Madonna in Malawi

Madonna’s custody dispute over Rocco almost cost her the Malawian twins she planned to adopt

The Malawian judge overseeing Madonna’s adoption of twins Stella and Esther was concerned with the custody battle, and worried that she would be placing the girls in a “toxic” environment.

Madonna told Malawian authorities that in the event of her death, her step sister would raise the twins. This convinced Judge Fiona Mwale that the girls would be well taken care of. The judge ruled that Madonna could bring the girls to her home in New York. She believed that Madonna would be able to provide a loving home for the children.

“The petitioner satisfied me that this adoption is motivated by her desire to offer a home, love, protection and guidance to the infants. The petitioner appreciates her very privileged position and she would like to share what she has with those who are less privileged.”

Madonna reportedly could not adopt the twins until she underwent a medical assessment. The judge said that she asked the singer a series of “uncomfortable questions.” Madonna was questioned for a while on the impact the adoption would have. The judge acknowledged that the adoption could be taken as “robbing Malawi of its most precious resource, its children.”

In order to combat this, Madonna said that she will do what she can in preserving the children’s identity as Malawians. Both girls will keep their birth names, and a Malawian caretaker will travel with the family to the United States.

The twins, whose mother died a week after giving birth, have five older siblings. Their father, who was present at the hearing on January 25, is remarried, and cannot provide for all of his children.

Malwe made a note of the charity work Madonna has done in Malawi. The singer raised $7.5 million for the construction of pediatric surgery ward at Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital, scheduled to open early next year.

[Photo: AP/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi]