Elton John has little chance of adoption: Ukraine

Tue Sep 15, 2009 8:23am EDT
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By Sergei Karazy

KIEV (Reuters Life!) - Elton John has virtually no chance of adopting an HIV-positive toddler from Ukraine, the country's family minister said on Tuesday.

But Ukraine Family Minister Yuri Pavlenko told Reuters that he hoped the British singer's intentions would encourage Ukrainians to adopt sick children.

Elton John said on Saturday that a 14-month-old baby boy named Lev had "stolen" his heart and wanted to adopt him together with his long-term partner, David Furnish.

The two visited an orphanage for children whose parents have HIV in the industrial east of the country with John's AIDS Foundation.

"Officially, Elton John has not approached the ministry or any other authority with a request to adopt the child at the Makeyevka orphanage," Pavlenko said. "In any case, if there were such a request from Elton John we would have to refuse."

Pavlenko said 62-year-old John is too old to adopt the baby as he is not allowed to be older than the child by more than 45 years and prospective parents must be married.

John's and Furnish's civil union would not be recognized as marriage in Ukraine.

"We are not treating this as a request to adopt but as a call to Ukrainians -- adopt these children, give them a chance to live, irrespective of whether they are healthy or have such a diagnosis," Pavlenko said.   Continued...

<p>Pop singer Elton John kisses baby Lev during a news conference at a hospital for HIV-positive children in the town of Makeyevka outside Donetsk, September 12, 2009. REUTERS/Handout</p>