While Madonna has been sharing adorable videos of her four-year-old adopted daughters, Esther and Stella, singing on Instagram, shocking allegations have been raised by their father Adam Mwale – who claims that he never intended to give the girls away permanently.
Adam made the claims when he spoke with the Daily Mail. The 40-year-old farmer says he was shocked to learn the girls would not be coming home, because he believed Madonna would only be looking after them temporarily.
“You are telling me the adoption is permanent. That cannot be true. I don’t want it to be true. I am their father and I will always be their father,” he told the publication from his village of Kayembe.
“I was told from the start that Esther and Stella were going to a rich woman’s home abroad, that she would give them a good education, then return them to me, to live with me and help all of my family.”
Adam already had five other children with his late wife Patricia, when she tragically died giving birth to Esther and Stella.
“I wanted the hospital to help but they said the orphanage was the best place,” he explained to The Mail. “Everyone in the village knows I just wanted the best for them.”
While Adam left the twins at the Home of Hope orphanage, he says he visited them at every opportunity.
“I used to cycle there down a dirt road, taking two hours each way. I brought little dresses and gifts for them and they would sit on my lap, one twin on either side, and laugh and play with me.”
Adam also says he was forced to list to “terrible lies” from a court-appointed guardian, who claimed that he’d abandoned Esther and Stella to marry another woman.
While Adam confirms he did re-marry two years after Patricia’s death, he says Esther and Stella remained a part of the family.
"They call me Ababa [which means ‘Dad’ in the Malawi language Chechewa] and when they came home for holidays to the village, they loved to be with their brother and sisters," he adds.
Adam was allowed to spend 12 days with the girls while the court hearing took place, but he claims he never realised it would be goodbye. "It was exciting,’ he says.
"They were going to have a new life for a while, and it was a mixture of feelings for all of us. I thought it was the start of something new but temporary. I thought they would have a great education, which I could never afford, and that we would one day be together again.”
Madonna, 58, was allowed to take Esther and Stella to the US just hours after the court reached its adoption agreement on February 8.
Since the she has confirmed the adoption took place, posting several photos and videos of the twins on Instagram.
But Adam’s claims that he wanted to keep the girls have been supported by the chief of his local village. “Adam was sad and troubled at that time,” says Kayeme village chief Khwele. “We supported him as best we could but no one here has very much.”
The Daily Mail also reached out to Dr Mary Shawa, from the Malawian ministry which processed the adoption. “I can’t say why the guardian told the court that Mr Mwale had abandoned his children,” she says. “The judge said that was wrong.”
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