Elton John and his partner David Furnish may adopt a child, according to the BBC. The musician met a 14-month-old boy called Lev during a charity performance at an orphanage in the Ukraine, and said the boy has "stolen my heart." The performance was part of John's work with his AIDS foundation.
He explained, "David and I have always talked about adoption, David always wanted to adopt a child and I always said 'no' because I am 62 and I think because of the travelling I do and the life I have, maybe it wouldn't be fair for the child. But having seen Lev today, I would love to adopt him."
People are going to make all kinds of comparisons to other celebrity international adoptions, I am sure. John (Sir Elton if you're in the U.K.) sounded sincere at the press conference in which he spoke about a possible adoption, however, so I'll give him the benefit of the doubt. If he was merely jumping onto a celebrity adoption bandwagon (if such a thing even exists), he would have done so long ago.
He also says that a motivating factor for him is the recent death of his long-term keyboardist, Guy Babylon, 52, who left behind two young children. "What better opportunity to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to," John said.
John does mention the difficulties of a British citizen such as himself adopting a Ukrainian child, but notes that Furnish, who is Canadian, may have a better chance. I don't know the legalities enough to speculate.
My main qualms are with John's age. It takes a lot to keep up with a young child, and John will be nearly 80 when the child turns 18. That's pushing average life expectancies. Still, maybe John is hardened from the rigors of touring and performing and will cope better than average (or maybe previous years of drug abuse will take their toll). Also, Furnish is only 47 this year, so perhaps he'll be the one to run around playing football (soccer) with the boy.
Either way, if they do adopt Lev, I'm sure the boy's life will be full of music.
[Update: After I first wrote this post, I saw a piece at HuffPo citing Ukrainian Family, Youth and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko, who says Ukrainian law requires adoptive parents to be married, and John and Furnish's civil partnership doesn't count. That aggravating but not surprising issue aside, the law also requires adoptive parents to be no more than 45 years older than an adopted child. Even Furnish, who turns 47 in October, would be a few months shy.]