Sandeep and Reena Mander

There is a story doing the rounds that Sandeep and Reena Mander have been discriminated against when they tried to exercise their right to adopt a child, because they are Sikhs. people are sharing this story because this poor couple with their five bedroom house apparently had the right to adopt a baby, and its racist to consider that baby’s cultural identity. Sandeep and Reena are deliberately obfuscating what they were told, which is standard.

They were told we minimise cross cultural adoptions and they were told this because we do. There are good reasons for this. We have learned over a long time how harmful it is to treat adoption like a consumer activity, its not buying a doll. Children from ethnic minority families placed with white families, growing up without a sense of identity or culture, children with already interrupted attachments and identities growing into adulthoods of confusion, feelings of loss and incredible pain as they grew up without the thing most of us take for a granted. An identity you dont have to consider. They were told that adoption is not a consumer service, they were told the central consideration in any matching process is the child and not the rights of the adopter and they were told its not like other parenting because the child is not a doll or a blank slate, they were told that theprimary consideratoin of adoptive families after that child is adopted is that child’s identity and attachment, and had they gone further in the process would have been shown the catastrophic consequences of failing to consider this. You can go check adoption breakdown rates, particularly international adoptions and cross cultural adoptions. They were told they would probably have to wait longer than other couples, and then when they showed they had no understanding of why a child’s identity was important am guessing they were told they were not suitable.

And here’s what they did when they were told that. They went to the media to tantrum like children denied a chocolate bar. Because Sandeep and Reena cannot prioritise a child over their own needs, because they thought their infertility made adoption a service to provide them with a baby, they were told to reflect on this and consider it and that at present they were not suitable. They were not told they were not allowed to adopt because of their skin colour. They were told it was about abiluty to prioritise a child’s identity and the wait might be longer for them because of the ethnicity of children coming into htis system. Children who have an identity and for whom a terrible thing has already happened and the attachments that shape their lives have been interrupted by legal order.

If I had been presented with a couple saying the things they said in their interview, I would have told them to go away and learn what adoption was and I’d have been thinking they needed to grow up. No judge would approve an adoption for these people, not because of their skin colour, but because they cannot see why we prioritise a child’s needs over theirs. And that makes them ineligible to take on this very serious responsibility.

Adopters are entering into a situation where their skills as parents will need to be exceptional, with children with very serious needs and likely children who come from a very complicated background. The use of the media is manipulative and the people sharing their story are mistaken. I am not saying Sandeep and Reena are deliberately lying, they probably aren’t. They just are ont mature enough to enter into this process  amd meet a child’s needs by their own admission and their 5 bedroom house doesn’t actually come into the equation when that is the case. I have used their names in this blog post. The Local Authority cannot comment on this, but have upheld it. THis blog post is in case they search for responses to their manipulation of the media and to tell them that had they expressed those attitudes in any introductory session for adopters, I’d have told them to go home and take some time to learn what adoption is, what it involves and I’d have been thinking they needed to grow up,

They won’t find a judge or a social worker who will approve an adoption for them. Because they are not fit and have demonstrated this. Adoption is not a consumer activity, you are not buying a doll and at no point durig the adoption process are your needs anyone’s primary consideration and nor should they be. You cannot be discriminated againts being turned down for something you are not entitled to in the first place. They are now going to use their financial resources to deplete Local Authority resources to avoid the very basic truth that they need to grow up and the job of Local Authority’s is not to farm out the babies of the poor to the spoiled affluent couples who think they are buying a doll.

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