A gay adoptive couple, described as “perfect” parents, had a mixed race toddler they considered their own son taken away from them to live with an aunt he had never met.
The pair, who are both white, said they had been left frantic with worry about the boy’s future, and blamed the authorities for focusing on his ethnicity “rather than his best interests”.
The boy was removed after a judge ruled that he should grow up within his extended family and go to live with his black aunt.
The adopters said they were shocked and hurt by the judge’s use of the word “negroid” to describe the boy, known only as C to protect his anonymity, and they claimed officials from Rotherham Council had acted as if he “wasn’t a person”.
Speaking to the Daily Mail, one of the adoptive fathers said:
I am disgusted with the way we have been treated and the disregard for us and our son’s welfare. Ethnicity never affected us, but it was the only thing we couldn’t challenge. They said we were perfect parents in every other respect. We were dumbfounded by the decision – it is a little boy’s life. His best interests were overshadowed by ethnicity.
And, by the sounds of it, the entire situation was one screw up after another.
The child was placed in their care when he was seven months old in October 2013 and they applied to adopt him last January.
His white mother had originally claimed his father was white but in March last year an African asylum seeker came forward claiming he was the child’s real father and his sister applied to adopt the child.
The pair said that from then they felt “under constant pressure” to return him, but fought for him “as any parent would”, adding that the council should have carried out a DNA test prior to the child being placed into care.
The adoptive father said they were “a mess” the day C was taken, saying, “He saw how upset we were and he was hugging us and kissing us, wiping our tears.”
A DNA test would have proved straight away that he was African and prepared us (for the fact) that there was a father out there – but no one bothered to find out.
It is a bereavement, but one that is not going to have an end because we are so worried about him. From the little things like, is he brushing his teeth? To, is he going to be a good person? Will he be hardworking and loving and caring? I still say goodnight to him before I go to sleep. His grandparents kiss his photo every day. He will always be our son no matter what.
The couple have been advised against appealing the ruling.
Rotherham Council have a pretty poor track record on issues like this. In 2012 they were heavily criticised after removing three siblings of ethnic minority descent from experienced foster parents because they were members of UKIP.