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Adoption agencies denying prospective parents on the basis of religion and culture.

Adoption agencies denying prospective parents on the basis of religion and culture.

Categories: Latest News

Thursday June 29 2017

A Muslim mother-of-two claims that Bradford Council advised her that she would not be considered to adopt children of other faiths and that they would not process her application because no Muslim children were available for adoption.

Selena Afzal said that the council advised her not to waste her time filling in the application forms as they would not be processed.

The 36-year-old said: “They said they would not allow me to adopt a non-Muslim child and that even if I put an application in, it would not be considered as I am a Muslim.

“The adoption team told me to call back in a year to see if they had any Muslim children then. I was dumbfounded.”

She added: “‎It’s something I have always wanted to do so I did a lot of research and decided to start the process.

“But last month when I was speaking to the adoption team ‎they cut me off as soon as I mentioned I was Muslim.

“I didn’t ever think race or religion would ever come into it so long as I can provide the child a safe, happy and secure home.

“I would naturally teach the child about my faith but I would never take the faith they were born into away from them.

“’It’s sad, I would have been happy to take any child who needed a home.

“It should be about raising good citizens, not religion.

“Social services are always crying out for good parents to adopt and they shouldn’t be turning people away on the grounds of race or religion. It really saddens me.”

Bradford Council said that they cannot ccomment on Ms Afzal’s case as no formal application was ever made and, therefore, they do not have any record of her experience.

This case comes just a day after Windsor and Maidenhead council’s agency, Adopt Berkshire, was accused of racial discrimination for refusing to allow a Sikh couple to adopt a white child because of their ‘cultural heritage’.

British-born Sandeep and Reena Mander said they had wanted the chance to adopt a child of any ethnic background, but that they were refused the chance to apply as only white children were in need.

The couple, both business professionals in their 30s, were allegedly told that white British or European applicants would be given preference and were advised to adopt a child from India.

Sandeep Mander said “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’.”

David Isaac, chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, stated that: “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.”

Sociologist Dr Patricia Morgan added that: “If they are decent parents, I can’t see the problem. Sadly, this does still happen – and this kind of behaviour is rather racist.”


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