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A Sikh couple of Indian descent but born in the UK, Sandeep and Reena Mander were advised not to apply to adopt due to their “cultural heritage" as only white babies were available for adoption.
Apparently, it’s not just enough that a couple who cannot have children of their own want to give a warm, loving and caring home to a child of any race or colour. In one of the most racist slurs in recent times, they’ve been told that they cannot adopt a “white child” because of their “ethnic background”!
Picture Courtesy: The Deccan Herald
Reena and Sandeep Mander, Sikhs in their 30’s of Indian descent but born in the UK and living in Berkshire have alleged that they were told by their local adoption agency, Adopt Berkshire, not to apply as only white children were currently available for adoption.
Not to take things lying down, they’ve legally challenged the decision, and are being supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and also their local MP, Theresa May.
The Manders, who are both business professionals, are desperate for a child, having tried IVF unsuccessfully 16 times over the course of seven years. They were told to adopt a child from India, instead.
Sandeep, in an attempt to draw attention to the apparent racism, told the media last week that they had been barred from even applying for adoption “not because of our incapability to adopt, but because our cultural heritage was defined as ‘Indian/Pakistani’.”
In the United Kingdom, adoption agencies can prioritise parents from the same ethnic group, but in 2014 adoption rules were changed to make it easier for children to be placed with parents from a different ethnic background.
It seems strange that in a country where the number of children being adopted is rapidly falling, a couple with a stable background and will to provide a loving home to an orphan is being denied the right to do so because of their race and culture, due to the hesitation of the local authorities of placing children with suitable families of a different ethnicity, even though Adopt Berkshire’s website clearly says that “children will not be kept waiting for an “exact match”.
We sincerely hope that due justice is given to the Manders and they’re able to achieve their dream of creating their own family by adoption.
Picture Courtesy: www.themetro.co.uk