Gay MLA, Partner Rejected As Adoptive Parents In B.C.

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B.C. MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert, right, and his husband, Romi Chandra, were married in 2010.
B.C. MLA Spencer Chandra-Herbert, right, and his husband, Romi Chandra, were married in 2010.

A gay Vancouver politician says he and his husband were rejected as foster parents because of their sexual orientation.

Spencer Chandra-Herbert, the B.C. MLA for Vancouver-West End, and Romi Chandra have been searching for a child to adopt for two years, reported Global News. They thought their dream of fatherhood came true this week when the social worker on their case called about a baby in B.C. who was abandoned by its birth parents.

They wanted to place the baby with a family that wasn't fully white, and would better understand non-white children, Herbert-Chandra told CBC News. He and Romi were willing to foster a child with the possibility of adopting later, the NDP MLA wrote on Facebook Friday.

After "agreeing with excitement," the couple was then told that the baby's relatives — who didn't want to take care of the child themselves — were not willing to accept a same-sex family.

Chandra-Herbert married Romi Chandra, in 2010 after being together for 10 years.

"We were contacted because of the racial make-up of our family but denied because of our sexual orientation. We send our love to the baby, and hope it finds the family it deserves," wrote Chandra-Herbert.

Last month, Mary Ellen Turpel-Lafond, B.C.’s representative for children and a youth, released a report that found on any given day, up to 1,000 children are in government care, waiting to be adopted. The province then announced a strategy to increase the number of adoptions.

The NDP MLA questions why sexual orientation is allowed to be part of the adoption process in B.C.

“Why does a family who is unwilling to take care of the child, and unable to take care of the child, able to veto another family ... that was willing and able to provide the love that the baby deserves?” he told The Province.

"We know that we will adopt when the time is right. Thanks to everyone who has given us support, and encouragement. It will happen for us when it's meant to."

Chandra-Herbert received hundreds of supportive messages on his Facebook post.

A study released this week found that children raised by same-sex parents have better health and well-being in comparison to their peers. Australian researchers surveyed 315 same-sex parents and 500 children in the largest report of its kind.

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Gay MLA rejected in bid to foster child