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Are celebrity adoptions a good thing?

September 14th, 2009
03:08 PM ET
Elton John meets 14-month-old Lev at an orphanage for HIV/AIDS-affected children in Ukraine. (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)
Elton John meets 14-month-old Lev at an orphanage for HIV/AIDS-affected children in Ukraine. (PHOTO: AFP/GETTY IMAGES)

LONDON, England - Elton John’s comments during a visit to an orphanage for HIV-affected children in the Ukraine on his desire with partner David Furnish to adopt a child has thrown the issue of celebrity adoption back into the media spotlight.

The 62-year-old pop star did not say that he planned to pursue adoption; merely commenting after meeting one of the children, 14-month old Lev, that the couple would “love to adopt him.” (Read the full story)

Still John’s comments were enough to provoke a strong response from international children’s charity EveryChild.

While praising the singer for raising awareness to the plight of children with HIV/AIDS, the charity warned that “high-profile celebrity adoptions… may actually encourage vulnerable young mothers to abandon their children into homes hoping their child would be adopted by a rich foreigner and have a better life.”

The trend for celebrities adopting children from less developed countries is hardly new - actress Mia Farrow adopted numerous children during the 1970s while Angelina Jolie’s brood famously includes children from Cambodia, Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Yet recent years have seen a backlash against celebrity adoptions - a trend sent up by comedian Sasha Baron-Cohen in his recent movie “Bruno” in which the gratuitously offensive Austrian fashionista adopts an African baby - notably against Madonna’s adoption of a young Malawian boy in 2006, and her continuing efforts to adopt a girl from the same country.

Are celebrity adoptions a good thing? Should children be taken out of orphanages and their home countries and subjected to the glare of publicity? Or is it right that celebrities should use their wealth and privilege to give a child a chance they would not otherwise have? Let us know your views below.

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soundoff (13 Responses)
  1. olorun-Dare Awoniyi

    How can anybody in their right mind think that adpoting a child by culturally disfunctional couples is right. Celebrities are a negative influence on very poor parents who will quickly see this trend as an escape route from poverty for their offprings.

    Let these celebrities endow a fund or grant, to help give these children with hope and a future.

    I have contributed to help the lives of more than 30 children and many of them are university (college) graduates today. Yet I have never formally adopted any child.

    September 14, 2009 at 5:40 pm | Reply
  2. Nwadialor collins

    Talking on African terms,this trend should discontinue only if childs' guardian/s are not available else poor parents can give up their children for 'ADOPTION' i.e. on paper but 'CAREER' in their minds.THIS IS MODERN SLAVERY!

    September 14, 2009 at 5:50 pm | Reply
  3. eva

    only moderate people
    with moderate income
    moderate thinking
    and moderate sexlife
    with a moderate talent
    and a moderate living
    with moderate parents
    and siblings
    living in a moderate neighborhood
    with moderate neighbors
    in a moderate country
    should be able to adopt children

    September 14, 2009 at 5:51 pm | Reply
  4. Aline

    As long as they can take care of the child properly that is ,provide a proper home,moral education,schooling etc....I see no harm.The kids need love and attention just like everyone else.

    September 14, 2009 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  5. Jennifer Allen

    God forbid that a child be adopted by an especially talented person. Talent might be catching, and we wouldn't want that!

    September 14, 2009 at 8:04 pm | Reply
  6. Akpaka Emmanuel

    What sort of up bringing does he hope to bequeath to the child? Its not just enough to say he will be a good parent because of his money, children deserve much more!

    September 14, 2009 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  7. Ferdinand A

    Please, where is the rights of this poor innocent souls to decide whether to grow up in the midst of two MEN, what will those kids made of it when they go to school?
    What will they made of it when they learn that God made man and woman and command them to go and multiply and not Man and Man or Woman and Woman to go and adopt
    Please, save this kids from sickly selfish and rich that are out to abuse the rights of innocent kids to choose. Money is not everything, these kids will be damaged for life if this evil trend is not checked!!

    September 14, 2009 at 9:05 pm | Reply
  8. Michelle

    I don't see that the problem is celebrity adoptions encouraging "vulnerable young mothers to abandon their children." What needs to be looked at is *why* they are willing to abandon these children. The real problem here is poverty. If the Ukrainian government and other NGOs spent more time addressing the economy I am quite certain there would be fewer women giving up their children.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:16 pm | Reply
  9. Joseph Anwana

    This is a major contradiction, I see it as a crisis, sort of set back for the promoters of gay rights. Elton John and his cohorts cannot cheat nature. The only natural relationship is that of man/woman, and that way they will share the joy of producing an offspring. Unfortunately Elton and his "wife" have no such privilege. They will only end up inducting the poor child into the gay hall of fame.
    This MUST be stopped.

    September 14, 2009 at 9:21 pm | Reply
  10. roland spiff

    Why these so called "celebrities" think they can love a child more than the biological parents beats my imagination. If they feel like helping a child out, wouldn't it be better for them to set up a trust fund for the child while the child is still in the custody of the parents.This allows a child to bond with the biological parents-language, culture etc as opposed to breaking up the family.

    September 14, 2009 at 10:29 pm | Reply
  11. Ezedinma (Nigeria)

    The advantages of a child been adopted out-runs the disadvantages when the child is left in the orphange. However, the procedure for adoption should be reviewed and scruitinized and post-adoption period looked into by social services of both the childs' own country of birth and their new parents country.

    September 15, 2009 at 9:23 am | Reply
  12. Patrick

    I'm not surprised at some of the hateful comments here – sexuality shouldn't come into play. Two loving parents are two loving parents, regardless of gender or sexuality. And Joseph: being raised by a gay parent does NOT mean a child is gay. Despite what many straight people seem to think, being gay is NOT a choice and is not made with all of the fickleness of, "Oh – I should have had a V8!"

    I would be more concerned, in the specific case of Elton John, about his age. Elton certainly has the money to care for a child, but I'm not sure his advanced age, and his occupation, lends itself to an ideal childrearing situation.

    As for celebrities adopting children overall? I have two words: Joan. Crawford.

    September 16, 2009 at 12:06 am | Reply
  13. Melinda Jones

    Yes, they are a good thing if the adoptive parents are careful to help the child with learning their culture, where they came from, and helping them understand all aspects of their adoption.Parents who withhold truth in adoption create crazy makers. I think that Elton John would be an excellent parent. He obviously can give him a better life and would be a loving parent.

    September 17, 2009 at 9:36 pm | Reply

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