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YOUR SON; Excited Elton tells close pals: 'I've adopted a child'.

Byline: Russell Myers

POP superstar Sir Elton John is to adopt a 14-month-old child from an orphanage in Eastern Europe.

The multimillionaire spoke of his decision after the Ukrainian tot captured the hearts of him and his gay husband David Furnish.

Last night excited Elton, 62, rang astonished friends and told them: "I've adopted a child. I've never felt so happy. David and I are over the moon. This is a chance in a lifetime."

And a pal said: "Elton has been like the cat that got the cream."

Elton and 46-year-old Furnish were pictured with Lev when they visited an orphanage with the singer's AIDS charity foundation.

It is not known if Lev is HIV positive.

Elton said: "David and I have always talked about adoption.

"He's always wanted to adopt a child and I always said No because I'm 62 and I think because of the travelling I do and the life I have, maybe it wouldn't be fair for the child.

"But having seen Lev today, I'd love to adopt him. I don't know how we do that but he's stolen my heart. And he's stolen David's.

"I don't know what the procedure is to adopt a boy from the Ukraine. I don't think that I can because England has a treaty with Ukraine but David is Canadian so we might be able to work through something like that."

"It would be wonderful if we can give him a home. I've changed my mind today."

Elton said the death of his long-term keyboardist, Guy Babylon, 52, had also helped change his mind about adopting.

Brilliant The Rocket Man singer explained: "Last week I lost one of my best friends. It broke my heart because he was such a genius and so young and has two wonderful children.

"What better opportunity to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to."

After Guy's sudden death John said: "He was one of the most brilliant musicians I ever knew. He was a true genius, a gentle angel. And I loved him so much."

Elton and David have 10 godchildren, including the offspring of pals David and Victoria Beckham and Elizabeth Hurley.

The couple were accompanied by the founder of the Ukrainian Anti-AIDS foundation, Elena Franchuk, on his visit to the city of Makeevka, where the children's home is located.

The two foundations cooperate in the joint Children Plus project, which is intended to make better the life of the children, born to HIV-infected mothers.

During the visit, the singer performed Circle of Life from the animated film The Lion King for children at the orphanage - some there because their parents had died of AIDS.

Ukraine has one of the fastest rising HIV rates in Europe. Two years ago the singer gave a free concert on the main square in Kiev, attended by tens of thousands people, to raise awareness of HIV and AIDS.

russell.myers@people.co.uk

CAPTION(S):

TINY DANCER: David holds Lev I WANT LOVE: Elton is bowled over by youngsters at the orphanage DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART: Elton cuddles little Lev who stole his heart

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Sep 13, 2009
Words:528
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