Adoption can be a long, arduous process for any prospective parent — even if you're a hugely famous pop star.
As People reports, Madonna has opened up about her battle to adopt daughter Mercy James from Malawi eight years ago, admitting that her status as a single woman was a setback. The singer shared her story in a speech to open The Mercy James Institute for Pediatric Surgery and Intensive Care at Queen Central Hospital in her now-11-year-old-daughter's home country.
The pre-teen was on hand as her famous mother spoke about how her recent divorce from Guy Ritchie affected the adoption process. Mercy is one of four Malawian children, including David Banda and twins Estere and Stelle, adopted by Madonna, who also has a 20-year-old daughter, Lourdes, and 16-year-old son, Rocco.
Madonna first shared how she met Mercy and David around the same time, but their adoptions were handled differently.
“I was granted permission to adopt David first," she told the crowd at the event. "And some time later, I filed a petition to adopt Mercy. But this time, the judge who was presiding said no. I was recently divorced, and she informed me, as a divorced woman, I was not fit to raise children and that Mercy James was better off growing up in an orphanage."
The Vogue performer ended up fighting the issue in court.
"If you know me, you can imagine how I received this information," she said. "It’s true, I am a freedom fighter. I am a feminist. I am a rebel heart. But I am also a compassionate and intelligent human being. And if you cannot give me a logical reason for the word ‘no,’ then I will not accept the word ‘no.’ I hired a team of lawyers, and I took my case to the supreme court, and it was not an easy battle.
“The adoption laws in Malawi had not been reformed since the early ’40s, and it had not occurred to anyone to change them yet. So my argument was that women have been raising children for centuries, on their own … not to mention the fact that I was doing just fine raising my own three children."
She ultimately persevered, and is now a mother of six.
Welcome to Mothership: Parenting stories you actually want to read, whether you're thinking about or passing on kids, from egg-freezing to taking home baby and beyond. Because motherhood is a big if — not when — and it's time we talked about it that way.
Read These Stories Next:
This content is currently unavailable. Check it out from your desktop or on our web app!