Musician Elton John has become a dad when a surrogate mum gave birth to a baby in California on Christmas Day.
Elton and his partner, 48-year-old David Furnish, have called the baby boy Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John. The name Levon is thought to the title of a song on one of Elton’s albums from 1971.
The couple announced, “We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment. Zachary is healthy and doing really well and we are very proud and happy parents.”
Details of the surrogacy have been kept secret – it’s not clear who the surrogate mum s or which of the two men provided the sperm, or whether both did. In Californian surrogacy, the surrogate mum who carries the baby is not usually the biological mum, the egg is usually donated by a different woman. Therefore, baby Zachary could have four adults very involved in his birth.
Elton has often spoken about his desire to adopt children, and tried unsuccessfully last year to adopt a boy from a Ukraine orphanage. His efforts were rebuffed by the Ukraine authorities, prompting the couple to look into surrogacy in the US.
The surrogacy laws are different in the States where surrogate parents can be paid considerable amounts of money. A pre-birth agreement can also be arranged which in this case would mean Elton and David could have their names on the birth certificate rather than the surrogate mum. In the UK, surrogacy can only legally be done for non-commercial reasons.