A court in Malawi has rejected pop star Madonna's request to adopt a second child from the country.
High Court Judge Esmie Chondo ruled Madonna can not adopt the child because of laws that limit adoption to Malawian residents.
In her ruling Friday, the judge also expressed concern that by bending adoption rules, Malawian courts could facilitate child trafficking.
Madonna's lawyer, Alan Chinula, later said his client will appeal the ruling with Malawi's Supreme Court.
Madonna is seeking to adopt a four-year-old girl, Chifundo James, known as "Mercy."
Mercy's teenage mother died shortly after giving birth and the child resides in an orphanage.
Human rights groups accused the Malawian government of giving Madonna special treatment in 2006 when she adopted her son.
David Banda is now three years old and earlier this week visited his biological father.
Last year, a Malawian court finalized David's adoption to Madonna.
Madonna is single following her divorce from British film director Guy Ritchie last year.
She has two biological children, ages eight and 12.
An AIDS epidemic in Malawi has orphaned more than one million children. Madonna has set up the Raising Malawi charity, which provides support to vulnerable children.
Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.