02/13/2007 AT 08:25 AM EST
Add Queen Latifah to the list of celebrities who want to adopt – but the rapper turned actress says she hopes to stay close to home to do it.
Asked by Ellen DeGeneres on Monday if she wanted kids, Latifah, 36, told the talk-show host, "I totally want like 18 babies."
When DeGeneres wondered if she wanted to have biological children or adopt, Latifah replied, "I want to have and adopt. I always have, ever since I was 18 I wanted a baby and I wanted to have and adopt because there are a lot of kids.
"I want to adopt an American baby though, you know what I mean, no offense," she continued. "Just because there are so many kids here that need our help. My sister is a social worker, and there are just so many kids that could use a good home."
She made sure to point out, however, that she understands the appeal of foreign adoptions. "Nothing against going out the country. That's great and I get why a lot of people do it – because of the laws here. I just feel like if I do I would help a kid right [here] in the hood."