Mike Bruno
April 03, 2009 AT 02:12 PM EDT

A Malawi judge has rejected Madonna’s bid to adopt another child from the African country, according to the AP. A judge and lawyer, speaking to the AP anonymously, reportedly said the bid was shot down due to a requirement that prospective parents live in Malawi for at least 18 months before they can adopt. A judge waived that rule when Madonna took her adopted son David with her to London in 2006. It is unclear why Judge Esme Chombo ruled differently this time.

Madonna’s attempt to adopt 3-year-old Chifundo “Mercy” James has created outcry amongst activists who claim the girl would be better off with relatives.

UPDATE: Reuters reports that Madonna’s lawyer says the pop star is appealing the court ruling barring her from adopting a second child.

More on Madonna’s Malawi adoption:

Madonna’s Malawi adoption ruling pushed to Friday under storm of criticism

Madonna’s new adoption: Malawian court to review her request

Madonna adopting second Malawian child, say officials

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