A woman who claims she is the mother of a 15-month-old Ukrainian boy Elton John has said she will not let the star adopt him.
John said his heart had been “stolen” by baby Lev but his mother Marina Timoshenko, a recovering alcoholic, has said she will not give him up.
She told The Sun: “I will not give my baby to Elton John for any money.
“I understand Elton’s feelings. Lev is a very sunny and cheerful boy. It’s impossible not to love him.
“But I’m going to overcome my problems. I so much want my babies back.”
John was visiting the orphanage as part of his charity work when he met the child.
He said at the time: “David always wanted to adopt a child and I always said no because I am 62 and I think because of the travelling I do and the life I have, maybe it wouldn’t be fair for the child. But having seen Lev today, I would.”
Timoshenko, who is HIV-positive, said she turned to alcohol after having financial problems. Lev and his brother were subsequently taken into care.
John and his civil partner David Furnish cannot adopt under Ukrainian law because they are too old and Ukraine does not recognise their civil partnership as marriage.
However, they have been told by the country’s families minister Yuriy Pavlenko that there is the possibility of a compromise.
Pavlenko said last month: “Elton John has the right and opportunity to invite the family of this boy to visit him, take them under his guardianship and help him grow into a good person.
“This is not an orphan, the child has a mother and an elder brother and so he cannot be adopted by law.
“He has a difficult fate, like his mother. Help has been provided to his mother, who is living back in the community now.
“I am sure that soon this family will be united. Let’s help the mother to find strength to bring the family back together.”