Madonna has two, Angelina has three and Katherine Heigl has one on the way from Korea. Now it seems that Sir Elton John is the latest celebrity wanting to join the foreign adoption club.
Sir Elton John, 62, has revealed his feelings after first setting eyes on 14-month-old Ukrainian orphan, Lev when he visited the Makeyevka orphanage for HIV infected children on behalf of his Aids charity. Elton wants to adopt the blonde-haired boy with his partner David Furnish, 47.
“Having seen Lev today, I would love to adopt him. I don’t know how we do that but he has stolen my heart. And he has stolen David’s heart and it would be wonderful if we can have a home. I’ve changed my mind today,” he gushed after meeting little Lev at the orphange.
The 62-year-old musician and godfather to 10 godchildren, including Elizabeth Hurley’s son Damian and the Beckham brothers, was previously against the idea of adoption. He felt his age and lifestyle, which sees him travelling around the world leading a superstar celebrity life, was unsuited to adopting a child.
However, since his visit to the Ukrainian orphanage, it appears that he has had a drastic change of heart.
Talking about the recent death of his long-term friend and keyboardist, Guy Babylon, Sir Elton looks to his passing as an inspiration to adopt Lev. “He was such a genius. What better opportunity to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to.”
However, the music veteran is likely to face a barrage of obstacles with Ukrainian adoption rules condemning gay men wishing to adopt and set the maximum age of a prospective adoptive parent as 45. This rules out both Elton and his partner – Elton is nearly 20 years over the age limit and David is three years too old.
Nonetheless, Sir Elton seems determined to go through the process and will have to be approved by a registered adoption agency in Britain, where gay couples can adopt. This will be followed by interviews, an examination of his home and background checks involving medical and criminal records, which can take up to six months to complete. If Sir Elton is approved in the UK, he’ll face similar tests in the Ukraine before a court makes its final decision.
However, it is being speculated on whether Sir Elton and David Furnish will harness their star power to push for the strict adoption rules to be waived. The matter of age also comes into the spotlight with Sir Elton being 60 years older than baby Lev meaning he’ll be nearly 80 years old by the time the youngster reaches his teenage years.
In recent years, celebrities adopting foreign children seems to have become a ‘fashionable’ thing to do. But they have also faced backlash and controversy.
Actress Angelina Jolie has created a ‘rainbow family’ of three adopted children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam, as well as having three biological children.
Madonna caused uproar when she bypassed strict guidelines when adopting her two children from Malawi. The rules require someone to be a resident of Malawi for at least 18 months prior to adopting.
There has been a sharp increase in the number of children adopted from Ukraine in the past few years due to the higher rate of children being adandoned. Experts believe, however, that the publicity surrounding Sir Elton’s desire to adopt Ukrainian Lev might increase the number of children put up for the adoption, with their parents believing they will be brought up by wealthy foreigners.
Do you think Sir Elton is doing the right thing wanting to adopt orphan Lev or should he follow the same rules as everyone else? Let us know below…