a 25 mile trek. Not the actions of a heartless oaf as some would like to believe. Also, Madonna didn’t follow protocol when adopting the boy. She sidestepped laws and procedures. All countries that allow internat’l adoptions have guidelines in place. they are there to safeguard the kids. Why wasn’t she required to follow them. What’s to stop the next individual with money, say in the vein of a John Kerr, from going overseas and buying a child? And for the fuel, security, and assistants she had to provide to bring this child to England, she could have fed and educated the orphanage he came from for a couple of years. Those of you who think David is getting to have a better life just because he’ll have more material things are looking at this from a western persective. A better life could be happiness, love and a sense community and of belonging. Will he have that with Madonna? Why not help David’s family and adopt a true orphan?

  • maia

    Another point I’d like to make is why in the world wouldn’t Madonna go to Africa to greet her new child? If not Malawi, then S. Africa where he was briefly. Could she not be inconvenienced? Its actions like these that make me question her motives. This is a big deal. Treat it accordingly.

  • IMO

    It’s like casting pearls before swine with some of you so I’ll leave you to your opinions after saying that did it ever occur to anyone that Davids father, though he may love his son very much just didn’t want to the responsibility of attempting to raise his son, regardless of any stiphen he may have recieved if Madonna had chosen to instead to simply sponsor the the child and his father? It’s inconceivable for some of you to dare believe that the boy’s dad isn’t unhappy with what was ultimitly his decision. He’s the one who placed David in the orphanage, and he’s the one who signed on the dotted line his permission to legally remove himself from first sole guardienship when he asked the orphanage to provide for his son, and now he’s voluntarily released himself from any guardianship and whether you want to accept it or not, this isn’t some case of the father being made to do anything he didn’t want to, or felt he needed to and all this praying for God Almighty to rain down some horrible fate on Madonna for being blessed with the chance to make a difference in the kid’s life don’t know God at all.

  • Maniston

    Madonna’s open letter to the media
    Posted: 17 October 2006 – Thanks to Vickster

    Madonna has written an open letter to the press to explain the reasons around her and Guy’s adoption of baby David:

    My husband and I began the adoption process many months prior to our trip to Malawi.
    I did not wish to disclose my intentions to the world prior to the adoption happening as this is a private family matter.
    After learning that there were over one million orphans in Malawi, it was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family.
    Nevertheless, we have gone about the adoption procedure according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child. Reports to the contrary are totally inaccurate.
    The procedure includes an 18-month evaluation period after which time we hope to make this adoption permanent.
    This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly.
    I am overwhelmed and inspired by my trip to Malawi and hope that it helps bring attention to how much more the world needs to do to help the children of Africa.
    My heartfelt thanks for all the good wishes I have received and I hope the press will allow my family some room for us to experience the joy we feel to have David home.

    Madonna Ritchie
    October 17, 2006
    London, England

  • nickybja

    i am not buying this for a minute! I think this is just i’m bored lets get an African child who everyon ewill say that we are great persons for adopting cause probably the poor kid would have died anyway ,kind of jester.Im so pissed at the levels that these people will go through just for self gratification and public spotlight. i dont trust her an di haop the Malawian govrenment keeps a tight leash on her in regards to th ebabies well being.

  • Mia

    Madonna was in Malawi but had to go back home to her other kids.. she celebratet Lourdes’s 10th birthday back in London and had to go home.. that’s why the nanny brought the little cutipie home

  • maia

    @IMO
    Sure, the father didn’t want the responsibility. That’s your spin on this. So do explain why he’d walk 25 miles each week to see his son. The man signed on the dotted line but the man is also functionally illiterate and was told by Malawian officials that a nice Christian woman wanted to adopt his son. you can call Madge a lot of things but a nice christian woman, she ain’t. Sorry, but you can drive a mack truck through that hole in your argument. The point isn’t that Madonna shouldn’t be allowed to adopt. The point is that she, like everyone else, should be required to abide by the rules regulating adoptions for a given country.

  • tim

    madonna god bless you and the newiest member of your family. there is going to be neg remarks of course just because of you being famous and for what people assume you are, but you opened your heart to help this child , yes people he has a father but he can be far better off here in the us than there, madonna once again god bless you , just remember americans judge you for being something you and something your not, americans are stupid and seffish, and im an american

  • damn

    Adorable!!

  • smozan

    He is absolutely adorable. However Madonna went about the adoption process, isn’t it good to know that this little boy has been saved from a life of hunger and want? There are so many orphans in Africa and chances are most of them will die by the time they reach adulthood. Whatever rules have been bent (which it sounds like none really have), let’s try to remember that this was, in the end, an act of kindness.

  • Pandy

    OMG he is so adorable.

  • Mediterranean

    May God bless and protect all the children in the world.

    Good luck David. If you don’t like the life with the Richies, you’ll have still a father to go back!

    Wish you well, David!

  • bdj

    I think people should give Madonna a little credit. She has not always been a part of the so called “upper crust” society. Her heart maybe in the right place and she followed the proper procedure in adopting this child. I am not in a hurry to judge her or the circumstances. I remember when Angelina adopted Zahara there were many negative comments, conspiracy theories and people saying that she stole a baby from her Mother. Madonna is a solid business woman and she appears to be a good mother to her two other children. I don’t think she went into this adoption lightly. However, I am sure that there would not be this much outcry if she had simply clone another baby. I think she fell in love with Little David and wanted him to be a part of their family. I am going to keep an open mind and wish her and her new addition to her family the best.

  • Me

    why didn’t she pick up the kid like othr celebrities?

  • eli

    ARE YOU SURE THATS HER NEW SON????

  • go

    Even the richest person can’t afford for all poverty. But you can
    rise a child. And the child will be well educated. He or she may
    become a peason who work for the true peace of his or her
    country. And their grandchildren too, may be. This is great
    opportunity.

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