Ukrainian authorities will not permit Sir Elton John to adopt an HIV-positive orphan from the Eastern European country, but according to his partner, David Furnish, the pop icon will financially support the toddler regardless, The Associated Press reports.

John, 62, requested to adopt the then-14-month-old Lev in September. However, he was refused permission because of his age and because, despite entering into a civil union with Furnish in 2005, he is considered unmarried under Ukrainian law.

Furnish told BBC Radio that he and John will ensure that Lev and his brother “have the best health care, education and family options available to them.”

Furnish added that the couple will campaign for Ukrainian authorities to recognize civil unions as marriage.