Just for grins I checked out the adoption requirements for Malawi:
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS: Adoptive parents must be resident in Malawi to adopt.
TIME FRAME: Malawian law requires a lengthy pre-adoption foster care period (at least two years).
PLEASE NOTE: Adoptive parents must foster a prospective adoptive child for 24 months in Malawi before an adoption may be finalized.
ADOPTION PROCEDURES IN MALAWI: Prospective adoptive parents often identify a child for adoption through local churches, orphanages, hospitals or missions. They then need to retain a lawyer to handle the application. The lawyer files a petition with the Magistrate Court of the district in Malawi where the adoptive parents reside. Once that is done, the Court chooses a social worker to be the child’s "Guardian ad Litem” who investigates the circumstances of the prospective adoptee(s) and submits a Court Social Report (a home-study) to the High Court. The Guardian ad Litem monitors the adoptive family during the 24 months by making home visits. After the 24 month foster care period is completed, the Court will rule whether the adoption can be finalized. The 24-month period starts from the time the child is placed in the home of the adoptive parents.
These are some of the strictest adoption laws that I know of. And I do know a lot about international adoption. The two-year thing really blows Kazakhstan out of the water! Ha! And we were griping about being there for 5 WEEKS!
Now, I know that Meg Ryan waited over a year for her daughter from China. I'm not sure of the circumstances of Angelina's adoption from Cambodia. I know that there was a lot of hoo-ha about the fact that Cambodia was closed to US adoptions at the time, but I also heard that because Angelina's mother is French, (or French-Canadian? My fact-checker is on her coffee break) AJ may hold dual citizenship. That is completely unconfirmed, but would make me feel better if it was true. I do know that she used a US adoption agency (Wide Horizons) to adopt Zahara, and I assume (making an ass out of u and me, I guess) that she went through proper channels. I would HOPE that an agency with the stature of WH would require anyone, even one of such lofty status as AJ (oops let me dig my tongue out of my cheek) to follow the rules as written. I know that our agency does not readily suffer fools, and I can see Jim (director) rolling on the floor laughing if asked by some lofty person to bend some rules.
So ... I guess my stand today is that Madonna gets a big thumbs down from me (such as it is worth) ...