“Adopting one child won’t change the world, but for that one child, the world will change.”
A child in an adoption home needs and deserves the best possible home and a family that is prepared to meet his requirements. He deserves a family which would take care of his needs and surround him with love and affection. However, this was proved wrong to the U.K. based Sikh couple; Sandeep and Reena Mander when the adoption home they wanted to register to rejected them because of their “cultural heritage”. The couple had no idea that love and care were not enough and thus when they had decided to adopt a baby, apparently, the issue of the race of the child did not even occur to them.
After repeated attempts to conceive naturally, the Manders went through fertility treatments for 6 years and even then when nothing seemed to work, they approached their local council in U.K. to be considered for adoption. However, it was then that they got to know the ugly truth that they could not even apply to adopt a child because European or British parents would be given preference. They claim to have been told that since only white children were available for adoption, they would have to adopt a child from India.
Thus, denied permission to adopt a white child only because of their “cultural heritage”, the Manders, both business professionals born and brought up in U.K., have started a legal action against the adoption service, Adopt Berkshire. According to reports, Reena commented that she has always felt British and the country as her own and it was only when that they were refused by the adoption service, that she for the first time felt any different.
The couple’s lawyer, Georgina Calvert-Lee stated in The Independent that, “ It’s complex, it’s not just your race, it’s also about your values, your beliefs.” According to the 2011 statutory guidelines for local authorities and adoption agencies, a child’s ethnicity can never be a barrier to adoption. She spoke about how her clients have been harassed while trying to register for adoption and that they were left with no other choice but to look to adopt a child from overseas.
Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr, center, and his wife Mary Kaye pose for photographs with their adopted child Kanak at Matruchhaya Orphanage in Nadiad, 52 kilometers (33 miles) south of Ahmadabad, India, Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2006. The governor renamed Kanak as Aasha, which means “hope” in Sanskrit. The governor has five children, one of whom, Gracie Mei, was adopted from China. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
Experts have expressed astonishment as this issue clearly flouts The Children and Families Act of 2014, whereby the practice of adopting children only according to one’s ethnicity was banned. Though Theresa May had taken up the issue and sent a letter Council and the Equality and Human Rights Commission, it could not deter the council from shifting its decision.
Presently, the Manders have applied to Slough County Court with the request to allow them to adopt. It is astonishing that a couple, who is willing to adopt a baby who needs love, care, and stability of a good home, should have to deal with what clearly appears as racism. There are hundreds of children in need of parental love and affection and it is indeed sad that couples like Sandeep and Reena Mander are still barred from applying as adopters just because of a different cultural heritage. After all, each child deserves to be happy and all we can really hope for is that the future holds better for the little kids where their needs would be prioritized, rather than prioritizing only ethnicity and ethnic match.