- A High Court in Malawi's capital Lilongwe had granted US pop star Madonna and her husband British filmmaker Guy Ritchie right to permanently adopt toddler David Banda.
"All I can say is that the adoption has been given. Madonna can go ahead and adopt the child," said the couple's lawyer Allan Chinula.
The couple was absent at the time of ruling, which came as little surprise, considering Malawian government's backing of the adoption, a deviation from national laws that ban adoptions by non-residents.
The couple obtained custody of David in October 2006, amid hues and cries from child rights activists. David, then 13 months old, was given up for adoption by his father on the death of his mother.
After receiving a favourable report from the Ministry of Women and Child Development on their care of young Banda at their London home over the past 19 months, the court ordered the couple firm adoption right.
Madonna's critics accused her of hiding behind her celebrity status to "fast-track" David's adoption and got away with it, a claim the pop singer had vehemently denied.
“People always ask me why I chose Malawi. And I tell them, I didn’t. It chose me," she was quoted as saying.
She explained how she got a phone call from a Malawian woman, Victoria Keelan, who told her that there were over one million children orphaned by HIV/AIDS.
Keelan told Madonna that there weren't enough orphanages and that the children were everywhere - in some cases - become victims of abdcution or rape. Madonna felt embarrassed when told that she could make positive impact.
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