Madonna may not have given birth to son David, but that doesn't mean his delivery to her was pain-free. Not that the Material Mama seems to mind.
"Up until this time there wasn't an adoption law, so consequently I'm sort of the template or the role model, so to speak, for future adoptions," she told reporters of her challenging—emotionally and legally—adoption of the Malawi-born boy after screening I Am Because We Are, her documentary chronicling the ordeal, at the Cannes Film Festival.
"Hopefully after we get through this adoption, it will be easier for other people to adopt children...I'm happy to be the guinea pig."
Madonna and husband Guy Ritchie have still not formally been given permanent custody of the 2-year-old pending a final, perpetually delayed hearing in Lilongwe. But as hard as the adoption process has been, she said the payoff has more than made up for the unnatural rite of passage.
"Yes, it was painful and it was a big struggle and I didn't understand it. But in the end I rationalized that when a woman has a child and goes through natural childbirth, she suffers an enormous amount.
"So I sort of went through my own kind of birthing pains, dealing with the press on my front doorstep and accusing me of kidnapping or whatever you want to call it. In the end it made me stronger, so I can't complain."