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Elton John Recalls Being Denied From Adopting In Ukraine For Being Gay

Elton John and David Furnish
Andrea Raffin/Shutterstock

The incident confirmed for the singer and husband David Furnish that they really did want to start a family.

Sir Elton John recently opened up about how he and his husband, David Furnish, were blocked from adopting in Ukraine because they are gay. The singer was guesting on pop star Dua Lipa's podcast Dua Lipa: At Your Service when he shared that, in 2009, he was visiting an orphanage in the country and had a life-changing, yet heartbreaking experience.

"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!'"

However, social media caught wind, and "it went around the world straight away... It was, 'Elton John wants to adopt two children.'"

It was explained to John that adopting the boy, who was named Lev, wouldn't be possible for the couple because they were gay. It did, however, solidify things for John and Furnish about their future desires to start a family.

John recalled that following the incident Furnish broached the subject first. He asked, 'Well, what do you think about having kids?' I always said no but this little boy was telling 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."

In 2018 John was reunited with Lev, in an event that was arranged by the Elena Pinchuk Foundation as part of an anti-AIDS charity event titled A Day with Elton John. While the singer wasn't able to adopt Lev, he did reportedly help Lev, along with his brother and grandmother to move out of Makiivka, where the orphanage was located, across the country where they would be safe from conflict in the region.

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."

Furnish explained, "Lev gave us a precious, precious gift: fatherhood."

The couple had their first son, Zachary, via surrogacy in 2010. Three years later, their family grew again when Elijah was born, again using the same surrogate. Last week, on his 75th birthday, John wrote a letter to his sons, which was published by Time, calling them "two most precious parts of my life."

John also encouraged them to embrace who they truly 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."

Ukraine is currently under attack from Russian forces, which invaded the country in February. Millions have been displaced and thousands have been killed.

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