Adoption of Muslim girl stopped after demo in Harrow

Harrow Council building Members of the Somali community held a protest outside Harrow Civic Centre

Related Stories

The adoption of a three-year-old Muslim girl has been put on hold by a north-west London council after protests.

The Victoria Climbie Foundation (VCF) campaign group said the issue was about "religious identity" rather than the sexual orientation of the prospective adoptive couple, who are both women.

The VCF said four family members had offered to adopt the girl, whose mother has mental health issues.

About 40 people demonstrated outside Harrow Civic Centre on 29 January.

Councillor Asad Omar, who was at the protest, said: "The child was being adopted by a lesbian couple and they (the family) were not happy with it because of religious and cultural reasons."

Harrow Council said the adoption had been "put on hold".

'Heritage concerns'

The VCF, which campaigns for improvements in child protection policies and practices, is assisting the girl's family, who are from the Somali community.

The group said the four family members who had offered to adopt the child felt the council did not properly assess them.

Start Quote

All I know is nobody that was appropriate came forward who could have adopted”

End Quote Councillor Susan Hall

Mor Dioum, director of the VCF, said: "They were concerned about the child's religious and cultural identity and her heritage.

"The family want this case to be independently reviewed; it is not just a three year old it involves, there are also two other children.

"From our perspective, the issue was the due process rather than the sexual orientation," added Mr Dioum.

The VCF said the mother's two other children were in care.

Speaking to BBC London 94.9, Councillor Susan Hall said: "No minds have been changed, the situation has been put on hold just to make sure everything and every stage was done exactly as it should be."

She added that there was a shortage of adoptive parents from ethnic minorities.

"I stress that the most important thing is that it is a loving home and it is vital to get children placed as quickly as possible so they can get on with their lives," she said.

"I'm not at liberty to say who did or didn't (come forward to adopt) - all I know is nobody that was appropriate came forward who could have adopted."

On 27 January the family were told by Harrow Council that they had a final meeting with the child, the VCF said.

Two days later about 40 people from the Somali community held a protest outside a council building in Harrow about the adoption.

The deputy leader of the Independent Labour Group at the council added that the family had now been given until 7 February to come up with some people from the community who would consider adopting the girl.

A council spokesperson said the director of children's services had met some of the demonstrators to discuss how more community members could become involved in adoption.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

22 °C 13 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Travel 10:48:

    BBC London Travel tweets: St Johns Wood - A5 Maida Vale is closed Southbound at St Johns Wood Road following a collision. Down to a single lane Northbound. Long Qs

    Keep up-to-date with the progress on our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  2.  
    Hospitals failing cancer patients 10:43:

    Too many cancer patients in London are not getting the care they deserve, according to a survey by Macmillan Cancer Care.

    Eight of London's NHS trusts score in the bottom 10 of a patient-experience league table.

    Lack of staff compassion among hospital staff was among the criticisms levelled by patients.

     
  3.  
    Singer dies 10:34:

    London singer-songwriter Lynsey de Paul has died at the age of 64.

    Lynsey de Paul

    She grew up in Cricklewood and went to South Hampstead High School followed by Hornsey College of Art, now part of Middlesex University, and had seven top 40 hits in the 1970s.

    She became the first woman to win an Ivor Novello award for songwriting.

     
  4.  
    Feedback 10:25:

    We've introduced BBC Local Live to bring you the latest news, sport, travel and weather all in one place. Tell us what you think.

     
  5.  
    In the papers 10:18:

    The manager of the Central line has issued an apology to those affected by the "major disruption" yesterday, reports Waltham Forest Guardian.

    Commuters were "stranded" at Leytonstone station yesterday morning after the service on the Central line was suspended.

     
  6.  
    Dean Mayley murder 10:08:

    Four teenagers are due to be sentenced later for the killing of a man with a mental age of nine who was stabbed during a mugging in west London.

    Dean Mayley

    Jamal Jones, 17, from Acton, who wielded the knife, has been convicted of murder.

