Wednesday, July 13, 2011

BBC: Gay Asians' Adoption Challenge

From the BBC:
"I think we've come a long way and it was a difficult journey.. My mum resigned herself to the fact that she would never have [grand] kids, and now suddenly she has two."

The words of Faisal, an openly gay man from India, who now lives in the UK.

Three years ago, he jointly adopted two children with his partner Jacques, who is French. The children are blood siblings and from a mixed British-Indian cultural background.

Faisal and Jacques feel it is important their children grow up learning about their heritage.

"We go to India once a year," said Faisal. "The boys do get a lot of exposure to Indian culture, and to French [culture] as well."

This couple have been lucky. They only had to wait six months to be matched with their children, and as gay adoptive parents, they have been accepted by their families and their wider community in north London.

However, the experience for some gay parents, and in particular some gay Asian parents, is not always so straightforward.

* * *

Peter McGraith is a gay adoptive parent who also provides training and consultancy to adoption and fostering agencies, to ensure a level playing field for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) applicants.

"There are assumptions made about (people) all the time. One of those assumptions is that it is more difficult to be a happy, out gay person within your community if you're Asian," he said.

From things that social workers have told me, that is seen as a bit of a block to matching couples with children from ethnic minorities, particularly if there is a religious element too."

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