Somali family spoke out after decision by Harrow council
- They say the girl’s mother was not kept properly informed
- Also claim family members offered to adopt, but were rejected
- Council said that ‘no Muslim adopters’ were available for her
Adopted: Harrow council told the mother than no Muslim adopters were available
A Muslim family have spoken out after a London council chose a white lesbian couple to adopt their three-year-old daughter.
The Somali family, who cannot be named, have claimed Harrow council in London ignored offers from members of their extended family to take in the girl.
They told the mother, whose two other children have been taken into care, that the couple had been chosen because there were ‘no Muslim adopters available at all’, according to a family member.
The mother, who has mental health issues and child cannot be named for legal reasons.
Ibrahim, a member of the family, complained that she was not kept informed about the adoption.
He also told The Sunday Times that relatives had not been told why their bids to take in the child were rejected.
Ibrahim said that the mother was told by letter that the adoptive parents had been found, and that she must say goodbye to her daughter at a meeting last Wednesday.
But after a protest from 50 people outside the Harrow civic centre, the council offered to review the case and asked the family to submit alternative adopters on Friday.
Susan Hall, the leader of Harrow council, said that while it is ‘ideal’ for children to be matched with parents of a similar background, that cannot always happen.
She said: ‘The reality is that the ultimate choice is governed by the kind of adoptive parents who are available’, and that that ‘dragging out’ the process harms the child.
A spokesman for Coram, an adoption agency which works in Harrow, said: ‘When it is not possible to match a child with families from the same religious and ethnic background, a balance must be struck between managing the uncertainty… and casting the net more widely.’
The Government has encouraged more adoptions to be approved regardless of ethnicity, religion of sexuality after figures showed some groups of children were taking much longer to be placed.
Adoptions have risen to a 21-year high as a result, with 4,000 children adopted in 2012/13 – though backlog of 6,000 remains.