Elton John Wants Zachary to Have a Sibling

06/04/2012 at 11:00 AM ET
Maurizio La Pira/Splash News Online

It may be time for Zachary Furnish-John to get used to the idea of having a sibling.

His fathers, Elton John and David Furnish, are hoping to increase the size of their family because, the rock legend tells The Guardian, he remembers the disadvantages of being an only child.

Of his own youth, John, 65, says, “I spent it in my room, listening to music if my parents were [arguing].” Of Zachary’s childhood, he says, “I think it’s difficult to be an only child, and to be an only child of someone famous.”

As a result, “I want him to have a sibling so he has someone to be with.”

The musician also acknowledges that a brother or sister may help smooth over an uncomfortable situation that may arise from other children, given that his 17-month-old son has two dads.

“I know when he goes to school there’s going to be an awful lot of pressure, and I know he’s going to have people saying, ‘You don’t have a mummy,'” says John, who married longtime partner Furnish in 2005. “It’s going to happen. We talked about it before we had him. I want someone to be at his side and back him up. We shall see.”

In the meantime, John has noticed about his son (born via surrogate mother), “He’s so straight” — kissing the housekeeper’s daughter and playing football.

He does express one bit of concern — that Zachary may be spoiled, not by him and Furnish, but by John’s legion of fans.

“At Christmas we bought him a swing for the garden and a little slide, and this was his Christmas present and his birthday present from us,” said John. “But he had so many presents from other people throughout the world, which is touching, but we actually found it obscene.”

The solution? When nine baby strollers showed up at their door, John and Furnish sent them to charity.

— Stephen M. Silverman

FILED UNDER: News , Parenting

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Showing 76 comments

Yikes on

Pay me and I will be a surrogate for you…. 🙂

Karen on

Yeah because bringing another child into the world at age 65 is a good idea! I like his part about not spoiling his child tho.

cara on

His little boy is so cute !

Lila on

Pfft. I was an only child and loved it. My parents let me do a ton of activities and I was never bored. My friends loved coming to my house to play because I didn’t have any pesky siblings. My husband and his sister are barely on speaking terms, so we quickly agreed that we would only have one child. And now she loves being an only too.

I hate when people have a child to “give” to their existing child. Who would want to be born to basically be a pet for someone else.

Plus, at his age, he shouldn’t be thinking about babies- unless they are grandkids.

Pamela on

To each their own, but as an only child, I have to admit I’ve loved my experience growing up. I’m not a child of a star, though, so I can see where Elton is coming from, I guess. But I feel being an only child made me be more adventurous and outgoing, since I had no children at home to play with…I was always out and about in my apartment complex with other children, and I never felt I was missing anything from my childhood.

BetC on

I agree a sibling would be great for him as his parents are both older, and most likely, will not be around for the majority of his life. I would want a sibling if my parents were going to be in their 80s when I was in high school, just to have someone else to hang out with after 5pm! ha ha

Rachel on

I agree with Elton! I mean, he’s 65 and John is almost 50… in all likelihood they will not be around to see their son reach adulthood and have a family of his own. It would be nice for him to have someone to share that with as he grows who has the same connection.

Plus, I’m not knocking being an only child (I wasn’t so I have no clue how it is for those of you who are), but having siblings is pretty awesome. No, my brothers aren’t my best friends, but they are the ones who will always remember what life was like when we were growing up. They know those inside jokes no one else ever will and they can share stories no one else can. They’ll be the ones I turn to (hopefully many, many years from now) when we lose our parents.

It is a bond unlike any other and while I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being an only child I certainly think Elton and his partner have good reasons for wanting to add to their family.

Hea on

People live well into their 90’s these days.

kasia on

i hated having a sister, nevermind younger and always wanted to be only child. but maybe he has a point, thought i promised myself i’ll never have more than one kid

Shannon on

I really hope they have a daughter.

Rachel on

Hea — people do live well into their 90’s – and hopefully this will be the case for Elton, his partner, and all of us. This doesn’t change the fact that the average life expectancy for men is well below that – or that Elton is only 25 years away from being 90. Even if he lives into his 90’s he still won’t be around for a lot of his son/children’s adult lives.

Kasia — sorry to hear that. I’m sure there are also many only children out there who always wished they’d had siblings. There are exceptions to every rule.

