Too White To Adopt?

Ealing Council deny turning down couple because of skin colour

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Ealing Council deny turning a down a couple who wanted to adopt a black or asian child because they were 'too white'.

The Daily Mail reports that Francesca Polini, 40, and her husband Rick applied several years ago because there was a national shortage of ethnic minority couples looking to adopt.

But the couple claim officials from the town hall told them there was a cap on white parents adopting black or Asian children.

Mrs Polini said: ‘The woman didn’t even meet us, she just told us on the phone, “I’m afraid you are too white for us to permit you to adopt one of our children”.

‘There was no assessment, it was based purely on our skin colour, and that shouldn’t be what qualifies you to adopt. None of this is about the child’s best interests and frankly it’s immoral.’

The couple looked abroad for a child and eventually won permission to adopt a girl in Mexico. Gaia, now two, was granted British citizenship last year, her parents hope to adopt a second child from Mexico.

There are more than 80,000 children and teenagers in care in Britain, and white children are more likely to be adopted than those from ethnic minorities.

Mrs Polini is campaigning for an end to ‘caps’ on inter-racial adoption. She has set up an organisation, Adoption with Humanity, and has written a book about her experiences.

The Department for Children, Schools and Families has apologised to the family for ‘unacceptable and inappropriate’ delays in the handling of their case and has said councils should not bar white couples from adopting black or Asian children.

Ealing Council has sent this statement:

"We do not have a policy of same ethnicity adoption. Ms Polini first contacted the council in 2006 she told us she was looking to adopt a baby or very young child.

''The reality is that very few children of this age are available for adoption and we already had a number of families who had completed a rigorous assessment process already waiting for children.

''We would never wish to keep people waiting for years with false hope and so explained the other options. We have helped her to adopt a newborn baby from abroad and she is in the process of adopting a second child later this year.

''Although families adopting from overseas are asked to make a financial contribution, the vast majority of costs are paid by the council.

"While an ethnic and cultural match is considered important, it is the overall needs of the child that are given priority and all potential adopters are considered.

''Since 2006 we have permanently placed 17 children with families of different ethnic backgrounds which is 19% of the children placed.

''We run a very successful adoption scheme and always seek to place children in the best homes for their particular needs and we currently have 13 children awaiting adoption. "


August 28 2010