    Michael Mensah, 18, Ryan Beresford, 19, and Miguel Leiba, also 17, were convicted of manslaughter.

     
  7.  
    News on the hour 09:57: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    A book of condolence has opened at Ealing Town Hall for people to leave messages for the family of Alice Gross.

    Ealing Council leader Julian Bell tells the 1000 bulletin that the community is "united in grief".

     
  8.  
    Step free Tube investment 09:46:

    Transport for London is to spend £75m on making the Tube more accessible for disabled people, including installing more lifts.

    The lifts will be added to 12 Tube stations over the next decade. It follows an announcement that all 30 Crossrail stations in the capital will be step-free.

     
  9.  
    HK protest in London 09:34:

    Demonstrators gathered outside the Chinese embassy in London last night to support pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong.

    Hong Kong protest in London Organisers said thousands had gathered in London

    Organisers of the London protest said 3,000 people had gathered to show people in Hong Kong "they are not alone".

     
  10.  
    Alice Gross 09:26:

    The leader of Ealing Council, Julian Bell, has told BBC London 94.9 the flag above the town hall is flying at half mast today as a mark of respect for Alice Gross.

    The council's also opened a book of condolence for people who want to leave a message for Alice's family.

     
  11.  
    Alice Gross tributes 09:17:

    BBC London 94.9 reporter Richard Main tweets: Hanwell clock tower is starting to fill up with tributes to Alice Gross this morning #AliceGross

    Hanwell
     
  12.  
    On air 09:11: Vanessa Feltz Presenter, BBC London 94.9

    On today's show: David Cameron has pledged to cut tax for 30m people if he won the next election. Is this a welcome idea or with council services already stretched would you be worried by possible funding cuts?

    What do you think? Call 020 7224 2000 to let us know.

     
  13.  
    Alice's parents 'devastated' 08:59:

    Alice's parents Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss say they have been "left completely devastated" and thanked the local community for its help in the search.

    Jose Gross and Rosalind Hodgkiss

    "It is difficult to comprehend that our sweet and beautiful daughter was the victim of a terrible crime."

    They added: "Alice was a loving and much loved daughter and sister, a quirky live spark of a girl, beautiful inside and out."

     
  14.  
    News on the hour 08:56: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    In the bulletin at 0900: Reporter Richard Main is in Hanwell with reaction from the community following the confirmation that a body discovered in the River Brent is Alice Gross.

     
  15.  
    Fulham thrash Bolton 08:47:

    Fulham thrashed fellow strugglers Bolton 4-0 for their third successive win under caretaker manager Kit Symons.

     
  16.  
    M25 delays 08:39:

    The M25 clockwise is blocked between J15 M4 and J16 M40 following a collision.

    For the latest disruption information go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  17.  
    Top headlines
     
  18.  
    Alice post-mortem exam to resume 08:31:

    A post-mortem examination on the body of murdered schoolgirl Alice Gross will resume later.

    Alice Gross

    Police confirmed the body found in a west London river on Tuesday evening was that of the missing 14-year-old.

     
  19.  
    Revised Southeastern services 08:23:

    There is a revised Southeastern rail service between Dartford and Victoria until the end of October because of unplanned works at Lewisham.

    For the latest disruption information go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  20.  
    Foggy start, warm later 08:14:

    Any mist or fog will clear through the morning to leave a fine day with bright or sunny spells. A few showers may develop during the afternoon but most parts should stay dry.

    The light winds and sunshine will make today feel warm with temperatures reaching 22C (72F).

     
  21.  
    08:00: Rebecca Cafe BBC News

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from London today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or Tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

Elsewhere on the BBC

  • SailingGame on

    BBC Capital discovers why certain sports seem to have a special appeal for those with deep pockets

Programmes

  • European Union's anti-terrorism chief Gilles de KerchoveHARDtalk Watch

    Anti-terrorism chief Gilles de Kerchove on the threat from returning Islamic State fighters

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.