Berkshire-based Sandeep and Reena Mander were told not to apply because of their “Indian heritage”, sparking fury and a race-discrimination case. Sandeep and Reena Mander.
A British Sikh couple were asked by an adoption agency not to apply because of their “Indian heritage” and were advised to try to adopt in India, sparking fury and a race-discrimination case.
Berkshire-based Sandeep and Reena Mander wanted to adopt a child of any ethnic background but were told that since only white children were in need, white British or European applicants would be given preference, meaning they were unlikely to be selected.
The case prominently reported in the British media on Tuesday highlighted race issues in adoption though the official position is that a child’s ethnicity should not be a barrier to adoption.
The UK-born couple are seeking legal recourse in the Slough county court.
“Giving an adopted child – no matter what race – the security of a loving home was all we wanted to do. 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 as ‘Indian/Pakistani’,” Sandeep Mander told the Times.
Adoption agencies in the UK are allowed to prioritise on the basis of race in order to match children to prospective parents of the same ethnic background. The couple’s legal case is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC).