A British couple with Indian heritage were informed that they could not adopt a “white infant” because of their ethnic origins.
Consequently they won nearly £120,000 in damages against adoption agency “Adopt Berkshire” after they registered with them in 2016. The couple, Sandeep and Reena Mander, from Maidenhead, claim they were told “not to bother applying” “. Further comment was made that they would be more successful if they chose to adopt a child from India or Pakistan.
On that basis they launched a discrimination case against the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead with the backing of the Equality and Human Rights Commission. Both Sandeep and Reena are of Sikh heritage and Judge Melissa Clarke ruled at Oxford County Court in December that the couple were unlawfully discriminated against. In a statement to the court the judge declared that the council “directly discriminated” against the couple on the grounds of race.
Following the ruling Mr Mander, who is employed as vice-president in charge of sales at an IT company, said, “This decision ensures that no matter what race, religion or colour you are, you should be treated equally and assessed for adoption in the same way as any other prospective adopter.”
By return the Council rejected claims that it’s social workers and staff were in any way racist. Further comment was made that, “We are very disappointed by the judgment in this case. We have reviewed our policies to ensure they are fit for purpose and are confident that we do not exclude prospective adopters on the grounds of ethnicity. Finally, we always put the best interests of the children at the heart of any adoption decisions and are committed to best practice in our provision of adoption services.”