A couple who have been caring for a four-year-old boy since 2010, the biological parents of whom were homeless and alcoholic, have been questioned on their ability to raise the child, apparently because they are gay.

The couple, who did not give their names, have been forced to turn to the High Court, Pretoria, after they said they faced problems with a magistrate at Meyerton Children’s Court, who questioned their suitability for the adoption, because of their sexuality.

The magistrate originally dealing with the adoption asked the couple whether the child “would become gay” if they adopted him, and requested expert testimony on the suitability of the couple, who are white, adopting the child, whose race is listed as “coloured”.

In a report by the Saturday Star, One of the men said: “It is obvious that the presiding officer has a problem with the fact that we are gay and wish to adopt a boy child who happens to be coloured.”

A lawyer acting on behalf of the couple had drawn up a report that there was no obvious reason that they were unsuitable for the adoption process, and that if necessary, a social worker could monitor the case.

The court was ordered by Judge Bill Prinsloo, to take the lawyer’s report into account when considering the adoption.

The Ambassador of South Africa to the United Nations, on behalf of his country and Brazil, delivered a statement on 2 July to the United Nations Humans Rights Council, saying that LGBT rights are part of the Universal standard of Human Rights, and demanding action against discrimination and hate crimes.