Same-sex couple can adopt Roma boys, court rules

County Hall, Maidstone
Image caption Kent County Council has placed the boys with same sex prospective adopters

A judge has rejected a Roma couple's opposition to their two sons being adopted by a same-sex couple.

Lawyers for the parents said the placement by Kent County Council was unsuitable because of the children's Slovak Roma origins and Catholic roots.

But Sir James Munby said there was nothing to suggest the adoption of the boys, born in 2010 and 2012, was inappropriate or wrong.

Their needs outweighed the adoption's impact on their Roma identity, he said.

Adopters' lifestyle

The parents, who cannot be named, told the Family Division of the High Court the lifestyle of the adopters went against Roma culture and that Slovakia did not recognise same-sex couples.

They did not accept the boys' ethnic, cultural and religious identity had been properly considered by the county council.

"Homosexuality is not recognised in the worldwide Roma community.

"Having Roma children live with homosexuals or being adopted by them would be found to be humiliating," they said in a witness statement.

They added that the local authority's actions would change the children into "white, middle-class English children", which was contrary to their human rights and those of their parents.

Sir James said any judge should have a decent respect for the opinions of those who came to the UK from a foreign land.

"But the fact is, the law is, that I have to judge matters according to the law of England and by reference to the standards of reasonable men and women in contemporary English society," he said.

"The parents' views, whether religious, cultural, secular or social, are entitled to respect but cannot be determinative.

"They have made their life in this country and cannot impose their own views either on the local authority or on the court."

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