Elton John Bonds with Son Through Skin-to-Skin Contact

02/01/2011 at 04:00 PM ET

For Elton John and David Furnish, their roles as parents started the minute their baby entered the world. In an interview with the Sunday Times Magazine, the couple described being at the delivery of their son Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, born at 2:45 a.m. on Christmas Day.

“We did skin-to-skin contact, took our shirts off and held him so that we could make that bond,” Furnish, 48, explains. “They say it’s really good for the baby, and for us.”

“All you need is a couple of babygros [onesies] and a lot of muslin [blankets],” notes Furnish. “Friends are being really great, giving us hand-me-down stuff. We don’t want him to grow up with a sense of entitlement.”

“You know, my father never came to hear me play. Not ever,” John, 63, confesses in the article. “He was a tough and unemotional man. Hard. In the RAF (Royal Air Force). He was dismissive, disappointed, and finally absent. I just wanted him to acknowledge what I’d done. But he never did.”

Now a dad himself, John will certain do things differently. “Elton is going to be Daddy and I’ll be Papa,” said Furnish.

— Helen I. Hwang

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 45 comments

Anonymous on

How beautiful!!!

Alison on

How could anyone in this world have a problem with gays being parents? I just don’t get it. This is beautiful.

tink1217 on

they are so sweet and seem so proud and happy!!!!! And..it is so refreshing to hear about celebs and hand me downs!!!!

Tee on

They sound totally in love with their son!

amy on

They are going to make great parents. That is so sad about the way Elton was treated by his father. 😦

Sharon on

I love that Elton John’s child wears hand me downs, that is great!

alice jane on

Oh man these two seriously warm my heart! Zachary is a lucky baby, with two parents so loving.

Shannon on

Awww they seem totally in love with their little bundle of joy!

klutzy_girl on

This is so cute!

mommaday on

the skin the skin contact does work wonders especially for preemies

jessicad on

So sweet! I’m glad they’re taking hand me downs, will keep him grounded!

Brooke on

Absolutely lovely….they are going to be wonderful parents.

madison on


Jennifer on

You know the hand me downs are probably all the Gucci and Prada they gave as gifts right?

Sarah on

I am so glad these two are finally parents =)

Romy on

the skin to skin contact is a good idea. hand me downs are great, but their hand me downs are not like ours😉

Janna on

“I love that Elton John’s child wears hand me downs”
“I’m glad they’re taking hand me downs, will keep him grounded!”

Are you people crazy? This is Elton-freaking-John! Maybe he didn’t know what to buy and people are giving him things, but there’s no way this baby is going to grow up on a steady diet of “hand-me-downs”, nor should he. His parents can afford to give him the best of everything, why shouldn’t they? Using a second-hand blanket is not going to keep this kid “grounded”. ROFL, people crack me up.

jessicad on

No need to be so harsh Janna, relax. I was reading more into the line where they said they didn’t want him to feel a sense of entitlement, hopefully they will keep him somewhat grounded.

ANYHOW, That’s great they got to be there for his delivery, I think it’s really sweet when men take their shirts off and do that, it just looks so natural.

Lila on

I think it’s wonderful. What a joy to have. I wish that for every one.

dsfg on

“I love that Elton John’s child wears hand me downs”
“I’m glad they’re taking hand me downs, will keep him grounded!”

Actually, it would be much better for the ecomonomy if they bought him a bunch of stuff instead.

dsfg on

“How could anyone in this world have a problem with gays being parents? I just don’t get it.”
Alison, I don’t think it’s so much that people have a problem with gays being parents, it’s that they have a problem with it being okay for a child to have two dads or two moms versus a mother and a father. Studies have shown that it doesn’t really matter, but either way, for many people this is the real issue, not homophobia.

annachestnut on

Elton will be a wonderful father. He is a great person and great to his fans. A class act. Good choice of a partner too.

Audrey on

Janna, I find your attitude more laughable than anything else. Just because they have money it doesn’t mean they need to spend it on designer clothing that the baby will grow out of in a few months anyway. There is NOTHING wrong with hand-me-downs.

My parents were comfortably well off and I wore alot of hand-me-downs, because its useful and not wasteful, because as soon as I would grow out of them, they would go to the next sibling or cousin who would fit them, it didn’t mean I wore rags. I think it does in a way keep a child grounded (when they are old enough) because it can teach a child some valuable lessons, if thats what you want to teach them (of course there are other reasons). And besides that, at his age he is not going to care what he is wearing. Its a baby, I would not think more of a baby wearing designer clothes and think less of a baby wearing hand-me-downs. That’s ridiculous.