Ella on

There’s nothing wrong with being an only child. However, if they are bound and determined that their child has a sibling, I think it would be nice if they had another boy.

Jen on

I’m an only child, and I had a great childhood! I never felt like I was missing out, not having a sibling. That said, I understand where he is coming from. Siblings rely on each other. The only time it was hard for me as an only child was when my Dad died (and I was 33). It’s harder when you have to shoulder that grief as an only child- even with your other parent and family there. I think it’s a lot lonelier. So I can see both viewpoints.

Amanda K on

Zachary is one of the most precious babies I’ve ever seen! Elton seems like a doting Dad, that’s for sure.

Melody on

There are no guarantees with parents’ life expectancy. A parent who has a child at age 20 may not live to see the child turn 10, while a parent who has a child at age 45 might see their own child turn 50. While I understand that having a child at age 65 does tend to inhibit the years available to spend with their teenage or adult child, it’s important to note that it’s the love given to the child that counts, not the time.

It’s a bit like suggesting that widowers/widows who remarry at 65, 75 or 85 shouldn’t bother, because they’re not going to get much time with their spouse. Again, it’s quality – not quantity.

It’s quite clear Zachary is growing up in a loving, nurturing home with two doting yet very sensible, grounded parents. That’s what counts.

Leslee on

I’m in the camp of letting them decide what is best for their family 🙂

I do see a lot of sense in having more than one child when you have older parents and with the celebrity, surrogacy and gay issue thrown in, it probably is an even better plan. Family is about more than just who lives under the same roof but it’s a good thing to have that relationship available from a sibling.

JessicaB on

that baby is too cute!!!

Holly on

I thought it was selfish of them to have the first child, due to their ages. Now that they are a bit older, they want another one?? Oh my…

Mrs JP on

Seriously Elton John to be a dad for the second time is great, However you’re 65 YEARS OLD DUDE you”l be buried in dirt by the time your first kids graduates LoL


Summer on

I understand what your saying in that no one knows when they will go so why does it matter, but you are wrong. It DOES matter. It’s not just, “when’s dad going to die” It’s how much will dad REALLY be able to do WITH us. It’s about parents not being so darn SELFISH all the time and thinking about their child(ren).

I am 26 and would hate to have a 90+ year old parent, my grandmother is that old. And she can’t do as much as my mom and I can. There’s something to be said for being able to do things with your kids, having energy, etc. and no one past 70 has the same energy as they did at 40. It’s a fact.

And I’m sorry a woman’s body goes through menopause in her 40’s (most, I know not all) for a reason. It’s natures way of telling us, “hey stupid, knock it off, go find another hobby” I know men don’t go through it, but I also don’t think a 65 should be getting a younger girl pregnant, regularly or IVF.

AND if one MUST have KIDS SOOOOOOOO late in life, at least ADOPT ONE. THEY DIDN’T/WOULDN’T have parents anyway, so having an old one that’ll die early in their life is way better than no parent at all.

Snow on

At this point whether you think the parents are both too old, the child needs a sibling more than ever because of that.

Really, a child can be left orphaned at any age. I lost my birth father when I was 3, and my stepdad at age 24. My own son, who is an only child, lost his father when he was 18. I was not able to have any more kids. My fear is him being left alone in the world.

I think Elton is being selfless – I’m sure physically he may not necessarily feel up to the challenge of raising more than 1 kid, but he is putting his child’s needs first.

I think they should be commended for how they are raising him too. With all his extravagences in the past, I never thought he would go to great lengths not to spoil his child. I’m sure it takes more willpower when you have alot of money.

Lisa on

I know that Elton and David do not read these but to anyone else out that who has a child on or around Christmas PLEASE do not lump them into one – I was born on 12/22 and it absolutely and completely sucked – oh here’s your birthday present and then here’s your christmas presetn – NO – 2 completely different occasions

can you tell that I still have issues…?

Summer on

Oh and melody, you’re all about quality time. But I speak for myself and most of my friends, we always talk about how now as adults ourselves, how much our parents have become our friends. And how when we were younger we didn’t really appreciate and/or have a relationship with them as we have now. It was important don’t get me wrong, but the last few years have been crucial. Growing up is about finding yourself, rebelling, etc. I didn’t become best friends with my mom until I got married myself.

