The family of two young boys are challenging a court decision allowing them to be adopted by a gay couple.

The boys, aged six and nine, were taken into care reportedly after their mother allowed them to have contact with their father, who she alleged beat her.

The children’s grandfather, a sports coach in his 60s, told the Daily Mail: “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.”

Their grandmother, also in her 60s, added: “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.”

According to the newspaper, gay friends had “warned” that same-sex relationships do not last very long.

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.”

In January, a mother who had become addicted to heroin told the Daily Mail that despite “having nothing against gay people” she did not want the children she was judged incapable of raising to live with a same-sex couple.

Coverage of the story led to a Stonewall spokesman expressing “deep concern” at the homophobic tone of some articles.