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Mar 13, 2007, 10:37 AM

Madonna's New Baby


By now, Madonna’s adopted baby boy from Malawi has probably settled into his new life in America. But a few months ago, he was the subject of controversy.

The adoption has been criticized for many reasons. First, only Malawi residents are usually allowed to adopt Malawi children, but the government made an exception for Madonna. In addition, the boy she chose was not an orphan.

Before the adoption, Madonna had been funding a center in Malawi to help kids who have lost their parents to AIDS. In fact, she plans to spend some $3 million to fight poverty in the African country, and another million on a documentary about the struggle of Malawi children.

Listen to Marni and Amanda discuss how Madonna got a new baby.




Marni: So I was talking to a friend of mine and she is just appalled about the whole Madonna adopting this baby.

Amanda: So she’s taking sides with Angelina on the entire situation, correct?

Marni: I don’t even know Angelina’s issue. But my feeling is if there is a child who can be provided with a good home and whose father supposedly stated he couldn’t take care of him…

Amanda: Yes.

Marni: Which I think is, you know, iffy in and of itself but anyhow, I think, you know, this kid’s gonna have an amazing life and a lot of opportunities that he wouldn’t have otherwise.

Amanda: It’s interesting because Angelina’s take on it is that obviously she is pro-adoption. She has two children that she’s adopted from other countries, brought to the United States. But she actually publicly lashed out at Madonna because Madonna chose to, of all countries, adopt from one that didn’t have a legal adoption system in existence.

Marni: Oh, I did not know that.

Amanda: And that’s why Angelina, as well as some other people, have a problem with it.

Marni: There is….

Amanda: Madonna’s using her power.

Marni: Exactly. And I think that’s whole controversy is that Madonna being this international star with all this money is able to come in and just get a child where…

Amanda: ...cherry-pick her child from whatever country she wanted.

Marni: Well, that is an issue.


Marni understands the issues around the adoption, but she thinks the child should be given the opportunity to have a better life.

Amanda points out that Angelina’s complaint was that Madonna chose to adopt from a country where non-resident adoptions were banned. But Madonna used her money to do what she wanted.

Do you think Madonna should have been allowed to adopt the Malawi boy?


Who is appalled by Madonna's adoption?

a) Marni

b) A friend of Marni

c) Amanda

d) A friend of Amanda

What does Marni tell Amanda about Angelina's perspective?

a) She has an issue with Angelina

b) Angelina has an issue with Madonna

c) She doesn't know what Angelina thinks

Does Marni think Madonna should be allowed to adopt the child?

a) No

b) Yes

c) She doesn't know

Angelina doesn't think Madonna should get to __________ an African child.

a) take sides with

b) lash out at

c) cherry-pick


made an exception (verb): changed the rules especially for; gave special treatment

take (noun): interpretation; perspective; opinion

taking sides (verb): agreeing; siding; choosing

iffy (adjective): doubtful; questionable

funding (verb): paying for; supporting financially

issue (noun): problem; complaint

lashed out (verb): spoke out angrily; expressed an opinion bitterly

otherwise (adverb): if not; in any other case, manner or respect

supposedly (expression): I guess; it is believed; it is thought

cherry-pick (verb): select the very best; make a choice with great care and consideration