Slovak Roma parents fail in attempt to block same sex couple adopting their children
Couple accuse Kent County Council of social engineering after their children were put in the care of gay couple
Saturday 24 May 2014
A Slovakian couple who have accused Kent County Council of social engineering have failed in their bid to block the adoption of their two sons by a same sex couple.
The Catholic couple, who are of Roma origin, took their case to the High Court earlier this month in an attempt to prevent their sons, aged two and four, from being adopted by a same sex couple in Kent.
In the judgement - released on Friday –Sir James Munby, the most senior judge in the Family Court, refused the pair’s request, saying that they had no grounds in law to appeal the decision.
During the hearing the parents of the children accused the Kent County Council of trying to transform their Slovak-Roma children into English middle-class children and said that the decision to allow the gay couple to adopt their children would alienate them from their family and community in the future.
They also argued that the decision was not sensitive to the children’s needs and identities, and said that being brought up by a same sex couple could cause their children psychological harm in the future.
In a statement read in court the couple said: "If as expected our children will try to find us and their siblings and roots, then they will discover huge differences between our culture and the way they've been brought up,
"This is likely to cause them great upset and to suffer a conflict within themselves such as to set them against their adoptive parents."
The two children were taken away from the couple after concerns were raised about their parenting methods.
The court in an earlier hearing, had heard that the boy’s older siblings had been beaten by their father, were often neglected and had poor school attendance.
Mrs Justice Theis had found the couple unwilling to acknowledge the criticisms levelled at them by the court and believed they would not make the needed changes to their parenting.
As a result, the court found that the two children would be better off in the long-term if they were put up for adoption.
In the judgement released yesterday, Sir James Munby said that while any judge should "respect the opinions of those who come here from a foreign land", he had to follow English law and "the standards of reasonable men and women in contemporary English society."
According to the Slovakian charity Children Belong to Parents, who have been supporting the family throughout the legal process, the couple will be appealing to the European Court of Human Rights.
Lucie Boddington from the charity told the BBC that the family were “desperate” and just “wanted the best for their children.”
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