Madonna's adoption of an "abandoned baby" has taken on even more controversy now that it has come to light that a Canadian grandmother had been visiting baby David in his Malawian orphanage for over a year and had been in the process of adopting him herself.
For six years retired teacher Jane Glaves has been making donations to the Home Of Hope orphanage in Mchinji, where David was placed by his father after his mother died from childbirth complications. The woman has also regularly lived there for three months at a time and had developed a close bond with David.
The boy's father confirmed that the woman - who was also the main benefactor to the orphanage - had planned to adopt his son. Mr Banda said he had been waiting for the woman's brother to come and collect David. "We were waiting for them both to come back to the village, but Madonna took him first. If these people had adopted him, no one would have ever caused this fuss and I could be living my life as normal."
Mrs Glaves said she was perplexed when Madonna chose David. 'We put forward the names of children who had nobody, but she chose David knowing he had a living parent,' she said.
She added: 'Madonna has said she was told David's family had never been to visit him. But David's dad used to come to see him regularly.'
Malawian law says foreigners must live in the country for 18 months before they are eligible to adopt a child. Madonna has admitted that her team had to 'make the laws up as they went along' to adopt David.
When Mrs Glaves was involved in the adoption of the twins and a girl by two Canadian families, the process took three years. 'At first I was angry that Madonna seemed to be able to adopt David so quickly because of the length of time and stress the other two families had to endure,' she said. 'In my six years working in Malawi, they are the only orphans I know to have left the country. Madonna obviously had very good lawyers.'
Last week Madonna, 48, said that when she met David at the orphanage she was told his mother had died of Aids, while his father's whereabouts were unknown. But Mr Banda said: 'This is not true. I used to cycle there almost every week to play with him, and his grandmother would sometimes go and spend a few days there. David was not an abandoned baby. He was very much loved.'
On the claim that his wife had died of Aids, he said: "She never went for an HIV test, so how could anyone know?"