Scores of Somali women in north-west London have staged a protest at the decision of authorities to place a child into the care of a lesbian couple.

More than 50 women from the Somali community took to the streets outside Harrow Civic Centre, home of Harrow Council.

According to the group, the child was due to be adopted by a lesbian couple, which protesters say is against their religious beliefs.

They claim the mother and child’s religious beliefs and ethnicity have been ignored by placing the child in the home of the couple.

A Harrow council spokesman said: “Adoption decisions are taken after lengthy and extremely thorough consideration of what is in the child’s best interests and we always strive to identify the best parents possible, and ensure a child is placed as early in life as possible. These are always difficult decisions.

“We have met Somali community representatives in this case and are happy to talk through their concerns. In addition the Somali community have offered to work with us on raising the profile of fostering and adoption in their community.”