Kate Pozzolo and baby Alice in Malawi. ((Courtesy of Pozzolo family))

An Edmonton couple struggling to bring home a baby girl from Malawi are keeping a close eye on pop star Madonna's high-profile adoption case.

Kate and Joshua Pozzolo have been living in the African country for about a year and a half, trying to adopta child named Alice and bring her to Edmonton.

In a phone interview from Malawi, Kate Pozzolo said she was shocked to learnthat pop star Madonna was trying to adopt a one-year-old Malawi boy and the child was already in London.

Adoptions are only granted to residents of the country, she said.

"If they make an exception for Madonna, then I'm sure for us it wouldn't be a problem, unless there's other circumstances that I'm not seeing," said Pozzolo.


Alice was undernourished, underweight and unable to walk when the Pozzolos took her into their home. ((Courtesy of Pozzolo family))

In April, baby Alice was undernourished, underweight and unable to walk. With her mother deceased and her father missing, government officials seemed happy to see the adoption completed, said Pozzolo.

"They said that everything was OK," she recalled.

Alice was allowed to move into their Malawi homeas their foster child, said Pozzolo. But thingschanged whenthe coupleformally applied to take Alice to Canada.

"They're saying they never agreed for us to get legal guardianship and for us to come home for a year," said Pozzolo.

If Madonna is allowed to adopt while living in London, the rules will have to be changed, said Pozzolo.

Whether the rules have been bent for Madonna because she is a celebrity is up for debate.

While initial reports said adoptive parents must be resident in the African country for 18 months before adopting,a human rights group saidthat requirement is not a law andhas called for setstandards.

In the meantime, the Pozzolos are taking their case through the Malawi courts, hoping to bring Alice back to Edmonton by Christmas.