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Elton John and David Furnish parents at last. But at what price?

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This Christmas Elton John and his partner David Furnish became the parents of a baby boy, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, born in California and weighing  7lb 15oz.

In a statement, the couple said: “We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment. Zachary is healthy and doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents.”

Wouldn’t it be great if that was the whole story?  Just two men in love who wanted to raise a child in a loving and nurturing home bringing their baby home?  But it’s what happened before this baby was born that makes this story so poignant.

I’ve written previously about the fact that Elton and David were not allowed to adopt an HIV positive baby from the Ukraine,  You can read that article here.  The reasons given by the Ukrainian government were that Elton and David were not married and that they were too old (under Ukranian law the age difference between adoptive parents and the child must not exceed 45 years).

Elton John and David Furnish resorted to surrogacy so they could become parents and love and care for a child.

According to The Australian

The identity of the surrogate mother to Zachary is unknown and the couple intend to protect her privacy, said Gary Farrow, a spokesman for Sir Elton. Mr Farrow revealed that the pop star and Mr Furnish were in California after the birth and “doing fine”.

He would not disclose whether Sir Elton or Mr Furnish was the biological father, and said that no further details of Zachary’s birth would be provided, including any sums of money involved.

It seems like an awful lot of money to when there was an unwanted little boy who would have been given an incredible chance in life but now languishes in an orphanage , not because there is no one to take care of them but because of some archaic laws that discriminate against same sex couples and those over 45 from adopting a baby.

Similar discrimination occurs in Australia and it’s sanctioned – in fact instigated – by the church. The Daily Telegraph reports today

Church groups are free to discriminate against homosexuals after a landmark judgment in which a tribunal ruled religious charities are allowed to ban gay foster parents.

The ruling, made in the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal, has been hailed by the Catholic Church but has outraged civil libertarians, who are demanding religions no longer be exempt from anti-discrimination laws if they receive public money.

 

What place do legal discrimination and homophobic laws play in the lives of unwanted or disadvantaged children?

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