Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Madonna Bad Example to Parents; Adpotion Boss Singer Is Wrong to Go Abroad as Thousands of London Children Wait for Families

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Madonna Bad Example to Parents; Adpotion Boss Singer Is Wrong to Go Abroad as Thousands of London Children Wait for Families

Article excerpt

Byline: ELLEN WIDDUP

A SENIOR figure in London's adoption service has hit out at Madonna for going abroad to choose a "designer baby" when thousands of children at home are in need of parents.

Nick Glanville said that by travelling to Malawi for 13-month-old David Banda, the singer had set a bad example to other prospective parents.

The Evening Standard has discovered that thousands of London children in care are still waiting to be adopted despite government promises to improve the system.

A Standard survey found that last year, at least 8,704 children were cared for by councils in the capital and only 349 were given a permanent home. The figures will be higher because several boroughs could not provide information.

Mr Glanville said: "It seems so sad there are thousands of kids in the UK in need of a home and they are being ignored in preference of fast-track adoption further afield.

"That is why people are so angry about Madonna's antics. She has set a terrible example by bypassing red tape in Britain to get what she wants. She should have looked closer to home.

"Adoption is not about picking and choosing a kid as you would a sherbet in a sweet shop," said Mr Glanville, project manager for Londonkids and the Adoption Information Line. "A child is not a fashion accessory and whether we like it or not, each and every one comes with its fair share of problems.

"Sadly, celebrities such as Madonna, who waltz off to orphanages abroad to pick a designer baby to complete their pictureperfect family, make other prospective parents think they should do the same."

He said the result would be that the number of children in care would grow.

"The availability of very young children is poor in this country and most couples want to adopt babies or toddlers," he said.

"What happens is we have an absolutely horrendous number aged seven to 16 who desperately need someone to love them

and nobody will take them. …

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