By Natasha Brown

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – After struggling to adopt for years, one of music’s most influential men is now a dad. Sir Elton John and his partner, David Furnish, now have a son, born to a surrogate in California on Christmas Day.

On their website, Sir Elton John and David Furnish announced the birth of Zachary Jackson Levon Furnish-John, telling Us Magazine, “We are overwhelmed with happiness and joy.”

One of their Philadelphia friends spoke to CBS 3.

Mark Segal is editor of the Philadelphia Gay News and a friend of Elton. “For a father, you couldn’t find a better father,” Segal said.

He says that, like many gay couples, Elton and David had trouble in their quest to become fathers. For example, last year at a Ukrainian orphanage, Elton told the BBC they were interested in adopting an AIDS-infected baby. Ukraine said no — the men’s civil partnership wasn’t recognized as marriage, and Elton at age 62 was too old.

“He’s tried many times in various countries, and he was left with this alternative, as many people are,” said Segal.

To Segal, surrogacy was a natural choice for a gay couple like Elton and David “for many reasons. Number one, there’s the legality. It makes it much easier,” Segal said. “And also the fact it is your flesh and blood.”

Elton is now 63; his partner David is 48. No photos yet of the baby boy, but his parents say he’s healthy and happy.

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Reported by Natasha Brown, CBS3

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