Sir Elton John won’t be cowed by ‘strict’ adoption laws

By Richard Eden

Published: 10:58PM BST 22 May 2010

Wherever they are in the world, David Furnish and Elton John find the time to send each other a card to renew their vows at least once a week. Photo: GETTY

Forbidden from adopting a 14-month-old boy by the government in Ukraine, Sir Elton John is determined to find a new child to care for.

“We are very much keeping our child adoption plans open,” his civil partner, David Furnish, said at the Caudwell Children Butterfly Ball, at Battersea Evolution, in London.

“We were on the receiving end of very strict adoption laws in this country and were both heartbroken, but it is something we are very much looking to do.”

Ahead of Sir Elton’s concert in Morocco, Furnish said: “l can’t comment on reports Elton will be badly received there because of his sexuality. Wherever we are in the world, we find the time to send each other a card to renew our vows at least once a week. Our secret is absolute mutual respect and honesty.”

Last October, Furnish told Mandrake they they had extended their search for a child. “We were in Africa for the [Sir Elton John] Aids Foundation and met a boy, and immediately thought about adopting him,” the film producer said.

Unlike Madonna, who adopted David Banda, a Malawian boy still in touch with his father, Furnish, said they decided not to proceed.

“When we found out he had a maternal grandmother, and brother and sister, we realised it wouldn’t be the right thing to take him away from the family he had there,” he told me.

The pair, who “married” in a civil partnership ceremony in Windsor in 2005, decided that they would not challenge the government in Kiev after one of its ministers said Sir Elton was too old, at 63, to adopt and that it did not allow homosexuals to do so.

“We would love to adopt Lev, but that does not seem possible under Ukrainian rules,” said Furnish.

The couple were introduced to the boy while visiting an orphanage near Donetsk last month. Furnish made clear that Sir Elton would continue his Aids charity work in the former Soviet republic, which has one of the fastest-rising HIV infection rates in Europe.