I know everyone is different and every childhood is not the same, but likening a parent/child relationship to a married one is the wrong viewpoint. You can have 5 years with a spouse and make the ‘most’ of it, but it’s unfair to automatically place a child in that situation. I’ve got dad for probably 25 years tops, probably won’t be here for my children, my wedding, etc. And I don’t know about you, but I’m not sure elton even looks like on to get to 95…just sayin!

A child is not a spouse, it is a human being looking to their parent for everything and it doesn’t end at 16 or even 35 for that matter. Even my husband at 43 (YES!) still wants to share things with his mom and dad and looks for their approval.

Athina on

In general, I think siblings are over-rated. Most people I know only see them at family dinners, ie. Christmas, Easter, etc. They don’t hang out with them. I have one brother I see rarely. We’re very different. You can pick your friends but you can’t pick your relatives.

FormerChild on

As a child I would have given anything to have one parent who loved me. Any child who has two parents that love him, whether it’s 2 dads or 2 moms or a mom and dad , is one lucky kid.


That’s easy…Get pregnant :))

m on

What a beautiful child!

Donna on


lisa on

I think that being an only child is different for everyone. You can have a sibling and still feel like an only child depending on the personalities of the siblings.

Holly on

I was an only child and while I had friends who were like sisters, I always wanted a sibling. Also, now that I am an adult, I also find being from a small family is kind of a bummer, I wish I had lots of relatives like others do and had these big happy family gatherings.

Rachel on

I am well aware that anything can happen at anytime, but there is a big difference between chance and certainty.

And quality and quantity most often go hand-in-hand. I would go to bet that most individuals who lost their parent as a child or a teenager would tell you they’d give anything to have had more time with them. Given all the love in the world, losing a parent when your young would suck. And as the above commenter pointed out, the quality can easily be diminished as an individual ages. At 29 I cannot even begin to imagine having my 95 year old great grandmother as my parent.

Joan on

I have to say, I’ve never been of fan of Elton John’s personality, but I commend him greatly on his reasonings for wanting a sibling for his child.. it doesn’t seem to be based on ego nor status.. it’s based on real challenges that this adorable child will be faced with.. older parents in a Non – traditional family.

I don’t feel his comment is an attack on only child homes, but the circumstances that THIS child faces, and to me, that’s a sign of a thoughtful parent.

Whether I agree with his lifestyle, method, or amount of children is frankly, not my business..I applaud him for his selflessness.

Guest on

Quite unfortunately as it is: Siblings do not make up for being alone, or “left” by parents…whatever the reason – death, abandoned, etc. Cultivating TRUE friendships with love and understanding with those around us are the answer. Perhaps it is with the housekeeper, the gardner or a friends, mom & dad. This is not solved by having additional siblings with “their” additional issues regarding having two dads.

Mike S. on

It was interesting to hear the perspectives of only children. It gave me a new understanding of the joys of it. However, being an only child can become a tremendous burden as parents age. As an only child, there are no siblings to help manage the variety of health issues elderly parents face. Perhaps this is not a good enough reason to have more children, especially if parents only want one, but, it is something parents should consider…

pollyhanaha on

@ Summer – Are you nuts?? The people who are close to you must be stunned by your logic. I am and I don’t even know you.

Sheila on

He’s old. Who would want to have his child, male or female?

olive on

people are so defensive if they are only children. Back in decades past, weren’t children only children usually because the parents had problems having the 2nd child, i.e. physically?

I’m a big believer in siblings- and try to do it before the child is 4/5 because i believe that is when the personality is somewhat cemented – if i remember correctly from some studies i read.

I think parents also think of what happens when the child is older and the parents have died, it is far better to have someone to experience life with.

I’m all for siblings! Sorry, i just can’t stand the ‘only-child’ persona, despite how much people deny its existence.

Sheila on

Lila is obviously a pet . Shes just doesn’t know it yet.

Eliza on

@ pollyhanaha, I completely disagree with you, I see Summer’s logic and reasoning and agree with it completely.

Having a child at age sixty five seems a tad bit selfish to me.

