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Madonna reportedly in Malawi seeking to adopt girl

  • Story Highlights
  • The superstar arrived in Malawi on Sunday
  • She reportedly wants to adopt a young girl named Mercy James
  • The child's family has reportedly consented to the adoption
  • Save the Children spokesman says Madonna should reconsider the move
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LONDON, England (CNN) -- Madonna's planned adoption of a Malawian girl will apparently go forward, despite earlier opposition from the girl's family, a reporter for the ITN television network told CNN Sunday. The pop star arrived in Malawi on Sunday.

Madonna holds her adopted Malawian son, David Banda, in 2007.

Madonna holds her adopted Malawian son, David Banda, in 2007.

"The family, I'm told, were admittedly reluctant to agree to this, but they've softened after learning more about this, the upbringing that Mercy will be given and they think perhaps it is in her best interest," ITN reporter Martin Geisler told CNN.

The girl, who is about 4, is named Mercy James. Her uncle is scheduled to sign adoption agreement papers in a Malawian court on Monday, Geisler said.

Geisler said Malawians' public opinion toward Madonna softened after she was interviewed by the Malawi Nation newspaper and released family photographs showing a happy David Banda -- a Malawian boy she adopted more than two years ago.

"The sense, I'm told, in Malawi after that, was, 'Well, the little boy looks well, he looks happy, he looks well looked after. Perhaps we shouldn't be so hard on her,'" said Geisler.

A British children's charity earlier asked the pop star to reconsider her reported plans to adopt a girl from the country.

Save the Children spokesman Dominic Nutt said the child would be better off staying in Malawi than being raised by the recently divorced singer, who has three other children, including the adopted Malawian boy.

"The best place for a child is in his or her family in their home community," he said. "Most children in orphanages have one parent still living, or have an extended family that can care for them in the absence of their parents."

Critics of the singer had argued she should donate money to orphanages in Malawi, rather than adopt another child.

The charity argued that foreign adoptions should happen only if a child does not have any relatives, and all other options have been considered.

The 50-year-old performer is a big supporter of Malawi. She made a documentary, "I Am Because We Are," which highlighted poverty and AIDS and other diseases devastating Malawi's children. She also helps run a nonprofit group, Raising Malawi, which implements initiatives to help the needy in the southeastern Africa nation.

On Sunday, Madonna toured the village of Chinkhota, assessing plans to build a school there and other possible Raising Malawi investments.

CNN's Nesta Distin contributed to this report.

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