Hea on

That Elton at least used to be quite the shopoholic is hardly news. I’m sure they’ll mix and I’m sure people will care how they dress their son but it doesn’t matter as long as he’s loved and safe. I feel all warm reading this article. It sounds as if they are bonding well with their little one and they seem so in love.

Ashley on

I know that I will probably be crucified for this, but I do think it’s sad Zachary won’t have a mommy. I’m not saying Elton John and David won’t be good parents, but I do hope there is some female in his life that will be able to provide some maternal support for him as he grows up. While I personally do not believe in gay marriage (it practically destroys the use of masculinity and femininity, in my opinion), I am not a homophobe, so please don’t go on that angle. Either way, I’m happy little Zachary is happy and healthy, and they don’t want to spoil him as he gets older.

Sam on

Awwww, sweet sweet. What a lucky loved little boy. Just love him!

@Ashley, I understand what you are saying, BUT have you seen the divorce rate? Do you know how many single parent homes there are, with both mother or father as the only parent? Do you know how many children are in Foster Care without either? So the old traditional way of man/daddy and mom/mommy hasn’t worked for a long time. Love, is love, ANYONE that can love a child should just love them!

Gabby on

“while I personally do not believe in gay marriage (it practically destroys the use of masculinity and femininity, in my opinion)”

I was unaware it did this, but if so, all the more reason to support gay marriage. Gender binaries have never helped anyone – at their most harmless they’ve just been a way to stuff complex individuals into limiting, categorical boxes, and at their most destructive, they’ve been wielded against people (especially youth) who conspicuously don’t fit into those boxes to humiliate them and in many cases drive them to suicide. Gender binaries, homophobia, and even misogynism are closely interlinked – they all depend on one another to survive.

Kristine on

Give me a break…his baby is wearing hand me downs. His problem is he is not a normal father so he is trying to show the world his is…give me a break.

Hea on

Kristine – Give you a break, give you a break… Would it help you if they did? What is a normal father? What is normal? Who are you to decide what’s normal for others? YOU give THEM a break instead. They tell the world this teeny tiny detail about their life and you manage to deduce it into them being less normal and wants to show the world they are good enough?

Dee on

Good heavens, these celebrities are damned if they do and damned if they dont.

The attitude on here from some of the unhappy people is truly sad. It’s ok people….I am sending you all a HUG!!!! Feel it, embrace, I care about you!!!!

LOL, anyways I love that fathers do that with their babies. Moms and babies have an instand bond and sometimes the fathers can feel left out. In the case where it is two fathers, it is a fantastic thing to do and they are going make awesome parents.

As for the hand me downs, I hardly believe these two are the only ones doing it. I know we know celebs have money but reality is they are probably as “normal” as you and me and things like that come as natural to them as it does to us.

We tend to treat celebrities sometimes like they are non-human….get with it people🙂

Ashley on

@Sam: Thank you for being nice.🙂 I posted my reply on another forum and was pretty much told to go kill myself because I had a different opinion. Nice world, huh?🙂

Anyway, I agree that the divorce rate is ridiculously high (personally, I believe that’s because the sanctity of marriage has been completely undermined into something commercial, aka, a world of “if you aren’t happy, just divorce” instead of learning how to work things out.) I know there are situations in life where only one parent is present, and I agree that’s completely out of their control, and with foster care, one good parent is certainly better than none (I hope to adopt one day too.)

However, with gay marriage, you are voluntarily ruling out having a daddy or a mommy in a child’s life, and I can’t help but feel sad about that (but again, just my opinion.)

W on

“gay marriage practically destroys the use of masculinity and femininity, in my opinion”

Hahaha sorry to break it to your delusional mind, but you definitely are homophobic.
I hope for the sake of our society that people like you find some enlightenment in this lifetime.

Ashley on

@Gabby: “Gender binaries, homophobia, and even misogynism are closely interlinked – they all depend on one another to survive.”

So you’re saying that someone who believes that men and women are physically and mentally different, and usually have different roles in society (which I do) has a hatred of women and fears/hates gays and lesbians? I hope you just don’t understand the connotations and denotations of those terms and don’t actually mean that, because that’s a pretty awful thing to say.

Jill on

There are many single moms are dads who become parents alone chosing to welcome a child into a home without the opposite sex parent. So the theory of Zachary not having a mother because he has two dads, to me makes no sense. My aunt lost her husband when my cousin was 6 months and my cousin grew up with no father or father figure her whole life. My other cousin, his mom and dad divorced….dad was and has been nowhere to be found. Fortunatly, he has had two moms, otherwise he would have grown up in a single home.

