As of today, it doesn't look like Elton John's wish to adopt a Ukrainian toddler will come true, but the pop star's overture has pointed an international spotlight on the nation's HIV-positive orphans.
Over the weekend John and his longtime partner, David Furnish, toured an orphanage and expressed interest in adopting an HIV-positive 14-month-old named Lev. John said he had previously resisted Furnish's desire to adopt, but that his mind had been changed by the recent loss of a friend and by meeting Lev.
Local officials have since said that any request from the couple would be denied because the law requires adoptive parents to be married (civil unions are not recognized in the Ukraine) and no more than 45 years older than the adopted child. (John is 62.)
"We are not treating this as a request to adopt but as a call to Ukrainians -- adopt these children, give them a chance to live, irrespective of whether they are healthy or have such a diagnosis," the nation's family minister said.
Ukraine has one of the highest rising rates of HIV infection but only about 20 families there have adopted HIV-positive children.
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