Madonna insists she did not break the law by adopting an African baby, in an open letter released last night. The singer defended her actions, saying she had saved 13-month-old Malawian baby boy David Banda from a "life of poverty and hardship". Madonna, 48, said: "I acted according to the law like anyone else who adopts a child."My husband and I wanted to open up our home and help one child escape an extreme life of hardship, poverty and, in many cases, death. "This was not a decision or commitment that my family or I take lightly. "However, the mother-of-two and her husband Guy Ritchie could face a criminal investigation over the way in which they gained custody of baby David. Failure to follow the correct procedures can mean an unlimited fine or a year in jail. David could also be returned to Malawi. Anastasia de Waal, of the think-tank Civitas, said: "We need to know that British adoption law is being followed, otherwise it would give out completely the wrong message that there is one law for celebrities and another for ordinary people."Adoption guidelines recommend no more than a 45 year age gap between parent and child. Madonna is 48 and Guy is 38. The 'Material Girl' singer has now said she wants to adopt a three-year-old girl from the same Malawian village. Madonna reportedly told relatives: "I saw this girl with the saddest smile. I told Guy, 'We must give this child a home too.'"