Sir Elton John recently said that because he and his husband, David Furnish, are gay, they were not allowed to adopt in Ukraine. The singer was a guest on pop star Dua Lipa’s podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service when he talked about a heartbreaking but life-changing experience he had in 2009 while visiting an orphanage in the country.
“I was carrying this little boy around for hours,” John recalled. “We had a press conference at the end and they said ‘You seem very fond of this little boy. Would you think of adopting him?’ and I went ‘I’d actually love to!’”
But word got out on social media, and “it went around the world straight away… It was, ‘Elton John wants to adopt two children.’” John was told that the boy, whose name was Lev, couldn’t be adopted by him and his partner because they were gay. It did, however, make John and Furnish even more sure that they want to start a family.
John remembered that after the event, it was Furnish who brought up the subject first. He asked, ‘Well, what do you think about having kids?’ Even though I always said “no,” this little boy was trying to tell me something. He was saying, “‘C’mon you can be a dad,’ and that’s when we decided to have children, because of this little boy in Ukraine.”
This is the exact moment in 1970 when Elton John plays his new song for the first time. pic.twitter.com/zxqr0wyKb0
— Vala Afshar (@ValaAfshar) November 11, 2022
In 2018, John and Lev got back together at an event called “A Day with Elton John,” which was put on by the Elena Pinchuk Foundation to raise money for AIDS research. Even though the singer wasn’t able to adopt Lev, he reportedly helped Lev, his brother, and their grandmother move out of Makiivka, where the orphanage was, and into a safer part of the country.
The year prior, Furnish told The Advocate, “Both Elton and I were absolutely heartbroken that we weren’t able to adopt Lev.” He credited Lev with being “a turning point in our lives. Lev completely captured Elton’s heart and changed his mind [about parenting]. After meeting Lev, Elton agreed that we should have a child.”
To my most magical friend @eltonofficial thank you for keeping the dream alive!!! It was an honour, a privilege and a joy to share the stage with you last night on your last show at the Dodgers Stadium. Thank you for everything, forever and always… pic.twitter.com/UWLx3EpEFQ
— DUA LIPA (@DUALIPA) November 22, 2022
Furnish explained, “Lev gave us a precious, precious gift: fatherhood.” In 2010, their first child, Zachary, was born to them through a surrogate. When Elijah was born three years later, using the same surrogate, their family grew again. On his 75th birthday last week, John wrote a letter to his sons that was published by Time. In the letter, John called his sons “the two most precious parts of my life.”
John also told them to be happy with who they really are. “I’ve forged deep friendships, found the love of my life, and became your Daddy,” he wrote. “Whoever you grow up to be, just be you — fully and completely you.”
Russian forces have been in Ukraine since February and are now attacking the country. Millions of people have been forced to move, and thousands of people have died.
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