A Berkshire couple who were denied the ability to adopt children because of their race have won their legal battle against Windsor and Maidenhead Borough Council for discrimination.
The Manders, who are British but of Sikh Indian heritage, were told in 2016 that although they would be suitable adoptive parents, they could not make an application because white couples would be given priority as only white children were available. They were then advised to consider adopting from India.
The couple tried unsuccessfully to get the decision reversed by making a formal complaint to their local council and then to the Local Government Ombudsman. They even went so far as getting a letter sent from the then Home Secretary Theresa May, acting as their local MP, in support of their argument.
With no positive outcome, the Manders eventually decided to take legal action and today, Friday 6 December 2019, Her Honour Judge Melissa Clarke ruled in favour of their claim that they should not have been barred from applying to join the approved adopters register because of where their parents were born and declared the council’s action as “direct discrimination on the grounds of race”.
The couple, Sandeep and Reena Mander, said: