The Multicultural adoption case

Sep 2, 2017 by

from Christian Concern:

The Times reported on Monday that a “white Christian child” was taken from her family and forced to live with strict Muslim households in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The five-year-old girl spent the past six months in the care of two Muslim households.

[…] Court papers published on Wednesday reveal further complexities to the case. Although the child’s mother says they are of Christian heritage, the maternal grandparents are assessed to be of Muslim background but non-practising. Documents are to be translated into the grandmother’s language, revealing that English is not her first language. Furthermore, the grandmother has changed her mind and now says that she wishes to return to her country of origin and care for the child there.

The Times reports that the child is British-born and a native English speaker who is understood to also speak her grandmother’s language. The child did not, however, understand the Arabic often spoken in her foster carer’s home. The child is reported to have Christian parents and was christened in a church.

Court told never to ban 

Judge Khatun Sapnara, a practising Muslim, ordered the council to conduct an urgent investigation into issues reported by The Times, saying that the newspaper had acted responsibly in raising “very concerning” matters of “legitimate public interest”. The judge also allowed a journalist from The Times to attend the hearing after being informed that the journalist had been told that he should leave the building.

Following the hearing, a senior official at HM Courts and Tribunal Service wrote to managers at all courts in London telling them that journalists must not be banned from buildings “under any circumstances.” The Times reports that a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said “We have acted swiftly to remind all staff across the entire London area of the correct processes. We recognise the vital part the media play in ensuring justice is seen to be done, and are committed to open justice, and access and transparency across our courts.”

This is a welcome move towards transparency in our family courts. Judges will still decide what can be reported, and they have the power to exclude journalists in some circumstances.

A shortage of carers?

In some areas of the country there is a shortage of foster carers from minority backgrounds which frequently leads to non-white children being placed with white British foster parents. It is less usual for the reverse to take place. Logically, the shortage of foster carers from ethnic minorities would suggest that councils should have little difficulty placing white British children with carers of similar background.

[…] Christians barred from fostering

Back in 2011, a High Court ruling determined that Christian beliefs on sexual ethics can be a barrier to fostering and adoption. The ruling related to a dispute between married couple Eunice and Owen Johns and Derby City Council which had blocked their application to foster children because they were not willing to promote the practice of homosexuality to a young child. The Johns were supported by Christian Concern. The Equality and Human Rights Commission intervened in the case and argued that children should not be ‘infected’ with Christian moral beliefs. The Johns remain unable to foster, in spite of the shortage of foster carers.

Read here


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