LILONGWE, Malawi-- U.S. pop star Madonna did not attend a Monday hearing at the Malawi Supreme Court regarding her intended adoption of a young girl named Mercy.
Madonna, who is already the mother of two biological children and a son she previously adopted from Malawi, was told last month she could not adopt Mercy because she didn't meet the southeast African nation's residency requirement. The judge said at the time that she feared ruling in Madonna's favor could potentially open the door for child trafficking.
E! Online said Madonna's attorney took part in closed-door appeal arguments Monday, but the singer, who was not required to be there, didn't go.
The hearing took place shortly after Mercy's 15-year-old father James Kambewa told CBS's "The Early Show" he opposes Madonna's bid to adopt his daughter even though he has never met her. Mercy's mother died not long after giving birth to the child, whose age has been variously reported as 3 or 4.
"I want to take care of her and I'm capable to take care of my baby," E! quoted Kambewa as saying in an "Early" interview that aired Monday. "Mercy, she is a Malawian -- so (I) need her to grow as a Malawian, as well with our culture."
"I did not want my granddaughter to be adopted," said Lucy Chekechiwa, Mercy's maternal grandmother. "But because they have been persistent enough, I have been forced to let my granddaughter go."
E! said it could be several days before a ruling in the adoption case is announced.
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