Madonna is trying to adopt four-year-old twin sisters from Malawi, MailOnline can reveal.
The girls, called Stella and Esther, have lived together in an orphanage for two years.
The 58-year-old singer applied for custody of the girls at the High Court in the capital Lilongwe on Wednesday morning.
The mother-of-four could have to wait up to three weeks to find out if she has been successful.
Madonna yesterday denied she was in the African country to adopt any more children, and insisted she was only there to visit a children’s hospital and her charity.
But Lucy Bandazi, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, told MailOnline all the paperwork have been submitted and the application was being carefully considered.
Adoption: Madonna submitted a 12 page application for custody of four-year-old twin girls called Stella and Esther at the High Court in the capital Lilongwe on Wednesday morning
It’s official: Lucy Bandazi, a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare, told MailOnline all the necessary paperwork had been filled out and the application was being carefully considered
Waiting game: The 58-year-old American singer could have to wait up to three weeks to find out if she has been successful, increasing her number of children from four to six. Pictured: The Ministry of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare in Lilongwe, Malawi’s capital
Charity: Madonna yesterday denied she was in the country to adopt any more children, and insisted she was only there to visit a children’s hospital and her charity. Pictured: An overview of Lilongwe
Four to six: Madonna adopted her first child from Malawi, a boy called David (above middle) in 2008 and a daughter Mercy (second left) a year later. They joined her son Rocco (left) and Lourdes (right) on a skiing holiday with the singer at new year
‘Madonna has lodged an application with the High Court to adopt two girls. They are aged four years old.
‘All the necessary paperwork is before the High Court and they will make the ultimate decision if the adoption can go ahead.’
After being spotted at the court, Madonna released a statement through US magazine People, trying to quash the adoption claims.
‘The rumors of an adoption process are untrue,’ she said.
‘I am in Malawi to check on the children’s hospital in Blantyre and my other work with Raising Malawi and then heading home.’
But government sources told MailOnline Madonna had applied to adopt the two girls from an orphanage where they were left two years ago.
Madonna’s application to take home the two girls is currently undergoing a vetting procedure that looks at all aspects of her life.
Ms Bandazi said process would be followed as usual, regardless of the fame of the applicant.
Visit: Madonna is said to have block booked the exclusive Kumbali Country Lodge just outside Lilongwe before appearing before Judge Fiona Mwale at the High Court. Pictured: Mercy James and David in Malawi in July last year
Family: The 12 page application to adopt the twin girls is under review at the High Court. Pictured: Madonna with David and Mercy James during a visit to Malawi in 2013
Close: Madonna, pictured with her daughter Mercy James in 2010, claimed she was visiting Malawi to check up on her charities and denied rumours she was there to adopt more children
‘We will look at her financial situation and her social situation. There will be a lot of factors that are taken into consideration.
‘Just because she is famous it does not mean procedures will be overlooked,’ said Ms Bandazi, speaking from her office in the Malawi capital Lilongwe.
‘The judge will take into consideration all her social factors, such as where she will live and where the children will be brought up.’
The 12 page application to adopt the twin girls is under review by the Justice Fiona Mwale at the High Court.
Madonna made a quick exit after the hearing in a white Kia Sportage which was parked by the doors normally used by judges.
Legal process: Madonna could wait up to three weeks before finding out if she has been successful in her adoption. Pictured clockwise from top left: Madonna’s children Mercy James, Rocco, David and Lourdes
Three week wait: Court spokesman Mlenga Mvula said it was unlikely Madonna would be leaving Malawi with the children at the weekend. Pictured: Madonna in Malawi with David and Mercy James in 2013
A spokesman for the court said any decision for the adoption to proceed is likely to take time.
Mlenga Mvula said it was unlikely Madonna would be leaving Malawi with the children at the weekend.
He told MailOnline: ‘It is now up to the court decide if the adoption can go ahead. The application will be processed in the normal way. ‘The judge will make a final decision.’
Mr Mvula said the adoption request was made through Madonna’s lawyer, Titus Mvala.
Philanthropist: When adopting Mercy James in 2009, Madonna claimed she was in the country promoting charitable causes and pledged more than £1.6m to help 900,000 orphans in the country
After arriving in Malawi by private jet with her entourage, she block booked the exclusive Kumbali Country Lodge, according to local reports.
She claimed to have travelled to the country to check up on her charity projects, just as she did before adopting her son David Banda in 2008.
The country’s Human Rights Commission claimed his adoption, from the Hope Orphan Care Centre in the village of Mchinji, was illegal because the singer had not been in Malawi for at least 18 months, and thereby not a resident.
Madonna said she was in the country for ten days promoting charitable causes at the time and pledged more than £1.6m to help 900,000 orphans in the country.
A year later she adopted a Malawian girl, Mercy Jones, from the Kondanani Children’s Village in Chichiri, in Malawi’s second largest city Blantyre.
Three years earlier, in 2006, Madonna had founded the Raising Malawi charity to address the poverty and hardship endured by the African country’s orphans and vulnerable children.
She returns to the country regularly and in July last year, she went back to check on the progress of a medical centre she was supporting in Blantyre.
The proud mother posted pictures of herself with son Rocco, eldest daughter Lourdes, as well as David and Mercy, as they toured the country.
Help at hand: In 2006, Madonna founded the Raising Malawi charity to address the poverty and hardship endured by the African country’s orphans and vulnerable children. Pictured: Madonna visiting the country with her children several years ago
David’s father Yohane Banda said he had healed his ongoing rift with the superstar the same month.
He had earlier blasted the singer over the dispute, claiming his son David Banda would be better off living in poverty than with her as she and ex-husband Guy Ritchie went through a bitter divorce.
In an exclusive interview at the time, he told MailOnline: ‘I only want the best for my child and I was concerned for him when the custody battle with Rocco was happening.
She was stripped of her VIP status by former president Joyce Banda’s government in 2013 and accused of being ‘uncouth’ for seeking eternal gratitude from the impoverished country after adopting the two children.
But Banda was ousted in 2014 elections and the new president, Peter Mutharika, moved to repair relations, saying ‘my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country’.
American citizens adopting foreign children must do so through an accredited ‘Adoption Service Provider’ in the United States because Malawi does not have any adoption agencies, new rules state.
MailOnline contacted Madonna’s spokeswoman for comment.