'This is the boy who changed my heart, who planted the seed. I'll never give up on him,' said the singer who just welcomed a son via surrogate.
Sir Elton John has vowed to "never give up on" the Ukrainian baby he failed to adopt in 2009, insisting he will continue to fight for the tot to be released from his orphanage. The Rocket Man fell in love with little Lev when he visited the Eastern European facility with his Aids Foundation two years ago, and subsequently filed adoption papers with partner David Furnish.
His petition was turned down by Ukrainian officials because of the pair's sexual orientation and the singer's age. Elton credits the youngster with sparking his desire to become a dad, leading to him welcoming son Zachary into the world in December 2010 via a surrogate. And the star insists he won't rest until he finds the toddler a happy home.
Elton tells Britain's Daily Mirror, "This little boy just changed everything. We tried to adopt but the Ukraine don't accept same-sex couples. David and I talked about going through the European courts but it was a small change and it would have meant him remaining in the orphanage."
"My priority then just became about trying to get him out, find a family who would look after him. It's become horribly complicated because it became a big story with people trying to get things out of it. In the midst of everything, poor Lev is stuck rotting in this orphanage. We have a lawyer trying to sort it out because, for us, Lev is still a part of our lives. We want him out, with a good family. We want him to learn English. We want him to come over and stay with us, meet Zachary."
"I won't give up on Lev ever, but it has become so horribly complicated. And in the midst of it, this amazing little boy is the one who is suffering. It makes me cry. I will get him out. This is the boy who changed my heart, who planted the seed. I'll never give up on him."
Elton John also hopes his pal Victoria Adams has a baby girl when she gives birth later this year - because he knows how much the star craves a daughter. The former Spice Girl and her soccer star husband David Beckham, who are already parents to three sons, announced news of their impending new addition last month.
Now Sir Elton, who is godparents to the Beckhams' eldest Brooklyn and Romeo, has spoken out about his joy for the couple - and is praying the brood of boys welcomes a sister soon. The Rocket Man, who became a first-time father in December said, "I've learnt a lot about parenting from being around kids. I'm thrilled David and Victoria Beckham are going to have a baby. I hope it's a girl because they both want one but whatever they are great parents."
And Elton is hoping to emulate the Beckhams' successful parenting skills: "I'm godfather to two of their boys and they are the loveliest, politest, hilarious, well-behaved kids. If we can bring up our kids as well as our friends do, we'll be happy."