Who has faced obvious discrimination?

These are extracts from a recent conversation on our message board. It followed a particularly obvious case of discrimination that one of our members experienced with their Local Authority. It was suggested that strong religious beliefs may have contributed to the problem:

I hate it for you, but words alone won’t make you feel any better. Can I suggest that you ask your social worker directly how she feels about working with an agnostic/atheist/humanist gay couple? Perhaps be frank and say that evangelical Christians are not known for fighting for gay rights, so you are concerned. If you have any worries about her response, I think you should insist on a change of social worker. You guys really need someone gunning for you. When we had our weird interview with one local authority, Daniel asked the two interviewing social workers how they felt about gay men adopting. One was very honest and described her journey from outright horror at the idea to now, after assessing a few same-sex couples for adoption and fostering, realised that same sex couples were as diverse and as good parents as the best of heterosexual parents. Her colleague went of on a pc rant, with a slightly uncomfortable, glazed look, but finished by saying that she felt that adolescents raised by homosexual parents had to question their sexual identity, which she saw as a bad thing!! We agreed to differ on this. I would put serious money on it that this woman really believed that she doesn’t have a homophobic bone in her body. Neither of us was asked our religion, we were asked if we are religious.

I think it’s so important that your social worker is on your side and, challenging myths, unsubstantiated bull and assumptions made by kid’s social workers.

I wish you guys well.

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We also had a few problems when we first started the process. We rang a few local authorities; some told us not to bother as we where a gay couple. They told us that they new it was against the law to discriminate but the social workers where set in there ways and where against it and we would only be wasting our time with them. We were really shocked but in a way we where glad she was honest because we didn’t want to go through the process for nothing. We were accepted with a Local Authority, at the start we had a few hiccups but we sorted out and they were great. For the matching process we got a gay social worker which made life a lot easier. My advice would be to be honest with your social worker, I know sometimes you’re afraid to say what is really on your mind because you don’t wanna rock the boat. You really have to look out for yourselves and if you feel uncomfortable tell them, if you feel you are not being listened to and your needs are not being met go over there heads. In some ways you have to take control of the situation don’t just sit there and say yes all the time. Our process nearly came to a halt, but we stuck to our guns in the end and it worked out fine. Yes it will be hard and sometimes you think this is never going to happen and you feel like giving up because you are banging your head against the wall. Don’t give up what ever you do because when you see your child in your home for the first time and when he calls you Daddy for the first time believe me it is all worth while and everything that you are going through now will be forgotten about.

Brian

Published in From our message board on May 23, 2008