Madonna’s six kids are growing up fast – but she’ll always remain a doting mum

She's the boundary-pushing pop queen that we can't get enough of. But what's she like as mum?
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She’s the original Material Girl, famous for pushing boundaries, taking risks and owning the shock factor.

Everything Madonna touches seems to turn to gold, which is why we remain fascinated, decades on, with every aspect of her life – including her family.

With a highly lauded career spanning decades, Madonna has a lot to be grateful for.

Madonna with five of her children and her father on Father’s Day.

(Credit: Instagram)

But for the 63-year-old pop queen, it’s her children she is most appreciative of.

“What I am Most THANKFUL for! My Children have led me down roads and opened doors I never imagined I’d walk through,” Madonna wrote in the caption of a rare photo of all of her kids hanging out together on Thanksgiving.

“Fame, Fortune and Records Broken could never equal that which I treasure and value most. #blessed #grateful #children #family Happy ThanksGiving from Malawi!”

In total, Madonna has six children.

She shares her biological daughter, Lourdes Maria Ciccone, now 25 with former partner, dancer Carlos Leon.

Her marriage to English director Guy Ritchie saw her welcome a son, Rocco, now 21.

Her final four kids were adopted: 16-year-old David Banda in 2006 and 15-year-old Mercy James in 2009, followed by nine-year-old twins Esther and Stella Mwale in 2017.

Keep reading to learn about each of the pop icon’s wonderful children.

Madonna’s six children, Stella, Mercy James, Rocco, Lourdes, Esther and David Banda.

(Credit: Instagram)

Madonna and Lourdes

After a string of high-profile relationships, including her brief marriage to actor Sean Penn, Madonna looked like she was never going to settle down.

Then, in 1994 the Papa Don’t Preach singer met Cuban dancer Carlos Leon, who became not only her fitness trainer but her lover.

Two years later, in October 1996, Madonna gave birth to a girl named Lourdes Maria Ciccone Leon (Lola for short).

Little Lourdes looks so much like her mum.

(Credit: Instagram)

Madonna described the event to People magazine as “the greatest miracle of my life.”

She even traded in her famous pink Hollywood mansion for a family home in a low-key suburb of Los Angeles, but trouble was brewing in her relationship with Leon.

Their relationship ended in 1997, with Madonna declaring they were “better off as best friends”.

Lourdes and Madonna.

(Credit: Getty)

Now, all grown up Lourdes has become a bonaifide fashion “it girl” and model, who has starred in campaigns for Miu Miu and Stella McCartney.

Although she poses with her famous mum on the red carpet, she revealed to Interview Magazine in 2021 that her relationship with Madonna hasn’t always been easy.

“My mum is such a control freak, and she has controlled me my whole life,” she said.

“I needed to be completely independent from her as soon as I graduated high school.”

Lola posing at the Met Gala.

(Credit: Getty)

Madonna welcomes son, Rocco

When Madonna met and fell in love with British director Guy Ritchie in 1998, it seemed like an odd match.

An odd match that seemed to work! Swapping LA for London, Madonna was setting up a new life for herself.

By August 2000 the couple had welcomed a son, Rocco John.

Madonna, Guy Ritchie, Rocco and Lourdes.

(Credit: Getty)

However it wasn’t an easy birth as Madonna suffered complications due to placenta praevia, and Rocco was to be her last biological child.

Rocco was christened at Dornoch Cathedral in Dornoch, Scotland, in December 2000, and the following day his parents were wed in front of a vey famous crowd at nearby Skibo Castle.

Rocco likes to dabble in modelling like his older sister, but he is also studying fine arts at Central Saint Martins.

Madonna and Rocco on stage.

(Credit: Getty)

He spent most of his time growing up in the UK with his father, and he has also shown interest in screenwriting and directing.

Like sister Lourdes, Rocco is believed to have had some rocky periods in his relationship with his famous mum and now prefers to avoid the spotlight.

Rocco was raised predominantly by his director dad.

(Credit: Getty)

Madonna adopts David Banda

During her marriage to Ritchie, Madonna founded charitable organisation Raising Malawi and partially funded an orphanage in Malawi.

While there in October 2006, she decided to adopt a boy named David Banda, but the adoption was not without controversy.

At the time, Malawian law required would-be parents to reside in Malawi for one year before adopting, which Madonna and Ritchie did not do.

Madonna and David Banda on stage at NYE.

(Credit: Instagram)

She addressed this on The Oprah Winfrey Show, saying that there were actually no written adoption laws in Malawi that regulated foreign adoption.

Sadly, Madonna and Ritchie’s relationship ended and the couple split, divorcing in 2008 and sharing custody of both Rocco and David.

David appears to have inherited his mother’s penchant for performance, dance, and creativity as Madonna has shared many videos of him dancing for her Instagram.

Madonna has grown up so much!

(Credit: Instagram)

In an interview with British Vogue in 2019, the singer revealed she sees more of herself in David than her other children.

“What he has more than anything is focus and determination,” she told the publication.

“I’m pretty sure he got it from me,” she continued. “He’s the one I have the most in common with. I feel like he gets me; he has more of my DNA than any of my children so far. Let’s see what happens – it’s still early days for everyone.”

In May 2022, Madonna and David sent the paparazzi into a frenzy when they walked hand-in-hand into a boxing match in Brooklyn.

On May 28, 2022, David and Madonna held hands as they attended a boxing match in Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

(Image: Getty)
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Madonna adopts Mercy James

It was not long after her divorce that Madonna decided to add to her brood, heading back to Malawi to adopt daughter Chifundo “Mercy” James in 2009.

Once again it was not smooth sailing with the country’s High Court rejecting the adoption application because Madonna had not lived in Malawi for the 12 months required.

Madonna appealed the decision, and on June 12, 2009, the Supreme Court of Malawi granted her the right to adopt Mercy.

Madonna with David, Stella, Esther and Mercy James.

(Credit: Instagram)

By 2013, Madonna’s Raising Malawi had built ten schools to educate children in Malawi, however her relationship with the country’s government was strained.

The Ray of Light singer was stripped of her VIP status in 2013 after problems arose with Malawi’s former president Joyce Banda, who claimed the star wanted eternal gratitude for adopting David and Mercy, accusing her of exaggerating the charity’s contribution.

In fact, many Malawian’s have accused the courts of giving Madonna special exception to laws that prevent non-residents from adopting children to take abroad.

However, when Banda was ousted in the 2014 elections, the new president Peter Mutharika moved to repair relations between the country and the mega-star, saying “my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country”.

Mercy likes to keep things rather lowkey, but we know she likes to spend time skateboarding because Madonna treated her to a day out at the skate park for her birthday.

Besides her sporting talents, she is also musically inclined and has a knack for playing the piano.

WATCH: Madonna’s twins, Estere and Stella singing in the car. Continues after video …

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Madonna adopts Stella and Esther

In 2017, aged 58, the Like A Virgin hitmaker, surprised the world by announcing she would be a mum again by adopting four-year-old twin girls Stella and Esther.

Once again, the legalities of the adoption were questioned.

Cuties: Madonna adopted twins Stella and Esther in 2017.

(Credit: Instagram)

But a lawyer for Madonna in Malawi told Reuters that, “Madonna has demonstrated over the years that she has passion for Malawi and her children, and therefore the court was satisfied and could not stop the adoption of the twins.”

The youngest girls in the family are still too young to have lucrative modelling gigs or big plans, but like Mercy, they love music and are learning how to play the piano.

Madonna posted this picture for the twins’ birthday.

(Credit: Instagram)

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