Steven Curtis Chapman Lauds Madonna's Adoption

Despite overwhelming criticism over her adoption of a 13-month-old Malawian boy, Madonna has been lauded by a Grammy Award winning Christian artist and two Malawian officials.

"The bottom line is, there are 145 million estimated orphans in the world [and] anytime a celebrity turns their focus to that, I think good comes from it,” said singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman, who has three adopted daughters from China.

Madonna had recently taken a trip to Malawi and learned of the country's over 1 million orphans living in poverty.

"It was my wish to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and in many cases death, as well as expand our family," she had said earlier.

The 48-year-old singer and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, have been criticized for their adopting David Banda, whose mother died at his birth and whose father is still alive but unable to support the boy. Malawian authorities reportedly waived local rules to grant Madonna and her husband an interim adoption last month, which drew a wave of opposition from human right groups.

Malawian law bans adoptions by non-residents, but an exemption was given to Madonna, reports claim.

Madonna defended her actions saying she followed the adoption procedure according to the laws in both Malawi and Britain. The Malawian boy arrived in London last month.

International relief organization World Vision also criticized the adoption, saying it is not the best option for anyone involved. Rather than adoption, the Christian charity suggested sponsorship.

Others said it would have been better for the child if Madonna had helped his impoverished father, Yohane Banda, to care for the boy in Malawi, according to USA Today. Madonna said Banda refused her offer of financial assistance to help him keep his son.

Education Minister Anna Kachikho praised the singer for taking the boy into her care.

"What Madonna has done is great," said Kachikho. "Here is Madonna who has picked a son from a Malawian father who has lost a wife and nobody takes care of, and she says, 'I would like to educate and bring home that child.'"

Foreign Affairs Minister Joyce Banda said Madonna's charity – Raising Malawi – had helped several thousand children in the southeast African nation, USA Today reported.

Chapman, one of the nation's leading advocates for adoption, sees Madonna's adoption move as a big boost to raise awareness about the millions of children living without families and inspire more adoption.

“It opens up more people to consider the fact that, ‘Wow, there are a lot of children in the world who don’t have families’ ... If celebrities are going to use their celebrity for that, I’m going to cheer on the good and raise the flag if there are questionable issues," he commented, according to the Tennessean.

The Christian artist established an organization – Shaohannah's Hope – to help families adopt. So far, the organization, named after his first adopted daughter, has provided assistant grants that helped place over hundreds of orphans in families. This month – National Adoption Month – Chapman celebrates the 1,000th grant awarded by his foundation.