British Sikh Couple Denied Adoption

by Neil Bamforth

A British Sikh couple has been denied their dream of offering a loving home to a child. It appears, oddly, their culture is not right for any available children in the English county of Berkshire. The couple are considering taking legal action against the adoption agency and local authority on discriminatory grounds.

The reasons I consider this rather an odd scenario are twofold.

Firstly, for many years, adoption agencies and local authorities up and down the country have bemoaned the lack of ethnic parents willing to adopt. It seems particularly bizarre that when a Sikh couple do inquire about adoption they are told that they should ‘try India’ as there are no orphaned children suitable for their culture available.

It is quite possible – even probable – given the ethnic breakdown in much of Berkshire, that there are indeed no ethnically Sikh or even Asian children awaiting a loving home, and I can see that placing an ethnically white British or European child with them may be somewhat problematic in some ways, but surely Berkshire can point them towards areas in Britain more ethnically diverse at the very least?

Apparently  the couple were advised that as only white children were available, preference would be given to white couples wishing to adopt.

I can see how the couple may have felt a little offended at this but I can also see a certain logic in the adoption agencies thinking, albeit they have not necessarily been overly diplomatic in stating their position.

That brings me to the second of the ‘twofold’ bit.

Secondly, whilst I agree that, in principle, any loving home is better than none for a child in desperate need, can a white child be formally adopted by a non- white family and thrive?

I could be wrong but I believe black children have, before now, been adopted by white families and thrived – although it could be they were ‘fostered’ rather than ‘formerly adopted’ of course which is slightly different. Fostering a child is temporary whilst adopting is permanent.

I could research this but it wouldn’t make any difference to this case really.

In an ideal and perfect world it should matter not. A child needs a loving home with caring adoptive parents so what matter the colour of the child to the colour of the parents?

It isn’t an ideal world though is it?

We know how cruel children can be, even through the teenage years. In fact teenagers can often be extremely cruel.

How would a white child be treated by their peers if they were met by their ‘parents’ at the school gates and their ‘parents’ were Asian or African Caribbean?

My ‘personal’ experience of this is limited. A pal of mine is half Asian and half white but looks entirely white. He has an Asian name. This caused him no end of difficulties in his youth.

To me, this is a tricky one.

I would like to think that in a hundred years it would be a ‘non-issue’ but today? Today it is.

I feel for the couple – they aren’t even particularly religious. The chap doesn’t wear a turban and his wife is ‘westernised’ in her dress sense. In fact, if you are a white western couple they are, basically, you with a free suntan.

Once in a blue moon they attend a Sikh temple. They are ‘high days’ and ‘holidays’ Sikhs. To most ‘serious’ Sikhs they probably aren’t ‘real’ Sikhs at all.

A bit like I’m technically ‘Church of England’ but I attend weddings (under protest) and funerals (for the alcohol at the wake) and that’s it.

All they wanted to do was offer a loving home to a child who needed one and they were told ‘try India’.

This feels odd. I can’t quite put my finger on it and I can’t quite ‘come down’ in support of either side. To me they are both right but they can’t both be right can they?

I agree with the adoption agency – well not with the ‘try India’ thing, that was a stupid thing to say  – but with their concerns regarding culture if they place a white British / European child with Sikhs of Asian origin and, to some extent at least, culture.

I agree with the couple. All they want is to complete their family (I assume either he or she can’t have children for some reason) and offer unconditional love to a child.

Where is Solomon when you need him eh?

Opinions will be welcomed and you’ll get no argument from me. I haven’t a bloody clue. Have you?

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10 Responses to British Sikh Couple Denied Adoption

  1. jess Reply

    July 1, 2017 at 12:11 pm

    It should not matter one tiny bit what family adopts a kid at all in my opinion. My ‘rental units were as diverse as they come and they adopted me, a Puerto Rican/Indian(dot not feather) kid and so far I have thrived, even though they are no longer here. If I had waited for the “perfect” couple to adopt me I likely would not have had the life I did with the ‘rents. My mom was half Japanese and white and my dad was wonder bread white.

  2. Bill Formby Reply

    July 1, 2017 at 3:58 pm

    It is changing a bit here in the states but not very well and not very fast. The biggest rift now are the states that bar gay couples from adopting anyone.

    • jess Reply

      July 1, 2017 at 5:25 pm

      Bill my husband and I were on lists for years and we finally gave up trying to adopt. Wasn’t as if we were looking for a lily white newborn son either, we said we would adopt any child. Plus the hoops you have to jump through to be a foster or adoptive parent is exhausting. I see people that should never have kids and then us who used to be desperate for a child that could not, it’s disturbing. Our life was turned inside out and over under to get on a list to be foster parents. We finally took our names out of the running permanently last year, because it was too depressing for me to get notice we may be in with a chance then nothing came of it.

      • Michael John Scott Reply

        July 3, 2017 at 5:29 pm

        America’s adoption system is one of the worse in the world. The world. Let that sink in. Their bureaucratic bullshit surpasses even that of the immigration system. It’s no wonder there are millions of deserving children looking for deserving parents. A good friend of mine travelled to Peru to adopt a child. It took her a month of living there, but she finally brought her beautiful new baby home. Today, that ‘baby,’ is 25 years old.

        • jess Reply

          July 3, 2017 at 6:01 pm

          We talked about going out of here Mike, but it just did not make sense to us when there are so many kids up for adoption here to do that. I won’t even get into the amount we spent for IVF treatments that were not successful for us, because it’s more than some people make in a year or more, how much we spent. I’m lucky I can afford to do that where others can’t but it just was not meant to be. Finally just said fuck it, we’ll spoil our nephews and niece and our friend’s kids and send them back for their ‘rents to deal with. His sister tells us they will get used to us spoiling them and then what. We tell her, not our problem when they leave us 😉

          • Michael John Scott Reply

            July 7, 2017 at 5:37 pm

            I hear ya Jess. Then again, I must agree with Neil. I do think you’d make a great mum.

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  4. Neil Bamforth Reply

    July 4, 2017 at 3:43 am

    Loadsa hugs Jess…you’d make a brilliant mum x

    Er….adopt a 60 year old mouthy northern bloke? 😉

    • jess Reply

      July 4, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      sorry dude, I’m still in the process of training the one man I have, don’t want to have to train anymore of you 🙂

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