Shannon on

That baby looks just like Elton! LOL!

truth on

This just has MESS written all over it…….

lovely123 on

Kudos for Elton. At least he acknowledged the fact that it might be hard for his son later in life.

mya on

self indulgent.

victory on

It’s only natural to want your child to have a little brother or sister, they’ll always have a playmate and learn to share the limelight. That adorable little fella looks a lot like his daddy, Elton. Better get a movin’, being close in age is a plus. Very dotting parents.

Ltlrose53 on

I was an only child since my older brother was stillborn, lost my Mom when I was 9 and my Dad at 24. It is a lonely life without a sibling or parnets. Cherish what you have regardless and make the best of any situation. Whatever they decide, I believe that child or those children will always be loved.

Mako on

What not bring little Lev Ageyeva back into your life. He would make a wonderful sibling along with his brother.

silly on

i hope zachary doesnt kill himself-because of the depression he feels from not having a mother like other children-before that find him a mother first you gay son of a b****

Sabina on

Too bad the kid doesn’t have a mother.

Dina on

more than a sibling, give him a mother !!!!

and this goes to all same sex couples having children, kids need BOTH, a father and a mother.

and I hate is now an order to explain our 5 year old kids about gay marriage and families, and stuff. there will be a lot of confusion.

and the worst part, i am the homofobic !!!

name them heterofobic, since they dont want to know anything about us anymore, and we are just “ovens” to them… prrr

Halley on

I think having another is a good idea. I have seen how much my older son has blossomed since my younger son was born. Both of them think the sun rises and sets on the other.

Also, because Elton and David are older parents, a sibling would give their son some family once they’re gone.

They seem like lovely parents and I wish them the best!

notsosure on

Then marry a woman and have a child. You were married to one before, so you can do it again. Save your son the embarrassment when he grows up.

Sarah on

Those concerned about Elton’s age need to consider this. Those two are probably healthier and more active than most 25 year old people. They have an obscene amount of money. They can hire the best doctors in the world, get the best medical treatments, personal trainers, personal chefs, etc. I guarantee they spent more time running around with their son than I do mine, and I’m only 29 years old.

Kris on

As much as I like Elton John and love the fact he enjoys being a father, why didnt he become a father sooner? To bring another child into the world at age 65 is a little selfish, though I can see him wanting to give his child a sibling. I also had the same feelings for Rod Stewart, Robert DeNiro and Kelsey Grammar so I am an equal-opportunity opinion. I just don’t think it’s fair to the child(ren). I know his partner is younger than him so maybe that’s why he is considering this. I still don’t agree with it.

Hank on

The quality not quantity comment might come across a insulting or stupid to some, like me, who lost my dad when I was 25.

Delayne on

Good for Elton…who by the way is free to do as he pleases. I too want to have another child to give my daughter a sibling as I don’t wont her a spoiled brat only child, but that is my opinion.

marshagarsha on

Happy for him and David and Zachary and hope they get the second child they desire, but oh PULLEEEEZ on the “poor sad only child” sentiment. Maybe HE was sad and lonely, but he specifically states that he spent his childhood in his room listening to his parents argue. That has nothing to do with a lack of siblings, it’s called living in a dysfunctional home with parents in an unhappy marriage. Siblings aren’t a solution to any problems, and siblings won’t necessarily make Zachary happy or fulfilled. Elton, please stop with the stereotyping of “poor, sad, maladjusted onlies”, because whether you have one or ten children, it’s really the parenting that matters…and you sound like a GREAT parent!

Mom of a happy only child with a billion friends who LOVES being an only (and tells me often)

meghan on

Summer and Joan, beautifully put, both of you. 🙂

meghan on

@marshagarsha, I think Elton is talking about the potential burden of being an only child of an older same sex couple. He’s not criticizing singletons. Why take it so personally? He’s talking about HIS circumstances, not the worlds.

@silly, go kill yourself. The world will be better off.

@Dina, please don’t breed. I don’t want to have to explain assholes to my kids. I fear they will be confused.

Ramona on

They honestly think their kid is going to be teased because he “has two dads”? Ha – Other families are going to be falling all over themselves trying to get playdates with that kid just so they can brag that “their child’s best friend is Elton John’s son!” I hardly think that kid is ever going to be lonely or ostracized.

