The Malawian government’s director of child welfare services, Kingston Kilembe, has told the Associated Press that Madonna and Guy Ritchie have filed adoption papers in front of a high court judge in the country’s capital Lilongwe.

Kilembe said: “They have followed the normal processes. This has been going on for some time. Now this is the completion point.”

“After the judge has ruled, they are going to take the child.”

The couple are believed to have chosen a 13 month old boy, David, and they met his father, Yohane Banda, as part of court proceedings.

After meeting the pair, Yohane commented: “They are a lovely couple. She asked me many questions. She and her husband seem happy with David. I am happy for him.”

Madonna promised me that as the child grows she will bring him back to visit.”

Madonna’s spokesperson has said that an official statement will be released within 48 hours.