CHINKHOTA, Malawi — Madonna dashed from the airport to an impoverished Malawi village to discuss a school she is planning to build, saying nothing to the hordes of reporters on her trail Sunday about whether she is planning to start the process of adopting a second Malawian child.
The singer walked in the village of Chinkhota, holding the hand of her 12-year-old daughter, Lourdes.
The 50-year-old Madonna refused to answer questions about reports that she was in Malawi to adopt a 4-year-old girl. She said it was “amazing” to be back in the country where she runs a charity organization and from where she adopted her son David, 3, last year.
Madonna was expected to appear today in court in Lilongwe, the capital, to sign adoption papers.
A security guard with the convoy said Madonna spoke to villagers about building a school, and she was seen looking at an artist’s impression of the proposed building.
Madonna first traveled to Malawi in 2006 while doing charity work and filming a documentary on the devastating poverty and AIDS crisis here. Her Raising Malawi organization, founded in 2006, raises funds to fight poverty by providing food, shelter, education and health care for children here.
Madonna plans a special school for girls to increase opportunities for girls and young women in Malawi.
It was not clear if the school she discussed Sunday was her proposed Raising Malawi Academy for Girls.
A Malawian welfare official and another person involved in the adoption proceedings have said the girl Madonna is hoping to adopt is about 4 years old; her unmarried mother died soon after she was born. The girl’s father is believed to be alive but no other details were available.
A U.S. government official has also confirmed that an adoption bid by Madonna, an American citizen, is under way.
Madonna has faced harsh criticism for years over David’s adoption. Children’s advocacy groups accused her of wielding her immense wealth and influence to circumvent Malawian law requiring an 18- to 24-month assessment period before adoption.
Madonna told Malawi’s The Nation newspaper that she was considering another adoption but would only do it if she had “the support of the Malawian people and government.”
If the adoption goes through, Madonna would become a single mother of four. She also has an 8-year-old son, Rocco, with former husband and British film director Guy Ritchie and her daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship.
She and Ritchie, who were married in 2000, obtained a preliminary divorce decree in November.