Guy Ritchie has expressed his sadness over ex Madonna's failed attempt to adopt 3-year-old Chifundo "Mercy" James from Malawi.

"Madonna is a fantastic and loving mother who cares deeply about her own children, and children who may need additional help and support," he said in a statement Friday.

See photos of other stars who have adopted.

"I fully supported Madonna in her decision to apply for this adoption, and I am saddened that her application has been rejected. She is motivated only by being a caring parent who seeks to share some of the advantages and opportunities that her life has given her," he said of his ex, who has appealed Friday's surprise ruling.

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"This time it did not work out, but there will be other opportunities and I wish her well in them," Ritchie concluded. "She is a great mum."

Madonna and Ritchie -- who divorced last year after eight years of marriage -- adopted David Banda from Malawi in 2006.

Check out the Madonna in Malawi photo gallery now.