A High Court judge postponed Monday his ruling on a challenge to Madonna's plans to adopt a Malawian baby.

Judge Andrew Nyirenda was unavailable to give his ruling as he was attending a conference, Lilongwe High Court registrar Ken Manda said.

Manda said the ruling was now expected early next week.

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Nyirenda was to rule on a challenge to the adoption proceedings by a coalition of human rights and child advocacy groups.

On Oct. 12, Nyirenda granted the 48-year-old pop star and her husband, filmmaker Guy Ritchie, an "interim order" allowing them to take 13-month-old David Banda to their home in London.

The rights groups argue the government cut legal corners to "fast track" the adoption because of Madonna's celebrity status.

Yohane Banda, 32, has said he wants David to stay with Madonna and Ritchie, 38.

He surrendered his son to an orphanage after his wife died last year. The couple's two other sons both died in infancy from malaria.

On Friday, Banda married a woman who is three months pregnant.

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