However, Mercy's family are said to oppose the adoption.

Her grandmother, Lucy Chekechiwa, 60, says she is "firmly against" Mercy being adopted outside of her home country.

She said: "We know that it is Mercy who Madonna really wants. We heard it is because my granddaughter is such a beautiful, happy child.

"Twice I have told the adoption people that I do not want Mercy to go outside the country.

"But they keep on at us. Now they say that Mercy will be leaving us, but can return at age 18. Yet I might not be alive then."

The couple's original bid last year was dropped after the girl's uncle, John Nglanade blocked the application.

As well as David, Madonna and Guy have an eight-year-old son, Rocco, and Madonna has an 11-year-old daughter, Lourdes, from a previous relationship.