Time and again the UK manages to remain in the news for the racism that runs rampant in the country. Things don’t seem to have changed much from the time when Shilpa Shetty was humiliated with racial slurs when she appeared on a popular reality show. Now, a Sikh couple is under the lens as new victims of racial tactics of the Britons.
Sandeep and Reena Mander, both British-born business professionals from Berkshire, claim to have been denied permission to adopt a white baby because of their “cultural heritage”. They were told not to even apply in order to become adoptive parents as only white babies are available, and British or European parents will be given preference.
The couple has been defined as Indian/Pakistani by cultural heritage and was suggested to go to India for a baby by the adoption agency called Adopt Berkshire. The incident is a race-discrimination case and, therefore, the couple is taking legal help to reverse the decision.
Sandeep Mander told a British daily:
“Having attended introductory workshops organized by RBWM and Adopt Berkshire, 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.”
The adoption agencies have legal right to give preference to parents on the basis of ethnic backgrounds in order to find the most suitable home for the child. It is notable that the government guidelines state that different racial backgrounds should not act as a hurdle for a couple wanting to adopt.
The couple’s case is backed by the Equality and Human Rights Commission. The chairperson of EHRC said:
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.
The Manders had an assessment and home visit from Adopt Berkshire where they were found suitable to adopt a child. They don’t want any other couple to go through so many hardships because of their ethnic background. The agency is run by the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead.