Age and non-traditional sexual orientation prevented Elton John from adoption of a 14-month-old Ukrainian child.
The pop signer toured a hospital for HIV-infected children in eastern Ukraine on Saturday as part of a charity project and said that he and his male partner David Furnish wanted to adopt an HIV-infected boy named Lev.
But the country's Family, Youth and Sports Minister Yuriy Pavlenko declared that adoptive parents must be married and Ukraine does not recognize homosexual unions as marriage.
John and Furnish, his longtime partner, tied the knot in 2005 in one of the first legalized civil unions in the United Kingdom.
John gave Lev a big kiss at the orphanage in Makiyivka.
"I don't know how we do that, but he has stolen my heart. And he has stolen David's heart and it would be wonderful if we can have a home," John said.
Pavlenko said Ukraine was grateful for the singer's charity work and expressed hope that his desire to adopt Lev would spur the domestic adoption of more children with health problems, which is still rare in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.