Madonna Still Hopes to Adopt 3-Year-Old Mercy

04/13/2009 at 07:05 AM EDT

Madonna Still Hopes to Adopt 3-Year-Old Mercy
Madonna
Michelly Rall/Getty

Madonna

Madonna

Madonna wants her children to give back – and says that son David Banda and the 3-year-old Malawian girl, Chifundo "Mercy" James, whom the star still hopes to adopt, "will one day return to Malawi and help the people of their country."

While a Malawian judge rejected Madonna's petition to adopt Mercy earlier this month over a residency requirement, the star's lawyer has filed an appeal and Madonna, 50, told the Malawian newspaper the Nation in an email, "I want to provide Mercy with a home, a loving family environment and the best education and health care possible."

No appeal date has been set.

In a statement from her rep to CNN, Madonna further stated, "Though I have been advised that I cannot publicly discuss the pending appeal regarding my desire to adopt Mercy, I do want to say how much I appreciate the level of support that I have received from the people of Malawi and my friends around the world."

In turning down Madonna's request to adopt, the judge admitted she had "a gripping temptation" to approve it, according to court records. The jurist feared, however, that such a move might open the doors to child trafficking. "Anyone could come to Malawi and quickly arrange for an adoption that might have grave consequences on the very children that the law seeks to protect," wrote Justice E.J. Chombo.

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