The family of Mercy James, Madonna's adopted Malawian daughter, are threatening to sue the singer, claiming that although they were promised that they would be able to see their daughter, they have not been allowed to do so a single time since her adoption. They have asked a local charity, CILIC, to help them with their case.
Director of CILIC Emmie Chanika released this statement:
"Mercy’s family have met me several times over the past year and they have been very upset. They have a strong recollection of being told that they would be able to see Mercy and have regular contact with her – and that when she is an adult she will return to live with them in Malawi.
I believe they have a case in law because there appears to have been a verbal contract between them and Madonna’s representatives. I have already consulted a lawyer on their behalf. Obviously there could be problems as there is no written agreement, but the lawyer is looking into it.
I am preparing a letter which will appeal to Madonna’s lawyer Alan Chinula to intervene on the family’s behalf and ask Madonna to kindly let Mercy meet her family. None of us desires an embarrassing and expensive court case which could humiliate or inconvenience Madonna. The best outcome would be a proper agreement to let Mercy meet her family on a regular basis."
Hopefully for all concerned this can be worked out in the very best interests of Mercy James herself, rather than in the interests of Madonna or her birth parents. With no written agreement, however, I would be very surprised if they won their case.