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Singer Elton John's request to adopt a 14-month old toddler from an orphanage for HIV-infected children in Ukraine has been denied by the country's minister for family affairs. Ukraine's Family, Youth, and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko said that Sir Elton John is not eligible due to his age and his non-traditional marriage.
Ukranian law requires parents to be no older than 45 years to adopt. And the country does not recognize same-sex unions as a form of marriage. The singer entered a civil union with his longtime partner in 2005, the year the United Kingdom first began to recognize officially recognize same-sex civil unions.
High profile cases such as these serve as a reminder about the constraints of international adoptions, which is a common choice for those looking to adopt. Potential adoptive parents must comply with their country's adoption and immigration procedures as well as the laws of the child's host country. This case has garnering considerable attention not only in light of the recent resurgence in the world movement to recognize gay marriage and parenting rights, but also in the particulars of the scenario at hand.
Elton John met the HIV-infected toddler during a charity visit to the orphanage and was smitten with the child. The Times Online reports that more than 65,000 children in Ukraine live in state-run institutions, 90% of whom have been placed there due to poverty.