Insights from the UK and beyond
Madonna has one, so does Bruno; will Elton also get one?
British pop singer Elton John may join the growing list of celebrities like Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and Madonna who adopt babies from developing countries around the world. John who was visiting Ukraine with his Aids Charity foundation said on Saturday he wanted to adopt a 14-month-old boy called Lev.
John, aged 62, has already drawn criticism for his adoption plans from an international children’s charity which says celebrity adoption stories pressure vulnerable mothers to give up their children in the hope of giving them a better life.
The recent spurt in celebrity baby adoptions, most recently seen in Madonna’s adoption of a girl from Malawi earlier this year, was parodied in Sacha Baron Cohen’s Bruno movie. Cohen, playing a gay Austrian fashion reporter, pokes fun at the idea of adopted babies as commoditized items by going to Africa where he exchanges his iPod for a black baby.
While the Bruno movie scandalises audiences by portraying babies as fashion accessories, it highlights the frequency and common practice of celebrity adoption.
Should celebrities be allowed to adopt children from developing countries? There is the argument that poorer children will be given opportunities they never would have had. But what about the child’s own culture and family ties? If John adopts a Ukrainian baby and brings him up in Britain; how will this affect the child’s Ukrainian influence?
John is already in his 60s and his partner David Furnish, is 46. How able will they be to raise a young child? A further complication is Ukrainian law which forbids homosexuals to adopt. Perhaps the musician will have to ask President Victor Yushchenko for special permission.
Some commentators have argued John should adopt a British child instead of a foreign baby.
Is it better for people to adopt babies within their own country?