Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish have become fathers after using a surrogate mother in the US. The baby boy Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John was born on Christmas Day in California. They are both "overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this special moment."
Unlike Australia and the UK, surrogates in American can be paid a fee for their services and sums of $50,000 are common. But the mind boggles at the fee a superstar like Sir Elton would be prepared to pay. The other plus of going to America is that intending parents can get parenthood status automatically. In some states, including California, parents who have used a surrogate can apply for a pre-birth order which means that they - and not the natural mother - will be listed as parents on the original birth certificate, regardless of whose egg or sperm was used.
It is not known who the father is but Natalie Gamble, a specialists in fertility law, said that one or both men will have provided sperm. She said in all Californian cases she knew about, prospective parents must provide the sperm and the egg would not come from the surrogate, but from a second woman. The couple wanted to adopt a 14 month old boy from the Ukraine last year but their plans were thwarted by Ukrainian laws.
Olga van den Akker, professor of health psychology at Middlesex University said the potentially huge sum paid by Sir Elton could cause problems for his son down the line. "Problems could arise if he thinks he has been sold by his mother - the surrogate or the egg donor if one was involved."
I feel sorry for this child already. Whatever way you look at it, little Zachary has been bought and paid for. It just proves that there is nothing in this world that money can't buy.