US superstar Madonna adopted twin girls in Malawi on Tuesday, a court official told AFP, raising to four the total number of children she has adopted from the southern African nation.
"I can officially confirm I have completed the process of adopting twin sisters from Malawi and am overjoyed that they are now part of our family. I am deeply grateful to all those in Malawi who helped make this possible, and I ask the media please to respect our privacy during this transitional time. Thank you also to my friends, family and my very large team for all your support and Love!" -Madonna
Madonna at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi's second largest city and commercial capital, seen here with surgical trainees and her daughter, Mercy (Nov. 2014).
Just two weeks ago, she denied being involved in a fresh adoption application in Malawi, where she has been caught up in controversy.
"I can confirm that Madonna has been granted an adoption order for two children," said judicial spokesman Mlenga Mvula, describing them as four-year-old twins called Esther and Stella.
Ahead of the ruling by judge Fiona Mwale, the singer arrived at the High Court in the capital Lilongwe with a large number of private security guards and police, local media said.
Madonna, who set up a charity called Raising Malawi in 2006, previously adopted two other children there, David Banda in 2006 and Mercy James in 2009.
Her publicist was not immediately available for comment following the court's approval.
Mwale said the twins were from the Home of Hope orphanage in Mchinji, a western town near the Zambian border which lies 110 kilometres (70 miles) from Lilongwe.
David Banda was adopted from the same orphanage.
Two weeks ago, Madonna, 58, had denied reports that she had appeared in the same court to file an adoption application, telling US magazine People that "the rumours of an adoption process are untrue."
- Rocky relations -
Madonna's charity is funding a surgical unit for children at the Queen Elizabeth hospital in Blantyre, Malawi's commercial hub.
The singer last visited the hospital in July, taking her two adopted children with her.
But she has not always been welcomed with open arms.
In 2013, the popstar was stripped of VIP status by former president Joyce Banda's government, which accused her of being "uncouth" and wanting unending gratitude from the nation for her adoptions.
But in the 2014 elections, Banda was ousted as president by Peter Mutharika who has moved to repair the relationship, saying "my government has always been grateful for the passion Madonna has for this country".
Last July, Madonna said she would not revive plans for a $15 million (14 million euro) academy for girls in Malawi, which were shelved following allegations of mismanagement which had sparked her tiff with Banda.
The singer, who divorced film director Guy Ritchie in 2008, now has six children.
Last month, she made a surprise appearance at a mass rally for women's rights in Washington in defiance of Donald Trump who had been inaugurated as president a day earlier.
During the election campaign, she had backed Hillary Clinton's bid to become America's first woman president.
She completed a global tour for her latest album "Rebel Heart" last year and will soon direct a movie, "Loved."
There are 650 orphans in the house of hope, where esterre and Estelle lived 4 years since they both had 5. Directed by the generous and compassionate Reverend Chipeto, and his daughter Lucy Raising Malawi was working with " HOH " (home of hope) for over 10 years, ever since I found myself there with my son David. If you'd like to get involved as a volunteer, or make a donation, please visit www.RaisingMalawi.org for every little bit is a big help!!!