By Alex Temblador
An interracial gay couple in London have almost given up on the hope of ever having a family through adoption. After being in the process for two years with Tower Hamlett Council and spending a lot of money and taking time off of work, they have still been denied by social workers for a variety of “odd” reasons—at least four reasons to be exact.
Meet Matthew Broadway-Horner and Pradeep de Silva, a handsome couple that just want to be parents through adoption. They were as open as almost any prospective parent might be as they were willing to adopt one child or siblings up to eight years of age and of any ethnicity.
When a social worker asked why they were only open to adopting one child at first and not siblings, the couple immediately said they’d be open to siblings, only for the social workers to change their minds and tell the couple that they should only go for one child.
They were even bullied by social workers when they asked for rescheduling of meetings due to work and were questioned about their “true commitment” to the process. I’d say two years and multiple social workers is a true commitment.
Matthew, himself, was even adopted as a child, an aspect that the couple thought would help them out in the adoption process. Matthew said, “In a process ran by social workers for many years, you would have thought that it was logical, well thought out and finely tuned to ensure that the adopter is having a good experience from beginning to end of the journey. This is not the case.”
This is not the case for four other reasons by social workers too. Check out the ridiculous reasons that Matthew and Pradeep were denied adoption:
- Their house was too small.
Note: Their house is a three-bedroom house!
- They were rejected for not having toys in their house.
Matthew stated, “Which childless couple has toys in the house? You would think it was slightly weird.”
- There wasn’t a “mother” in the house.
The couple was asked who “would take on the role of the mother.”
“We were asked what women we have in our family as if our living condition was somehow psychologically damaging,” Matthew said.
- Social workers claimed the couple wasn’t “ethnically accepting enough.”
As illogical as this sounds…no, wait…it is as illogical as it sounds. Matthew and Pradeep are in an interracial relationship.
They were also told that they didn’t know enough about the Romanian and Nigerian culture, though the couple assured the social workers that they would learn about their child’s background no matter what it was.
Tower Hamlett Council’s response to these allegations about their social workers and adoption process was such:
Currently across the UK, there are far more families waiting to be matched with children than there are children who need to be adopted. Social workers, therefore, have a difficult task in deciding where to place children into adoptive care.
We acknowledge that the period between being approved for adoption and being allocated a child/children can be an extremely frustrating and difficult time for prospective adopters. Support is always available to adopters during this period. This very issue is being discussed at the next pan-London adoption exchange event next week.
In this specific case, we can confirm that the couple were approved for adoption by us in September 2014.
As yet a match has not been made despite attempts from both the family and a number of local authorities including us. As a result, they have now decided to withdraw from the process. It is unfortunate that they have decided on this course of action and we will retain an open door should they change their mind.
Although Matthew and Pradeep have dropped out of Tower Hamlett Council’s adoption process, we hope that they find a way to become parents through other means.
The couples said that they could offer a child “patience, passion, objectivity, nurture and a side salad of autonomy as fertile soil to grow and be the person they were born to be.” We’re rooting for these two to get a chance to do that one day.