When Cheryl Carter-Shotts
adopted son home from Ethiopia, there were no paparazzi at the airport, no reporters staking out her
home and definitely no appearance on Oprah.
The year was 1985, and his
name was Mohammed.
"I will never know why, I just absolutely fell in love," Carter-Shotts
...Carter-Shotts, founder and managing director of Americans for African Adoption, has her own take on the Madonna adoption.
"I think she
probably had to be doing everything correctly on the U.K. side, because the U.K. is very, very strict," she
said.If not, Madonna would not have been able to bring the baby into the United Kingdom, where she
has dual citizenship.
not sure the child's father, Yohane Banda, a poor farmer, realized that the child would legally become Madonna's son."The man indicated he
had no education and he
certainly didn't understand English," she
"Putting a child in an African orphanage absolutely does not mean the child is available for adoption," she
, who's been to 12 African countries, said she's
seen time and again fathers placing their infants in orphanages so they can receive milk.When the children are old enough to eat table food, the fathers retrieve them.
said, an illiterate farmer is no match for well-educated social workers, judges and lawyers.She
believes that Yohane Banda probably thought about taking his
son back, especially when he
realized that the child would be leaving the country and would no longer have his
didn't want to deny him the opportunity for a better life. She
said Madonna could have offered financial assistance so the father could have raised the child.
concluded from her
research of adoption laws in Malawi that it would be impossible for anyone who is not a citizen of the country to adopt a child there without having lived in Malawi for 18 months.
Since 2002, there have been only seven U.S. immigrant visas issued for Malawian orphans, most likely to U.S. missionaries.
Most of the African children she's
placed for adoption have been from Ethiopia or Sierra Leone.