I'm all for a child in an unfortunate circumstance having the opportunity to live better life but I'm not convinced this is one of those instances. I know financially she can take care of him, but I think the boy's father is telling the truth. I think between what he was told and what he understood - something got lost in the translation...Yikes!!
LIPUNGA, Malawi (Reuters) -- The father of the Malawian boy Madonna plans to adopt added a fresh twist to the saga, saying he never intended his son to be adopted by the pop diva, but only for her to raise the child on his behalf.
In an interview with Reuters Television in his home village of Lipunga on Saturday, Yohane Banda said Madonna asked that she be able to raise his one-year-old son on his behalf, rather than that the child should become her own.
Banda's statement is a major shift from his earlier remarks last week when he railed against human rights groups that have gone to court to stop Madonna from adopting his son David.
"Had they told us that Madonna wanted to adopt my son and make him her own son, we would not have agreed to that," Banda said in his local language of Chichewa.
"It would have been better for him to continue staying at the orphanage because I see no reason why my child should be given away forever when I can feed him," he said, speaking at his village of Lipunga near the Zambia border late on Saturday.
Madonna, 48, has angered rights groups with her plan to adopt young David Banda, who left his native country on Tuesday last week for the entertainer's home in London after she was granted temporary adoption rights by Malawi authorities.
The High Court in Lilongwe will on Friday start hearing the case lodged by the Human Rights Consultative Committee (HRCC), an alliance of 67 human rights groups, which argues current Malawi laws forbid international adoption, even by celebrities.
Banda told Reuters he signed papers he could not understand, but government officials assured him that the agreement was similar to what he had with the orphanage -- to nurture and educate the boy but not take him away for good.
"I cannot read and write so I relied on what the (government) officials told me that the papers said Madonna would look after the child the way the orphanage planned to educate him and then he comes back to me," Banda said.
Asked if he had any copies of the agreements he signed with Madonna, Banda said: "I am still waiting to get my copies."
He said the copies were still in the hands of the government officials who mediated the agreement. Banda said he would wait to see them before deciding what action to take after consultations with his mother and other family members.
Government officials were not immediately available to comment.
Banda said he gave the boy to the orphanage mainly for medical care and breast-feeding after the boy's mother died of malaria days after giving birth to him.
"We sent this child to an orphanage because at one month we could not look after him, we did not have a health center nearby and the orphanage was the ideal place for him," he said.
The American singer, who is married to British film director Guy Ritchie, hopes to make David a brother to her 10-year-old daughter Lourdes and son, Rocco, who is six. She has denied cutting corners to speed the adoption process.
David will stay abroad with Madonna for 18 months and be monitored by Malawi officials before final approval can be given for him to officially join her family.
Banda said people did not give him a chance to explain his position better because the media was only interested in knowing about David and Madonna.
"What we agreed with Madonna was that she looks after my child until he finishes school, becomes independent and comes back home to us," Banda said.