Madonna on adopting David and bringing Lourdes to Malawi

03/11/2008 at 09:50 AM ET

New Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Madonna, 49, sat down with Interview recently to discuss various topics — but the one that remains closest to her heart is Africa. Madonna and director husband Guy Richie adopted son David Banda, 2, from Malawi in 2006, and the family made a return trip in April 2007. Saying that David, "wouldn’t have lived if I hadn’t taken him. It’s not even a possibility," Madonna reveals that it was daughter Lourdes Maria, 11, who pleasantly surprised her.

She spent several weeks working in the orphanages, particularly one with newborn children, and most of them were HIV-positive. She so came into her own and was so responsible and stayed for eight hours every day and worked tirelessly.

I thought, "Why am I babying her so much? She’s capable of so much more." We don’t let kids do anything. We think, "Oh, they’re kids — they can’t take care of other kids; they can’t do this; they can’t do that." And after you go to Africa, you drop all that silliness.

Click below for Madonna’s thoughts on perspective.

Madonna says she has gained perspective through her trips to Africa,but admits that it’s unfortunate that sometimes an in-your-faceapproach is what it takes to realize how lucky we are.

We live very comfortable lives, and unfortunately, we have to have ournoses rubbed in other people’s pain and suffering to realize how muchwe have and how much we have to be grateful for.

Madonna and Guy are also parents to son Rocco, 7 ½.

Source: Interview via Page Six

FILED UNDER: Uncategorized

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Debbi on

It is true, about what children can handle. Sometimes they surprise you. What an eye-opening experience for Lourdes, it sounds like. Kudos to her for becoming so involved during her time there.

Principesa on

Bravo, Lourdes. Sounds like you are making your mama very proud.

Janey on

Having lived in Africa for a long time, I find the problems in most of these western countries so trivial. People out there have serious problems and yet they still have a smile on their face. If every rich man sent their child to volunteer in Africa or somewhere and see what real life is about, you would not have Paris Hilton or Britney. They would realise how lucky they are and stop whining.

Sanja on

I agree with Janey!

Also, could you maybe change the picture in the post to something with Madonna’s kids?

Sarah’s note: The photo is from the Interview shoot and goes with the article.🙂

bearcakes on

Usually I just come to Celebrity baby blog to hear the latest on celebrity babies. But every once in a while I am tempted to comment. When the news came out that Madonna was going to adopt from AFRICA I was surprise and concerned at the same time. Not because I didn’t think she could make a good mother to a black child, because she probably has the money to carry David back home or meet-up with people. I was more concern with people, mainly her fans who are mostly white. The other thing that concerned me was Africa babies becoming the latest fashion item? Me thinking about it more than the average since i have black in me. In the early stages of maddona and even angelina jolies adoption people were going on with everything from why not adopt an american baby to why was she adopting a baby from Africa. In the end David and Zahara are probably living the life most third world orphanges could only dream of living. Since its rare that children from Africa or a third world nation are adopted from a wealthy person. I really can’t get down on them(Madonna Angelina) most people including the rich and average wouldn’t adopt .Much less from a third world country. If its a trend then to have a black or Asian infant at your side then at least the children may have a better life than before. And one of those trends of marrying the black or Asian to experiment with or have something in fashion or new. Good luck to Madonna, Angelina and George Clooney for helping out those different and less fortunate than them. And not just using people as an experiment.

Sarah’s note: Personally I don’t consider mixed race marriage or adoption a trend though. And if they are, it’s a good trend!

crimpe on

Janey I totally agree. And Madonna is quite right about underestimating children. I am not advocating child labor or burdening older siblings with parental responsibilities, but yeah, many of us would be surprised if we gave our kids the chance. As a parent I am dismayed to see that I myself have an impulse to shelter my children when in fact I need to give them more space, and more credit, as my own parents afforded me (albeit often out of necessity). Bearcakes, I would think twice before accusing people of marrying or adopting out of their race as “experimenting”, particularly since it sounds as if you yourself are of mixed race. My husband and I are not the same race, and neither he nor my children are experiments. They are the real deal.

crimpe on

And for what it’s worth, I kind of dig the photo of Madonna! Mama’s still got it!!!

bearcakes on

I am sorry to sound that way but the fact is some people are in relationship with people of another race to have a ”brown baby”. Some are in it for love I don’t doubt that. It sounds stupid but visit the UK other parts of europe and see the way some of the people there operate. Atleast when you are adopted out of poverty you are a given a better live than before. Its worst having the feeling when your father is of another race and leaves your mother and you see that you were probably created because of some fetish or trend. Aleast Madonna and others who adopt couldn’t afford to take care of them and someone wealthy,who happen to be of another race is taking care of them. I’m sure Madonna and Angelina are making sure their children have apart of their culture. When some birth parents don’t even care to give that to their kids.

