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Report: Adopted Boy’s Dad Lauds Madonna

November 1, 2006

BERLIN (AP) _ The father of the boy from Malawi adopted by Madonna praised her for opening ``the way to a better life″ for his son and questioned legal attempts to delay the adoption, a German publication reported Wednesday.

``Madonna was like a bulldozer who has cleared the way for a better life for my son,″ Yohane Banda was quoted as saying by the magazine Bunte in an interview slated to appear on newsstands Thursday.

Banda left his son with the Malawian orphanage, where Madonna found him, after the boy’s mother died shortly after childbirth _ a relatively frequent occurrence in the impoverished African nation which suffers from high rates of maternal and infant mortality. He lost two other children in infancy to malaria.

Banda rejected efforts by a human rights group to hold up the adoption in order to make sure no Malawian laws were broken.

``Madonna explained to me that she wanted to adopt my son,″ Banda was quoted as saying in the interview, which took place Friday. ``She assured me she would take good care of David and raise him in peace.″

``I told her that the most important thing for me was, that she offered my son a good future. And then I agreed to the adoption.″

The people in his village considered it an honor that Madonna had adopted one of their children, and Banda said he slaughtered a goat to celebrate with the whole family.

Banda was asked if it would not have been better for Madonna to simply give him and David money. ``She knows what to do with a lot of money, and I don’t,″ he said. ``I could not have started anything with the money, and in the end it would have only spoiled things for me and David.″

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