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Let’s Talk About It!: Chris & Malaak Rock Split… But Who’s Going to Be Responsible for Their Adopted Daughter



(L) Malaak Compton-Rock, (Center L) Lola Simone Rock, (Center R) Zahra Savannah Rock and (L) Chris Rock

Not everybody wants, or needs to be a parent… as we discussed that extensively here, when Mnena wrote about it on BellaNaija. {Click here if you missed it}. A lot of times, adults are so busy focusing on themselves that they don’t pause for a minute to think about the children they’re bringing into their lives. Parenting of a child goes beyond just bearing the title; it involves complete, wholesome care for the child and if you’re unable or unwilling to do that, then there’s no reason why you should have kids – societal expectations be damned can jump into a lake.

This is something I’ve been thinking about since I read the story of the dispute between Chris Rock and his ex-wife Malaak over the child they raised as their own. According to the report by People magazinethe child lived with them “who has resided with the parties since before her first birthday.” (Reports have stated that the girl was born overseas.)

While the adoption by Malaak is not yet finalized, it is actively in process under the rigorous guidelines and safeguards of international adoption policy. The child is in the country lawfully with the written consent of her birth parents, and while here, has been cherished and adored by the entire Rock family.

As the couple bickers back and forth over child support, I can’t help but wonder about the care for the adopted child. In Nigeria, adoption isn’t one that is readily and openly embraced. {I wrote about it here} It’s still something that people hide and don’t want to openly discuss as an option when they want to start a family. However, we are more open to the alternative of raising the child of a relative, or townsman – without the commitment of having them legally identified as ours. {We also talked about that here}

When you do take up responsibility for a child, what happens in the case of a divorce? Nigeria doesn’t have the strict child support laws as is the case in America; but who is responsible for the care and protection of an adopted child in the case of a divorce?

Do you simply just return the child to the parents – if it’s a guardianship? Or do you take sole custody of the child? Have you ever been in this situation?

Let’s talk about it!

Photo Credit: Getty Images | Larry Busacca

You probably wanna read a fancy bio? But first things first! Atoke published a book titled, +234 - An Awkward Guide to Being Nigerian. It's available on Amazon. ;)  Also available at Roving Heights bookstore. Okay, let's go on to the bio: With a Masters degree in Creative Writing from Swansea University, Atoke hopes to be known as more than just a retired foodie and a FitFam adherent. She can be reached for speechwriting, copywriting, letter writing, script writing, ghost writing  and book reviews by email – [email protected]. She tweets with the handle @atoke_ | Check out her Instagram page @atoke_ and visit her website for more information.


  1. smh

    November 30, 2015 at 2:23 pm

    how is one come take concen Nigeria? report about the newly kidnapped girls and the 84 soldiers that were killed yesterday. this month has been a bloody and terrible blow for our soldiers. over 500 of them killed and you are talking about hollywood issue. please help Nigeria in your own little way and keep us updated/ report pressing issues. don’t be like others for keeping mute out of fear. a lot happening in Nigeria

  2. ck

    November 30, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    the adopted child should go wherever the other two children go, although because adoption isn’t finalised, in this case returning her back to her family is an option but consider how she will cope going from rich to poor or average or from developed country to a country ridden with diseases and abject poverty. Poor kid

  3. Anon

    November 30, 2015 at 4:44 pm

    Do you simply just return the child to the parents? No, they forge on…

    In Sandra Bullock’s case when she left Jesse James, she continued the adoption on her own.

    “David Banda, adopted by Madonna and then-husband Guy Ritchie in October, 2006.”
    Madonna has all her kids with her. I believe G.R has visitation rights/some weekends with the kids..

    Eric Benet has an adopted daughter. Halle Berry didn’t quite get round to adopting her. He has full control.

    I think once it’s formalised both parents have a say.

  4. chi-e-z

    November 30, 2015 at 5:47 pm

    hmm so does the lady want child support for the adopted child idk if Chris will agree and wat a crazy thing. I’ll enjoy my single life oh marraige nd children na wa ..

  5. FasholasLover

    November 30, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    Atoke, is this a trick question or what? The parents simply continue being responsible for their child/children. In this case, she is their child QED. I also do not like (for the first time) your intro. I’ll rather two happy divorced parents than miserable “forced” to stay married parents.

  6. nnenne

    December 1, 2015 at 1:50 am

    Am sure, they are not the first.
    Ask Tom cruise and Nicole Kidman!

  7. O

    December 2, 2015 at 3:39 am

    Chris Rock o ni pe fe oyinbo, o ga ju.

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