B.J. (the girl) on

I would surrogate for Elton and his hubby. They don’t even have to pay me! I’ve been an Elton fan for as long as I can remember, and I got to see him a few years ago with my family. It was great! Zachary is a lucky kid, no matter what the circumstances.

Melody on

Summer, I understand what you’re saying – good point. Please know that the parallel I was drawing between older parents and older spouses was only intended as a means to liken the general principle, and not necessarily the specific, if that makes sense?

Anyway, I do understand that it would be hard for a child having a parent who was much older. I’m torn because I can see how it could be devastating for a child to lose a parent so young, but by the same token I still believe it what I said earlier, about quality time being the most important thing.

SMiaVS on

I wish he wouldn’t say things like “he’s so straight.” Elton’s never been much help to the community (only recently changed his views and decided same-sex marriage should be a priority) and now he’s perpetuating stereotypes. There’s enough of that from the outside, we don’t need more of it from our own.

@Meghan, while I understand the knee-jerk reaction to a post like the one “silly” made, it doesn’t help things at all. (Especially when you go as far as to say “go kill yourself”–that’s never okay.) We need to stay above the childish bullying and name-calling that the other side employs if we want to win the fight for equality. The LGBTQI community doesn’t need that sort of “ally,” thanks.

Rachel on

I think the point for me is that I think there are multiple reasons why I could support Elton’s idea of having another child. One, because just like only wanting one child is fine, there is also absolutely nothing wrong or selfish about wanting to give a child a sibling. Secondly, as pointed out many times, having children in your 60’s pretty much guarantees you won’t be around for most of your child’s adult life (even in the best health, even if you live to be in your 90s).

One commenter above mentioned that cultivating true friendships can make up for not having siblings. Everyone needs to cultivate true friendships in life, but those friends cannot help you make the financial, medicial and often difficult decisions that frequently come along with taking care of and finally saying good bye to aging parents.

I have experienced the death of all four of my grandparents – three from long and difficult illnesses requiring hospitalizations, multiple medications, hospice and decisions that HAD to be made by my parents and their siblings. My grandmother who passed away in December died suddenly and unexpectedly in her sleep. My mom relied on her siblings heavily to get through the following weeks, and still months later. Only children obviously do get through the deaths of their parents alone and with the help of friends, but you cannot compare that to the choices siblings can help each other make and the burdens siblings can help lift.

Granted again, the decision to have another child should never be made only for these reasons… but these should be reasons that should never discourage people who really want to have more children.

As for the commenters mentioning Elton and David’s homosexuality and Zachary’s lack of a mother… how do you know he doesn’t have a mother figure in his life?

meghan on

@SMiaVS, if there’s anything more annoying than a homophobe, it’s someone that thinks they have the right to speak on behalf of an entire community of people.

Holiday on

I always feel bad for only children. It seems like it would be a sad and lonely life. I cant imagine Christmas and Easter morning without my sister. Family vacations with only your parents would be boring too. My sister and I have always been so close and now were are 25 and 28 with children of our own. Only children never even get to be biological aunts and uncles. It seems like a sad and boring childhood to have such a small immediate family. I am so happy my son and daughter have each other! At 2 and 6 they are already so close and hold hands as they race around the house singing silly songs. They make forts together and play in each others rooms. Their sibling bond is the sweetest thing ever, so glad I gave them each other! Poor only kids…. will NEVER have that.

Hailey on

I have no problem when an adult has children, as long as they truly deeply care and love their children. Elton and David deserve children as each other. We all have our lives to lead and live, hopefully with all the technology Elton and David as all of us can live to be in our 90’s, my Uncle lived to be 98 years old! he lived to see me start school, graduate, attend college, graduate, and see me turn from being a child into a young woman. I was truly blessed. I hope for the very best for Elton and his family. “I wouldn’t have it any other way…” (Captain & the Kid) ~Hailey

Dienekes on

Great, just what the world needs: another child brought and indoctrinated into a gay household; well, there goes another two children whom are far more likely to be drug addicts, alcoholics, sexual deviants, and suicidal. But it’s ok, right? Sexual immorality and shameful lifestyles are embraced–rather than shunned–in our culture. What an abomination!

Lila on

Please don’t feel bad for us Holiday, I had an awesome life! I was never bored or lonely. I had tons of friends and cousins to play with. And since I didn’t have a sibling, I always got to take friends with me on vacations and stuff. Being an only child is awesome.

