Hollywood's Cash-For-Kid Exchange
By: Rachel Marsden
Celebrity international adoptions are all the rage right now, thanks to
Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt. Apparently, Pitt can't get enough. He told the
London Mirror: "I have three kids now and next year I'll have six. Nine. We're
looking for a soccer team. I want to compete in the next World Cup." Wanting a
Ronaldo jersey is normal. Wanting his entire team is not.
This week, Madonna adopted a baby boy named David from Malawi, Africa. Reportedly, she's also eyeing a little black girl from the same village, and remarked, "She looks just like me." This could only mean that the kid was wearing a cone bra, leg warmers, and a Kabbalah bracelet.
According to the U.S. State Department website, anyone who wants to adopt a child in Malawi "must foster a prospective adoptive child for 24 months in Malawi before an adoption may be finalized," and must be a resident of the country. Yet Madonna flew in with her millions and left town pretty quickly with her new acquisition.
If this kind of fast-tracking is going to be allowed, then why even waste celebrities' time in having to go there and pick through the orphanages? Madonna has to get back to her busy life of disco dancing, mock crucifixions, and Bush-bashing!
How about shipping the kids to an L.A. boutique, where celebrities can pick one up along with some new jeans? Or maybe Hollywood could do a Foreign Baby Draft, like we have for pro sports teams. Brad and Angie can fork out top dollar for their good-looking soccer team, and the homely, cheaper ones can go to celebs whose careers are in the dumper, like Michael Jackson or Gary Coleman.
If anything, it should be harder, not easier, for Hollywood celebrities to adopt African kids than it is for average folks. As we learned from Halle Berry's Oscar acceptance speech, life in Hollywood is really hard for blacks. If David goes into showbiz like his parents, he'll face being typecast, always being the first one killed off in action movies -- unless he has Denzel-calibre acting skills. (And he might, considering he's not genetically related to Madonna).
Some people take issue with Madonna removing David from his "natural cultural environment." Look, being exposed to Big Macs and Jackass movies still beats starving in Africa.
Ironically, in third-world countries whose "culture" is so venerated by liberals, people who can are leaving in droves -- and fleeing to the U.S., U.K. and Canada. David's just getting a head start.
If Madonna ever feels like giving David a taste of the roots he left behind, she can just buy him a fly-swatter, and get his doctor to dress up in a blue UN peacekeeper's cap before administering his vaccinations. Then Bob Geldof and Uncle Bono can come over and sing him a few tunes.
David will manage just fine. Despite being at odds with my own social and cultural environment as a Canadian conservative, I turned out alright.
And speaking of right-wingers, if it's any consolation to Madonna, this cash-for-kid exchange could have been far more controversial: Imaine the furor if it had been conservative talk-radio host Rush Limbaugh forking over big bucks to bring home a little black baby to the southern USA.
PUBLISHED: TORONTO SUN (October 20/06)
COPYRIGHT 2006 RACHEL MARSDEN