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Last Updated: Monday March 30 2009 15:36 GMT

Madonna tries to adopt second kid

Madonna in Malawi

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Pop star Madonna's been in court in Malawi in West Africa to tell judges why she should be allowed to adopt a four-year-old girl called Mercy James.

Three years ago she adopted a boy called David Banda from the same country, when he was just one.

She already has two kids of her own, Lourdes, 12, and eight-year-old Rocco.

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

Sarah Jacobs, from Save the Children, said that Madonna should think again about what she is doing.

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"It might seem that Madonna is doing a really good thing in taking this girl to America to give her an education, but it's an education she could have got with her own family, if they were given the proper support.

"In fact, choosing to adopt out of an orphanage could have a very dangerous impact on many other children."

She said this case might make some Africans think it's better to leave their children in orphanages in the hope that they might get a better life, but in fact orphanages can be very dangerous and sad places.

The court will meet again on Friday to discuss the adoption further.