JM on

ashley i don’t really understand what you mean by “gay marriage destroys the use of masculinity and femininity”. do you mean that society will no longer have a use for such a distinction? perhaps you could explain.

anyway, i think it’s time we all moved on and accepted gay marriage. there is nothing that suggest that anything about it at all is in any way negative. some people just choose not to see this.

Kristine on

Elton John is anything but normal. Come on now. He is so over the top and he is trying too hard to show the world that he is your carpooling soccer dad…give me a break. You are all supporting him for you are afraid to speak out for he is gay. I could care less. He will never be normal whether he has a baby on his chest or not…..

dsfg on

Ashley, you don’t have to hate men/women to be sexist, you don’t have to hate a certain race to be racist, and you don’t have to hate gays to be homophobic.

For example, it used to be that during slavery times, blacks were believed by many whites to be of inferior intelligence. A white person who likes black people but feels they are intellectually inferior is certainly racist.

Someone who feels that men and women should have different roles in society is definitely sexist, but not neccesarily a mysoginist.

CelebBabyLover on

Dee- I agree! If this makes any sense, I think sometimes we forget that, at the end of the day, celebrities are human beings just like the rest of us! I also agree with you about the hand-me-downs. Not only do other celebs probably use hand-me-downs, but we have even seen celeb kids in hand-me-downs. For example, we’ve seen the Jolie-Pitt kids wearing each other’s hand-me-downs several times, and we’ve seen Zuma Rossdale wearing stuff that we saw on Kingston when he was his age.

Kristine on

Janna, hand me down will keep him grounded? If only it was that simple with kids…..it’s not about what they wear it is about who is raising them and what type of life they are leading by example!!!!!!

Hea on

Kristine – So what if his normal is not the same as your normal? That doesn’t make him any less and you any more normal. We’re all different. We’re all people.

Kristine on

Hea, unfortunately normal will always be normal. The only people who look for another answer to what normal is are those that are not normal…pounder that

Paula on

“Normal will always be normal” – so not true. What’s considered to be normal changes everyday! Weel, maybe not everyday, but surely changes as society changes. As someone just mentioned, slavery was considered normal not so long ago.
Other examples: women working, having a kid before marriage, divorce – all of this was absurd and now we think it’s normal. Not to mention that this also changes between different countries.

Gay marriage and gay couples having babies will hopefully be soon considered “normal” by society. It’s a pity that is taking so long…

Ashley on

@ dsfg: Hello.🙂 “A white person who likes black people but feels they are intellectually inferior is certainly racist.” I absolutely agree! I only brought up the hate part with homophobia because it is indeed in the dictionary definition, “hatred or fear of homosexuals.” Just because I disagree with it doesn’t mean I’m a homophobe.🙂

“Someone who feels that men and women should have different roles in society is definitely sexist, but not necessarily a misogynist.” Hmm, I have to respectfully disagree. Someone who is sexist believes one sex is inferior to the other (as racism is the belief one race is superior.) I happen to believe men and women are 100% equal, but, as a norm, have different roles in society (as women by design – and I know some women can’t but I’m talking about in general- have the ability to conceive, carry the baby, give birth to the baby, breastfeed the baby, and usually have extremely sharp maternal instincts, it makes sense to me that women would be the primary caretakers of children, which the feminists swear is an inferior job.
But, either way, that’s just me. Thanks for the conversation everyone! I didn’t mean to go off topic, just thought I might bring a different opinion to the table.🙂 God bless little Zachary!

dsfg on

Ashley, if you believe that women are better child carers than men, which means you feel men are inferior when it comes to caring for children, then you are indeed sexist.

I agree with you that men and women are different, at least physically. I also agree with you that caring for children is not an inferior job. But I disagree that a woman’s role is to be the primary caretaker of her children; men in general are just as capable of taking on this role; to say that men are NOT as capable is sexist. It isn’t hateful, just sexist.

Hea on

“Hea, unfortunately normal will always be normal. The only people who look for another answer to what normal is are those that are not normal…pounder that

– Kristine”

That’s not an answer to my question. At all. I will not even “pounder” what you write because you’re so far off. What is normal to you is almost cartainly not normal to a woman in Afghanistan or a child in Sierra Leone. There is no easy world wide definition to the word “normal”. It’s what you’re used to and what’s most common where you are. Guess you don’t know the answer then. How unfortunate for you but boy, it sure explains a lot.

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