British Sikh couple denied to adopt white child for Indian origin

British Sikh couple denied to adopt white child for Indian origin”

A Sikh couple claim they were advised by an adoption agency not to apply due to their "cultural heritage".

But they were told by the agency Adopt Berkshire that the only children available for adoption in their region were white and prospective adopters from a similar background would be given priority over them.

The agency told Sandeep and Reena that white couples would be preferred to adopt white children.

"Cultural heritage is important and should be looked at, but a number of factors should be looked at, and people shouldn't be stopped from getting to the application stage because of one particular area".

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.

Senior Counsel at McAllister Olivarius, Georgina Calvert-Lee, representing the couple, said: "It is unacceptable for a child to be denied loving adoptive parents exclusively on the grounds that the child does not share the same racial or cultural heritage as the adopters".

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

They attended introductory workshops organised by their local authority, the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, and its adoption agency, Adopt Berkshire.

"What we did not 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 as "Indian/Pakistani", he said.

"They took the colour of our skin as the overriding reason not to progress with the application", said Mr Mander. The Manders had an assessment and home visit from Adopt Berkshire, an agency run by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), last year.

Meanwhile Adopt Berkshire has declined to comment, as the case has now gone to court.

The Manders have applied to Slough county court, seeking a declaration that the policy should allow them to adopt, the daily said.

If their efforts are unsuccessful the Manders are considering adopting a child from the United States.

In the meantime, the couple says they will try to adopt overseas.

"For us, just giving any child a loving home is our goal".

'It's quite hurtful that we were written off at the first hurdle, ' she said.

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