Gay couple denied adoption after being asked ‘which one of you will be the mother?’

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A London gay couple say they were unable to adopt a child, after they were asked which one of them would be the ‘mother’.

Matthew Broadway-Horner, 42, and Pradeep De Silva, 39, have spoken out about their experiences of applying to adopt a child in the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

The pair, who have been together for a number of years, indicated they would be willing to adopt a young child or siblings of any ethnicity – but their application was unsuccesful after what the pair say was a baffling line of questioning.

Speaking to the Metro, the couple said that they were asked which one of them would take on the role of mother – and questioned about how many women they had in their family.

Mr Broadway-Horner told the newspaper: “We were asked what women we have in our family as if our living condition was somehow psychologically damaging.”

The pair claim they were also told their three-bedroom house wasn’t big enough, and were asked why they don’t have any toys for children to play with – despite not yet having any children.

He added: ‘Which childless couple has toys in the house? You would think it was slightly weird!”

The pair say they would have offered children ‘patience, passion, objectivity, nurture and a side salad of autonomy as fertile soil to grow and be the person they were born to be.”

The pair say that they eventually decided to withdraw their application after they were unsuccessful at finding a match – and the long process was draining the savings they had put aside to raise the child.

However, Tower Hamlets Council says it did give them initial approval to adopt, but was unable to find a match.

The council said: “Currently across the UK, there are far more families waiting to be matched with children than there are children who need to be adopted. Social workers, therefore, have a difficult task in deciding where to place children into adoptive care.

“We acknowledge that the period between being approved for adoption and being allocated a child/children can be an extremely frustrating and difficult time for prospective adopters. Support is always available to adopters during this period. This very issue is being discussed at the next pan-London adoption exchange event next week.

“In this specific case, we can confirm that the couple were approved for adoption by us in September 2014.

“As yet a match has not been made despite attempts from both the family and a number of local authorities including us. As a result, they have now decided to withdraw from the process.

“It is unfortunate that they have decided on this course of action and we will retain an open door should they change their mind.”