LILONGWE (Reuters) - U.S. pop star Madonna is still keen on adopting a second child from Malawi, despite a court ruling in the southern African country preventing her from doing so, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.
Madonna, who lost an appeal against a High Court decision refusing her bid to adopt a four-year-old girl named Mercy James, said she wants to provide education and a family environment for the young girl.
"I want to provide Mercy with a home, a loving family environment and the best education and healthcare possible. And it's my hope that she like David, will one day return to Malawi and help the people of their country," Madonna told the Nation on Sunday newspaper in an emailed response to questions.
"Though I have been advised that I cannot publicly discuss the pending appeal regarding my desire to adopt Mercy, I do want to say how much I appreciate the level of support that I have received from the people of Malawi and my friends around the world."
Malawi's government came under fire after Madonna adopted a 13-month-old child, David Banda, in 2006, with critics accusing it of giving her special treatment by skirting laws that ban non-residents from adopting children.
Madonna's lawyer, Alan Chinula, has already lodged a notice of appeal against the decision earlier this month but by last week the courts had not yet granted a date for the hearing.
In her ruling, Judge Esimie Chombo warned against celebrity adoptions, saying they could lead to child trafficking.
"Anyone could come to Malawi and quickly arrange for an adoption that might have grave consequences on the very children that the law seeks to protect," she said.
Madonna has entertained millions around the world with sexy high-energy performances and songs like "Material Girl" and "Papa Don't Preach," and created controversies along the way.
The star, who was divorced last year from British film director Guy Ritchie, is one of the music industry's most successful singers, with album sales of more than 200 million.
Reporting by Mabvuto Banda; Editing by Sophie Hares