Gay foster parents have baby taken from them after intervention by Turkish government

A crowd of people protest in Germany

A family who objected to their son being fostered by a gay couple has been backed by the Turkish government which favours same descent carers. 

In May this year, a 10-month-old boy from a Turkish-German family was handed over to the Jugendamt (Germany’s child welfare agency).

It followed the child’s mother allegedly suffering from psychological problems which meant she was unfit to parent the infant who was underdeveloped, Turkish paper Daily Sabah reported. 

Despite the parents’ protests to keep their child, the office did not retract its decision and the case was widely covered in Turkish media. 

The family who live in Duisburg, Germany, said their child was placed with a gay couple living near Cologne. The family felt this was a “problem”. 

According to the mother, who has been named as AK, she was allowed to see her son once a month and so she called upon the Turkish authorities for help. 

Following expansive media coverage, Turkey’s Family, Labor and Social Services Ministry (FLSSM) attaché’s office in Düsseldorf found the family a lawyer. Family and Social Services minister Derya Yanık also took “personal interest in the case”, AK said. 

She added: “We hope Jugendamt does not make another mistake and places my son at least with a Turkish family so he would not be deprived of the opportunity to learn Turkish culture and language.”

The Daily Sabah said the FLSSM had suggested two Turkish volunteer foster parents, which it hoped would be considered by the family.  

In a recent comment, the ministry reportedly said it asks host countries to consider lifestyle choices based on cultural and moral norms in such cases while assessing the foster care process for Turkish children.

Recently the FLSSM, whose work was largely confined to Turkey, has expanded its reach overseas. This aims to promote the adoption of Turkish children in expat communities abroad by Turkish foster parents. 

Established in 1924 to protect children, the Jugendamt gets paid by the German state based on the number of children it takes care of. Due to this, some foster parents have been known to manipulate child care issues for their own economic interests. 

AK’s case comes at a time when the office has become notorious for targeting children of immigrant families.