As far as aging parents, I don’t believe having a sibling is a magical cure. I have friends who have lost parents and the fighting between the siblings has been awful. It seems like one child always get stuck doing all the work anyway. Plus, since we only have one child to support, we have been able to put more money aside for our retirement and final arrangements.

So please, spare us your pity- I couldn’t be happier to NOT have siblings.

Cherry on

Holiday you sound really bitter and jealous. Do you have low self esteem due to not being your parent’s favorite child or did your husband leave you for an only child. I feel sorry for your kids for having such a bitter, resentful, and jealous mother. I’m an only child and I was never lonely or bored, and I NEVER wanted siblings. The other only children that I know feel the same way. Interestingly my cousins and friends (with siblings) often wanted to come over to my house because they were bored of being stuck babysitting their annoying siblings. They felt their childhood was boring, lonely and they had no freedom, just stuck with annoying siblings. I have a cousin who passionately hated being forced to babysit his siblings to this day and resents them and thinks of his siblings as burdens. I, on the other hand, had freedom, I was able to choose when to have friends and cousins come over. I was able to go out with friends and cousins and not stuck at home with siblings. In fact, my cousin always wanted to go with me and my parents on vacations because she didn’t want to be bored at home with her younger brother. She would come over to my house every weekend and most holiday vacations.

And as far not being biological aunts and uncles, I don’t care about that. I’m fine with being an aunt by marriage or a godmother. Plus, I don’t believe you have to be biologically related to make a family. It’s the love that counts. Some people are biological aunts and uncles and have no relationship with their nieces and nephews. Holiday, please, don’t adopt any kids, or marry someone with kids since you consider people who are not biologically related inferior. How sad.

Anyways, I felt extremely lucky being an only child and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I LOVED having my parents focus, attention, resources, and not having to deal with sibling rivalry, jealousy, or bullying. I love that my parents and I have a special relationship and I have my cousins and friends to boot. I’m glad I don’t have siblings. I would miss out on all the fun and awesomeness of being an only child.

Cherry on

Holidays, you do realize that just because siblings are close as kids does NOT guarantee that they will be close as they get older. I know lots of siblings who are estranged who were once close as kids.

Cherry on

Holidsays, I know many people with siblings who were close as kids, but now are estranged from each other. Being close as kids does not guarantee that they will be close as they become adults. They might even hate each other.

Cherry on

Holidays, you do realize that siblings can be close as kids, but grow up to be estranged from each other and even hate each other.

Rena on

“Good for Elton…who by the way is free to do as he pleases. I too want to have another child to give my daughter a sibling as I don’t wont her a spoiled brat only child, but that is my opinion”

Delayne, you don’t have to be an only child to be a “spoiled brat.” The only children that I know are NOT spoiled. However, I know several kids with siblings who are spoiled brats, especially the youngest siblings.

Rena on

“Good for Elton…who by the way is free to do as he pleases. I too want to have another child to give my daughter a sibling as I don’t wont her a spoiled brat only child, but that is my opinion”

Delayne, please stop being gullible and ignorant. Being an only child does not make a child a “spoiled brat.” There are lots of kids with siblings who are spoiled brats. Obviously, it has NOTHING to do with the siblings you have or don’t have. Please, don’t be stupid. Do you also believe that whites are superior than blacks?

Rena on

“Good for Elton…who by the way is free to do as he pleases. I too want to have another child to give my daughter a sibling as I don’t wont her a spoiled brat only child, but that is my opinion”

Delayne, please stop being gullible and ignorant. Being an only child does not make a child a “spoiled brat.” There are lots of kids with siblings who are spoiled brats. Obviously, it has NOTHING to do with the siblings you have or don’t have. Please, don’t be stupid.

Rena on

“Good for Elton…who by the way is free to do as he pleases. I too want to have another child to give my daughter a sibling as I don’t wont her a spoiled brat only child, but that is my opinion”

Great. Then, you will end up with TWO spoiled brats (like my neighbor), plus one or two bullies. Sibling abuse happens a LOT. Not to mention, the fact that the kids may end up being ignorant, prejudice and narrow minded like their mother who believes in being a lazy parent, stupidly thinking that having another child is the way to raise the first child, but that is my opinion.