Madonna Leaves Malawi After Failed Adoption Bid

Madonna has left the African nation of Malawi after being rejected in her bid to adopt a young girl, the UK's Telegraph reported.

Air traffic officials reportedly told the newspaper that Madonna left on her private Gulfstream jet heading for London. Madonna's adoption of Chifundo "Mercy" James, reportedly between 3 and 4 years old, was rejected in a closed-door session on the grounds of a residency rule that requires a person to spend 18 to 24 months in the country prior to the adoption.

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Peter Baneti, the uncle of Mercy, told the paper he was disappointed in the judge's ruling.

"We don't understand the judge's reasoning," he said. "We as a family discussed this and agreed that it is in the best interests of Mercy to have her adopted, so why should the judge stop this if the family is OK with it?"

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Mercy is currently living in a Kondanani orphanage, a situation Baneti said should've taken precedence over residency rules.

"Does she know what it means to be poor? Does she know life in an orphanage? How can she say Mercy is better off at Kondanani?" he said of the judge. "We are very disappointed. We hope that the Supreme Court will overturn her ruling."

For Madonna, who spent the week in Malawi, the trip was also a homecoming for her adopted son, David Banda, who she adopted from the country in 2006.

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"Madonna is committed to maintaining an ongoing relationship with David's Malawian roots," the singer's rep said in a statement to The Associated Press last week.

And the singer has committed more than that to Malawi, giving charitable aid and filming a documentary on the nation, "I Am Because We Are."

"Madonna has been good to us. She is supporting over 25,000 orphans in this country," the country's Information Minister, Patricia Kaliati, reportedly said earlier in the week. "We support her adoption process."

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