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The profoundly life changing process of adoption is uncovered in this new four part series. Following the stories of parents desperate to adopt and children who need families, cameras have been granted access into many defining moments of the adoption process; from prospective parents’ meetings with social workers and facing adoption panels, to the moment a child leaves their foster carers and meets their new parents for the first time.
Presented by Nicky Campbell, himself adopted as a baby, the series sets out to provide an intimate insight into adoption in Britain today, through following at close-quarters the experiences of children and prospective adopters as they progress towards finding a family of their own.
In showing key stages of each child and each adopter’s experience, Wanted: A Family of My Own, offers a rare perspective on the impact of adoption on the lives of those involved. Looking at why children need new families, the range of people who want to adopt and how the process operates, the series builds an understanding of adoption today which may challenge preconceptions.
Across the series we meet a gay couple who thought they would never become parents, a single mum who is adopting for the third time, a baby boy who was born addicted to crack cocaine and couples who, after struggling with infertility, are finally getting close to having families of their own. The unique access to each story was acquired by working in partnership with local authorities across the UK over a two year period.
In the second programme we meet civil partners Glenn and Chris who thought they would never have children of their own but are now hoping to adopt for the third time, and David and Leanne who are desperate to have a family after eight years of unsuccessful fertility treatment.
David and Leanne have been together for nine years. After six months together, carer Leanne moved in with David and they began talking about having a family.
Leanne says: “I always wanted to be a mum right from an early age I’d talk about having my own children and being a mum it’s a very, very big thing in my life that I really wanted to do.”
After trying to get pregnant for about a year, they decided to try IVF, which they continued with unsuccessfully for eight years. David says: “We were so desperate to have children it was heart breaking for both us it really was. More so for Leanne because I could see the suffering she was going through.”
David tells the programme that he considered adopting early on but didn’t bring it up it with Leanne as she was so determined to have her own children. But after years of unsuccessful fertility treatment they decided to approach their local authority to find out more about adopting.
Once they have begun the adoption process their social worker Les tells them about two sisters who she is trying to place, and who she thinks might be a good match for David and Leanne. Les shows them photos of the girls, and they instantly fall in love with them, but they must wait to go before an adoption panel to be officially matched. It finally starts to look like they will get the family they have always dreamed of.
Also in the second episode we meet Glenn and his civil partner Chris who have been together for 14 years. The pair originally thought they would never have children of their own - but are now hoping to adopt for the third time.
Chris, who is the main carer for the children, said he thought his sexuality would prevent him from ever having his own family. He says: “I never ever thought about having a family, I thought with being gay, children are completely out of the question.”
Glenn says: “As the eldest brother of four my life has always been about children, always been about family, so perhaps for me the hardest part of coming to the realisation that you’re gay is coming to the understanding that you’re not going to be a father - so my whole future that I had thought about as a child had been wiped out.”
But the pair looked into adoption and five years ago were approved to become adoptive parents. They adopted their first son Jack when he was three years old, and a few years later they adopted their second son Logan, when he was two.
The pair now want to extend their family by adopting for a third time. Glenn explains: “When thinking about how many children we should have it’s almost an ethical or moral decision for me now. If we’ve got the resources, if we’ve got the patience, if we’ve got the love to give, it’s not should we adopt another child - it’s why shouldn’t we?”
Social worker Annemarie has been assessing the pair for the last two months, and has been looking for a suitable child for them. She has now suggested a brother and sister who she is trying to keep together. The siblings are just toddlers and if they aren’t adopted together, then the older brother is likely to end up in long term foster care. But even though Glenn and Chris have adopted before, they still need to be matched with the children by the panel before they get the go ahead to make them part of their family.
Notes to Editors
- The series has been made by Wall to Wall, one of the country’s leading independent production companies, which also produce Long Lost Family and Who Do You Think You Are?
- First4Adoption.com are supporting the series with a website and advice on the subject of adoption.
- The production team worked in partnership with eight local authorities to gain unprecedented access to the adoption process: Bournemouth, Cheshire West and Chester, Edinburgh, Somerset, Southwark, Southend-on-Sea, Stoke-on-Trent, and Surrey.
- The series producer is Claire Lewis who is the producer for the critically acclaimed 7Up series.