LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - Save the Children on Saturday stressed that the best place for a child was with their family in their home country, as United States pop queen Madonna prepares to adopt another Malawian child.
The British-based charity urged celebrities to ensure that all other options had been exhausted before taking a child out of a foreign orphanage.
Singer Madonna, 50, is filing legal papers with a court in Malawi seeking to adopt a second child from the east African country, her lawyer said Thursday.
"The best place for a child is in his or her family in their community," Save the Children spokesman Dominic Nutt said in a statement.
"Most children in orphanages have one parent still living, or have an extended family that can care for them in the absence of their parents."
"Save The Children believes that international adoption should only be considered if the child is a genuine orphan, if all other alternatives in their own country have been genuinely exhausted."
He warned that international adoption could actually worsen the problem it sought to solve, and said the practice could be "big business" for "unscrupulous adoption agencies."
Madonna's adoption of toddler David Banda was finalized last year. His father Yohane had left the child at an orphanage to escape poverty in his rural village in Mchinji, in central Malawi.
Nutt said: "If the celebrity really wants to help children in poor countries, they should support charities like Save The Children and others who seek to improve the quality of children's lives in their own countries and communities."