7BR’s James Robottom appeared at Oxford County Court last week in a landmark discrimination case.

He was acting on behalf of a British couple whose interest in being approved to adopt was rejected following a home visit because of their Indian parentage. In 2016, Reena and Sandeep Mander sought to adopt a child but were refused the opportunity to apply by Windsor and Maidenhead Council’s agency, Adopt Berkshire. They were told that, since only white children were available for adoption, given their Indian “cultural heritage”, their application would not be progressed.

At the four-day long hearing, Oxford County Court was told that Mr and Mrs Mander had been subject to direct discrimination on the grounds of race, contravening Section 13 of the Equality Act 2010 and Articles 12 and 14 of the European Convention on Human Rights. Adopt Berkshire’s actions came after significant changes made to the adoption system by the Children and Families Act 2014 and the Adoption Agencies (Amendment) Regulations 2013, which encouraged local authorities to move away viewing ethnic or racial matching as a primary factor in the adoption process

HHJ Melissa Clarke reserved judgment for handing down on 6th December 2019.

The Mander’s case is supported by the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

The case has been reported nationally and can be viewed on the below links:


The Telegraph

The Daily Mail


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