We Didn't Want To Let Mercy Go
Mar 01, 2006 - Malawian, South Africa - EXCLUSIVE - 'Madonna's Rocco row is nothing compared to the battle she will face with Mercy': Star must talk to family of Malawi 'orphan' she adopted or face serious rift, warns best friend of girl's REAL mother
Reconciled with her son Rocco after months of separation and bitter words, Madonna returned to New York with fresh hope that her family will be once more re-united.
But as lawyers attempt to work out a mutual custody agreement, she has been sent a warning that she could face a far greater battle in the future.
A battle for the heart and mind of her adopted Malawian daughter Mercy James, whose natural family believe they were hoodwinked into agreeing the adoption and who want her back.
Twenty-five-year-old Agatha Molande claims that the controversial adoption will prove a never-ending saga as 10-year-old Mercy uncovers the true history of her birth.
'The Mercy situation is potentially a bigger problem than the custody battle [over Rocco],' she said.
'Madonna may have been acting in good faith believing she was saving a child from poverty and death, as she may not have been told the whole truth.
'It is difficult to put into words the love Mercy's Malawian family have for her.
'They love her so much and never intended to be permanently separated from her.
'For them it is a battle they will not stop fighting. Madonna needs to understand that as Mercy grows older and becomes aware of these things it may not be good for her and all parties concerned.'
The adoption of Mercy in 2009 led to heartbreaking scenes within her family as a deal was struck to hand the child over, amid, allegedly, broken promises of visitation rights and her eventual return - something that Madonna has strongly denied.
The family say they have lost contact with Mercy since the adoption.
But in a war of words with the family, a spokesperson for the 57-year-old superstar said: 'Mercy has never had her past or her heritage hidden from her and she visit