The grandparents, aunt and uncle of two young boys have pledged to take care of them and provide them with loving homes. Social workers., however, have refused them.
A few days ago the boys were introduced to a gay couple ahead of a formal adoption next month. The mother of the children and her parents have taken the matter to court.
The grandfather of the children said, “The boys thought they were getting a new mummy and daddy, not a daddy and daddy. We are not homophobic, but we feel strongly this adoption is against our family's Christian values,” reports The Daily Mail.
The grandmother also said, “Our grandsons are being forcibly taken from a family who want them dearly. We are worried they will be indoctrinated into a different lifestyle. This is social engineering by the state.”
For two years, the children have been taken care of by foster parents. The mother was monitored by social workers, following the birth of the first son, for post-natal depression. However there has been no suggestion that she has harmed or neglected the children.
The children were considered to be “at risk” by social workers four years later, when their father hit their mother, reports The Daily Mail. Social workers claimed the mother had allowed the children to be “emotionally harmed” by the sight of her being physically abused.
The parents separated and the mother took out an injunction to prevent the father coming to the family home but later allowed the father to see the children. When social workers discovered this they took the children into care in March 2007.
The mother said, “The boys kept saying they missed their father. I made a mistake by letting him back to see them. But that does not mean I should lose my sons for ever.”
She has said that she does not think a homosexual family is an appropriate way for her children to be brought up. Her brother and his wife have offered to bring up the children.
The boy’s uncle claimed that he had discussed the case with gay friends, who were also concerned as they said gay relationships often do not last long.
The uncle reportedly said: "They asked about the long-term future of the couple who want to adopt my nephews. Will they stay together? Are they in a civil partnership? What happens to the children if they split up?"
According to government figures, none of the 20 homosexual male couples that adopted children in the year until March 2008 were in a civil partnership.
The family of the boys have claimed that social workers have used “bullying and blackmail” to force their will. They claim that social workers told them they had to agree to the adoption quickly, before being told the sexes of the adopting couple, as otherwise the boys may have been split up.
The mother said, “I would love to look after the boys myself and think I am quite capable, especially with the support of my family.
“I was dismayed to find they are going to a single-sex couple. Social workers just dumped the truth on me. I was called to their office about the adoption procedures, and they said the boys' new parents would be a single-sex couple.”
The mother has been told that she may not see the children until they have grown up, and may only write to them twice a year.
She has said that she is especially worried about the older of the two boys: “Will he innocently copy any intimacy he sees between the two men? What happens if he tries to hold another boy's hand at school? He will be bullied. He could be teased. It will make life so much more difficult for him.”
The boy’s grandparents offered to take care of both of them, but social workers rejected their offer. No reason for the rejection was given.
A Somerset County Council spokesman said of the case, “We cannot comment on individuals. However, all our cases go through a lengthy legal process. All stakeholders are consulted and the final decision is made by the judge.”
The case is believed to be the first of its kind.