Elton John and David Furnish overjoyed at birth of surrogate son

It was, you might say, an immaculate conception: to Sir Elton John and his partner David Furnish, a child is born. On Christmas Day in California, a surrogate produced the couple's first son, Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, 22in tall and weighing a healthy 7lb 15oz.

"We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy at this very special moment," John and Furnish, civil partners since 2005, said in a statement. "Zachary is doing really well, and we are very proud and happy parents."

Sir Elton, who guest-edited The Independent and i to raise money for the Elton John Aids Foundation earlier this month, tried to adopt an HIV-positive orphan in Ukraine last year.

He said he initially resisted the idea, due to his age and the demands of touring. But after the recent death of his keyboard player Guy Babylon, he said: "What better to replace someone I lost than to replace him with someone I can give a future to?"

The identity of the mother and biological father remain private.

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