"We did not donate our child to Madonna," say her daughter's family.



Madonna has won herself some African fans over Thanksgiving, and also landed herself in a bit of trouble.

The popstar travelled to poverty-stricken Malawi, Africa, where she has funded schools, orphanages and medical centres, spending a week visiting the orphanages that she adopted two of her children from.

Her charity, Raising Malawi, was funded in 2006, and has had her frequenting the country since. Last week, Madonna took her 14-year-old son Rocco Ritchie, as well as her two adopted children David Banda, 9 and Mercy James, 8, on the week-long visit, documenting her trip on Instagram.


Madonna visiting a school in Chabuula, Malawi


Madonna cuddled up to children in local schools and met with President Peter Mutharika, who appointed her as Malawi’s Goodwill Ambassador for Child Welfare. She even spent time with the father of her adopted son David Banda.

But not everyone was happy for Madonna’s visit.

The family of her adopted daugher Mercy James have accused Madonna of ‘betraying’ the family, and taking their granddaughter away from her African roots. Madonna adopted Mercy in 2009 from an orphanage in Malawi. Mercy’s teenage mother had died days after child birth, but her biological grandparents had hopes of bringing their granddaughter home when they had enough money to support her.

However, they were told by the government that a ‘rich lady’ wanted to adopt her, and were advised to sign adoption papers. They say that thought Mercy would get a good education and then use her privilege to help the family. Saxon Maude, Mercy’s grandfather, spoke exclusively to the Daily Mail.

“I worked for a household years ago where a foreign lady took one of the children to be educated and brought up abroad, and that child came back as a doctor and improved the lives of every member of the family. That is what persuaded me to let Mercy go.”


“Now I see that all she meant was that she would bring her here on holiday, stay in an expensive lodge for foreigners, and cut us – her real blood family – out of her life. That cannot be the right way to do things. No foreigner has the right to interfere in our culture like this.”

“We are extremely poor, but we do not need her money. A simple acknowledgement that we exist, that we are humans with feelings and that we do not wish to be disconnected from our child will be enough.”

Madonna gets pushed on a swing by daughter Mercy James.

Saxon was told he would be able to maintain a close relationship with his granddaughter, but has been excluded from her upbringing.

“We did not donate our child to Madonna. We let Madonna have our child because we were told she is a philanthropist who would help give her a good education. What is the point of us wanting Mercy to get a good education and a good life if in the end she does not help her relatives?”

“What has happened to our family should be a lesson to anyone who may be approached by Madonna with promises to make lives of children better.”

The fact that Madonna took David to his biological father, Yohande, giving them time together to bond, play football and exchange gifts, compounded the hurt for Mercy’s grandfather.

“Why do they always take the other child to his people and not Mercy to us… Is it because the other one is a boy why my daughter is a girl?”

“I met Madonna in court and she assured me she would be bringing back my niece every other two years. Was she lying to me?”

Madonna has made plans to build 300 schools in Malawi in the coming years.