"I must say we're hoping that we have another child," she said in an interview published in this week's issue of Time magazine. "I would be surprised but not disappointed. My friends would be appalled, I'm sure. But I think it would be terrific."
The First Lady, who in the past has acknowledged that she has had difficulties having children, said that she had also discussed adoption with her husband "off and on for a long time".
The two of them "continue to talk about it, because we really believe in adoption and I have worked hard to promote adoption, particularly for older kids, and across racial lines and kids with special needs". But she added: "We'd have to think hard about it, especially if it were an older child, because of the pressures of the White House on a child like that." Mrs Clinton, whose only child Chelsea is 16, said adopting a child just at the moment was not on the cards.
"We'd obviously wait to get serious about it until after the election. There's just too much going on in our lives right now.
"I just think that giving a child a chance and sharing what you have with a child is one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself, as well as a child."
Neel Lattimore, a spokesman for Mrs Clinton, sought yesterday to play down her remarks. He said Mrs Clinton's interest in adoption was nothing new and that she and the president's discussions of the subject had been "in abstract terms". "Are they working on adopting a child? No," Mr Lattimore said. He tried also to dampen suggestions that Mrs Clinton might yet give birth to a second child. "Every nine months there's speculation that she's pregnant," he said.
Whether a new child would bring fulfilment to the Clinton household or not, Mrs Clinton's remarks will help dispel Republican suggestions in an election year that there is disharmony in her marriage.