J-Lin on

Bearcakes – I completely agree with you. Don’t apologize for your views. From your life and experience you are entitled to them.

I admire Madonna’s commitment to Malawi and exposing her children to how other people live. I think America would be a completely different place if our children had to think about things besides having the latest ipod, cell phone, or video game.

magenta on

I believe Absolutely Fabulous had that joke…a mixed race baby is the latest fashion accessory…this was probably about 6 years ago…and like all jokes they have some basis in the truth…I know what you’re saying Bearcakes. I live in NYC where diversity is all around and you would not believe the horrid things people say. I actually heard one woman talking about picking up her Chinese baby girl as if it where a pit-stop because she would be in China for a meeting. Then starting making fun of the way Chinese names sound. I’m like, WTF? I kinda see why China and other countries are getting more strict about adoptions as some people’s true motives are not always altruistic.

I’m a huge Madonna fan and I’m sure she’s giving David a terrific life and he looks like he has a great big sister in Lourdes.

Nicola on


Give me a break! I live in the northern UK and whilst yes some people here do get involved in mixed race relationships to have a mixed race child, the majority do not. I’m in a mixed raced relationship and am part of a multi cultural family (I have English, Canadian, Philippino, South African and American relatives). To be quite frank the thought that if you saw me and my boyfriend walking down the street together and assumed we were doing it just to join a so called trend is very offensive.

Well done to Lourdes on her work in Africa, Madonna is right, all too often we underestimate kids and what they’re capable of.

Sarita on

Bearcakes I think you have avery negative view of things. I have never met anyone that had a baby to follow a trend. I also don’t think it is a trend to adopt an African baby or have a mixed child. If it was a trend there would be tons of people in Hollywood adopting African babies, I can only think of Madonna, Angelina en ML Parker.
I think these people just want to have a child and when adopting chose the continent where children have it the hardest. That’a great reason to pick a certain place!

bearcakes on

Nicola, I didn’t say ALL. To ‘some people’, it doesn’t feel good when you’re born out of a trend or fashion. I don’t have to see you on the road to know that their are ‘some’ offspring of mixed relationships who are negatively affected by being born because of a trend. Just like a child of two parents of the same race are affected when they learn their parents were not in love but rather a fling or a mistake. My point is children born in poor countries to parents who couldn’t afford or care for them who put them up for adoption atleast have a feeling of being BLESSED to be with their adoptive parents,even if they are of another race. Do you think the daughter of Melanie Brown(aka scary spice) and Eddie Murphy will feel like a blessing to her mother or even father? Imagine being raised in a household were your father has left and all around you are white. Or think about being in a all black or asian home and your white father or parent is not around. Being adopted to someone of another race you have a blessed feeling because your adoptive white parent in the case of madonna and angelina jolie actually adopted you to give you a better life.

Charlie on

Don’t believe everything you read. I doubt she would put her daughter at risk of catching the AIDS virus. And an 11 year old working with newborn babies? Please. Maybe she played with them for about 10 minutes and then left with her mom. Several weeks working in the orphanages for 8 hours a day? Don’t think we are idiots. Remember this was the same woman who used her daughter’s desire to audition for a Harry Potter movie as her own publicity. She can never have enough.
By the way Sarah, I don’t care if that photo came with the article, it is a wrong type of picture to have on this website. If you mean to say that you got it for free along with the article and want to use it, just say so. But there are people who won’t take Madonna’s nonsense and will stop coming to your blog.
I remember having seeing photos of Madonna and her daughter in Africa about half a year ago? You could’ve just used that. That would have been way more appropriate. I almost skipped this article because of the picture.
I don’t, but most people look at the pictures when deciding which article to read, not the title, did you know that?
Oh and one more thing! Good job on finally organizing the layout here. I rarely visited anymore because it was starting to feel like a job to read anything. It could still use work, but you’re on the right track! I look forward to seeing the new improvements the next time I visit🙂

johnboilo on

Principesa, thank you for your comments about how people in the West don’t really know how blessed they are. I have lived in Africa (malawi to be precise) all my life and when I see some people complain over trivial things, i am like ‘why don’t they come to Africa and find something to complain about’. people here are very fortunate if they have three meals a day. but despite all this poverty, they wake up with a smile on their face, go to Church every Sunday and give thanks to God for the life they have. you will hardly ever hear them complain, hardly ever.

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