Coddington on gay adoption

Deborah Coddington writes:

What a mean-spirited bunch of commentators we’ve seen in this country, crawling out from under their rocks to spit upon the news that Sir Elton John became a father on Christmas Day. …

Karl du Fresne, in his aptly named “Curmudgeon” Dominion Post column, curiously finds it abhorrent that a 63-year-old “jaded, ageing but fabulously wealthy pop singer” amuses himself with a surrogate child – “the ultimate gay fashion accessory when the hits stop coming”.

Ouch. Du Fresne hopes Sir Elton doesn’t dump the baby at the SPCA like those who tire of the puppies they get for Christmas.

His colleague, Linley Boniface, has a minor tantrum that Sir Elton, a “shopaholic” at the best of times, goes out and spends about $200,000 on Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John. …

It’s not the father’s sexuality that “sends my alarm bells ringing”, she wails, it’s that Sir Elton “appears to have no clue that raising a child is more of a commitment than buying another mansion, football club or sequinned Edwardian frock coat”.

Coddington points out

My first point is, in all these cruel criticisms, no one has paused to consider someone else of importance in this little family – that is, David Furnish, Elton John’s wife, or husband, or whatever you like to call the spouse of a civil union. Furnish is 48, a former advertising man from Ogilvy and Mather, now film-maker and writer. He has said of their marriage: “We love each other very much and take our relationship very seriously.”

So, Mr and Mrs Elton John, who, as far as we can tell love each other very much, really want a child. If you’ve never experienced the desperate yearning for a child, and the inability to have a child, you have no idea of the heartbreak a person, or a couple, experiences.

In an age when children are abused on a daily basis, shouldn’t we celebrate that some babies are still wanted?

Yep, we need good parents where we can find them.

Furnish is also on record as saying they had delayed having a child until Elton’s international touring days slowed down so they could devote more time to being full-time parents. They didn’t want their child raised by nannies.

I seriously doubt this couple’s family completion would be so criticised if Elton had been with a 48-year-old woman for 18 years. Somehow I can’t see baby Zachary being dismissed as the ultimate heterosexual accessory.

And where is the evidence that two parents, one of whom won a junior scholarship to the Royal Academy of Music when he was 11, have no clue about the commitments involved in raising a child?

And here’s something else about Elton John that I admire enormously. When he was 43, he went into rehab and kicked his lifelong addiction to drugs, alcohol and bulimia. If he can do that, he can raise babies all right.

So why shouldn’t two people who love each other be allowed to have a baby?

Indeed. So long as they will be good parents, the sexuality isn’t an issue for me.

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