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Madonna’s adoption bid fails

Madonna’s bid to adopt four-year-old Mercy James from Malawi has been rejected.

Madonna and adopted son David in Malawi (Rex)

"I must have to decline to grant the application to Madonna," Judge Esmie Chondo said at a hearing in Malawi’s High Court. It’s thought the judge rejected the claim due to the country’s residency rules, which state that prospective parents should be resident in Malawi for 18 to 24 months.

Madonna has been in the south African state all week, along with three-year-old son David Banda, who she adopted from Malawi in 2006. She had faced widespread criticism for allegedly attempting to use her star power and money to bypass official adoption procedures, a claim that was fiercely denied by her publicist.

Earlier this week, a number of human rights groups said they opposed the adoption, stating it was preferable for Mercy to be looked after by her extended family in Malawi. Her 18-year-old mother died shortly after giving birth in 2005.

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