British director Guy Richie called his ex-wife Madonna “a great mum” following news that the singer’s bid to adopt a second child from Malawi was rejected Friday, reports.

Richie, 40, father to the couple’s son Rocco and David Banda — the Malawian boy he and Madonna officially adopted in 2008 — issued a statement through his rep saying: “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.”

A judge in Malawi blocked Madonna’s attempt to adopt Mercy James, three, citing a residency rule for prospective parents that requires they spend from 18 to 24 months in the country — that requirement was waived for Madonna’s first adoption.

Madonna, 50, has filed an appeal to the ruling.