Madonna Said Adopting Her Son From Africa Was a ‘S*** Storm’

Madonna has had many titles over the years, including singer, songwriter, actor, and more. In addition to her career achievements, she’s also a proud mother. The Grammy-winning recording artist has six children, four of which are adopted.

Madonna smiling wearing a cross necklace
Madonna | Scott Halleran/Getty Images

Madonna gave birth to her daughter Lourdes in 1996

In the mid-1990s, Madonna was in a relationship with fitness trainer Carlos León. Madonna gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Lourdes, in October 1996.

In the late ’90s, Madge began dating director Guy Ritchie. She gave birth to their son Rocco in August 2000, and the parents tied the knot in Scotland in December of that year.

After giving birth to Rocco, Madonna still wanted to grow her family. But she suffered from complications after birth due to placenta praevia. She then turned her eyes to adoption.

Madonna wearing a cross necklace
Madonna | Paul Drinkwater/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

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Madonna adopted her son David from Malawi but it was a ‘s*** storm’

Madonna opened up about her adoption journey in a 2013 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I decided that I had an embarrassment of riches and that there were too many children in the world without parents or families to love them,” she recalled. “I applied to an international adoption agency and went through all the bureaucracy, testing, and waiting that everyone else goes through when they adopt.”

“As fate would have it, in the middle of this process a woman reached out to me from a small country in Africa called Malawi, and told me about the millions of children orphaned by AIDS,” she continued. Before you could say ‘Zikomo Kwambiri’ [‘Thank you very much’], I was in the airport in Lilongwe heading to an orphanage in Mchinji, where I met my son David. And that was the beginning of another daring chapter of my life.”

“But I didn’t know that trying to adopt a child was going to land me in another s*** storm. But it did,” she said. “I was accused of kidnapping, child trafficking, using my celebrity muscle to jump ahead in the line, bribing government officials, witchcraft, you name it. Certainly I had done something illegal!”

Madonna smiling
Madonna | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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Madonna adopted 3 more children from Malawi

Madonna faced backlash after adopting her son David in 2006. She admitted that she wasn’t prepared to face criticism for seemingly doing a good thing.

“This was an eye-opening experience. A real low point in my life,” she said honestly. “I could get my head around people giving me a hard time for simulating masturbation onstage or publishing my Sex book, even kissing Britney Spears at an awards show, but trying to save a child’s life was not something I thought I would be punished for. … In any case, I got through it. I survived.”

Madonna went on to adopt three more children from Malawi: her daughter Mercy James and twins Estere and Stella. But the next time she tried to adopt, she was stopped in her tracks by the legal system.

“When I adopted Mercy James, I put my armor on. I tried to be more prepared. I braced myself,” she said. “This time I was accused by a female Malawian judge that because I was divorced, I was an unfit mother. I fought the supreme court and I won. It took almost another year and many lawyers. I still got the s*** kicked out of me, but it didn’t hurt as much. And looking back, I do not regret one moment of the fight.”

“One of the many things I learned from all of this: if you aren’t willing to fight for what you believe in, then don’t even enter the ring.”