Madonna is seeking to adopt a baby girl named Mercy from Malawi, according to country officials.
The newly single superstar and mother of three filed adoption papers, an official at the Malawi welfare department told The Associated Press. A U.S. government official confirmed the bid was underway.
Madonna is expected to arrive in the impoverished African nation this weekend ahead of Monday's court proceedings to adopt 4-year-old Mercy James of the Mchinji Home of Hope orphanage.
"[Mercy] has no father and mother, they both died," an official at the Ministry of Gender and Child Development told Reuters. "We finished the assessment yesterday in readiness for the courts next week."
TVGuide.com's calls to Madonna's rep, Liz Rosenberg, were not immediately returned.
Mercy would be Madonna's second child from Malawi. Her 2006 adoption of son David Banda, now 3, was mired in controversy after many Malawians accused the government of fast-tracking the process due to the singer's celebrity status. The adoption wasn't finalized until May 2008.
Last week, Madonna told Malawi's Nation newspaper she wanted a sibling for David.
"Many people — especially our Malawian friends — say that David should have a Malawian brother or sister," she said. "It's something I have been considering but would only do if I had the support of the Malawian people and the government."
The 50-year-old, who's been linked to 22-year-old model Jesus Luz since her November divorce from Guy Ritchie, has two older children: Lourdes, 12, with ex-boyfriend Carlos Leon, and Rocco, 8, with Ritchie.