Thursday, 18 October, 2018

Authorities Refuse Permission To Sikh Couple To Adopt 'White Child'

Sandeep and Reena Mander a British couple from Berkshire said they were advised to ‘adopt a child from India Sandeep and Reena Mander a British couple from Berkshire said they were advised to ‘adopt a child from India
Kenny Thornton | 28 June, 2017, 06:10

Sandeep and Reena Mander, a United Kingdom couple from Berkshire wanted to adopt a child of any ethnic background but were told that since only white children are available for adoption; white British or European applicants will be given preference, meaning they will not be selected.

Yet Adopt Berkshire told them that white British or European couples would receive first priority as only while children were in need.

David Isaac, chair of the EHRC, said: 'There are many children who are waiting for a loving family like Sandeep and Reena to help give them a better life. "To be denied this because of so-called cultural heritage is wrong".

The couple have now reportedly taken legal action to challenge the adoption agency's decision, having secured the support of the Equality and Human Rights Commission and their local MP, Prime Minister Theresa May. The matter brought to the fore racial issues in adoption even though officially, a child's ethnicity should not an obstacle to adoption.

A Punjabi couple claims they had their plans to adopt blocked from Adopt Berkshire.

However, the couple claim their local adoption agency, Adopt Berkshire, rejected their application on the basis there were only white babies available.

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To place them lower on the list than another family due to their background suggested that the authorities had "lost the plot, we have lost what is important", she said.

A spokesman for Adopt Berkshire told HuffPost: "We do not comment on ongoing court cases".

Last year, from Adopt Berkshire, an agency run by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), the Manders had an assessment and home visit from the agency. "What we didn't expect was a refusal for us to even apply for adoption, not because of our incapability to adopt, but because our cultural heritage was defined an Indian/Pakistani", he said.

They are applying to Slough county court, seeking a declaration that the policy should allow them to adopt.

"The Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead clearly lack sensitivity and understanding of the situation and decision makers appear not to appreciate diversity or the law".

Berkshire based Sandeep and Reena, were trying to give birth to their own baby for last seven years and later chose to go for adoption. I said we were from an Indian background, and she said that they were unable to prioritise us, and they wouldn't look at our case.

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