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Pop star Madonna's been told she can't adopt a four-year-old girl called Mercy James from the south east African country of Malawi.

A court there said she won't be allowed to become Mercy's mum, as the star has never lived in the country.

Rules in Malawi say anyone who wants to adopt a child must have lived there for more than 18 months.

But those rules weren't applied when Madonna adopted a baby boy called David from Malawi three years ago.

David was just one when he went to live with Madonna and her two other children, Lourdes, 12, and eight-year-old Rocco.


It's not clear at the moment if Madonna will appeal against the decision.


The singer's being criticized by some charities who say it's not always the best thing for kids to go and live abroad.


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