Madonna left Malawi on a private aircraft on Sunday after failing to adopt a second child from the African country, airport officials said.
Security forces blocked the road leading to the airport after Madonna’s convoy arrived, preventing reporters from speaking to her or filming.
Madonna, who was seeking an interim adoption, appealed against a High Court decision refusing her bid to adopt a four-year-old girl named Mercy James.
Her lawyer, Alan Chinula, said she does not have to appear before the Supreme Court for the appeal.
Malawian rights groups, who accused the government of skirting residency laws when Madonna adopted David Banda in 2006, also opposed the latest adoption attempt.
They say celebrities should not be allowed to fly in and adopt children at will.
Malawi’s government had supported Madonna’s attempt to adopt Mercy, saying she was a worthy mother.
An AIDS epidemic in the impoverished southern African country has orphaned more than one million children and Madonna has set up a charity for Malawian children.
The star, who was divorced last year from British film director Guy Ritchie, is one of the music industry’s most successful singers, with album sales of more than 200 million.
Madonna has entertained millions with sexy high-energy performances and songs like “Material Girl” and “Papa Don’t Preach.” She has also created controversies along the way.
In 1989, the video for “Like A Prayer,” with its links between religion and eroticism, was condemned by the Vatican.