Madonna and Guy Ritchie have been granted an "interim adoption" by the Malawian government—David will live in their care for an initial 18 months while a London-based social worker will visit them periodically to ensure David is being cared for and not neglected. After the 18 months, Madonna and Guy may then legally adopt David.
Madonna says that her critics don't really understand how the Malawian adoption process works if they believe she used status to speed up the process of adopting David. "I assure you it doesn't matter who you are or how much money you have, nothing goes fast in Africa," Madonna says. "There are no adoption laws in Malawi. And I was warned by my social worker that because there were no known laws in Malawi, they were more or less going to have to make them up as we went along. And she did say to me, 'Pick Ethiopia. Go to Kenya. Don't go to Malawi because you're just going to get a hard time.'"