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In the third programme we meet couple Sandra and Jones who are desperate for a child of their own, and Andy and Alison who want to adopt a sibling group to complete their family.
Sandra and Jones have known each since they were young; both originally from Nigeria, they moved to the UK as children and married three years ago. The pair began trying for a baby a year after they were married, but were unsuccessful. They weren't prepared to go through years of fertility treatment, and so after trying one round of IVF, have decided to adopt.
Jones had always wanted to adopt, even if the couple had had their own birth children, as he had grown up with aunties who were adopted.
Jones said: “Before we got married we discussed what our family would look like and part of that family was always going to be adoptive children.”
“For some reason the Afro-Caribbean community generally don’t adopt as much as other racial backgrounds do.”
“We always just wanted to bring someone into our life and help them to become someone they may not have been.”
Over the last six months the couple’s suitability to adopt has been assessed by social workers, and have now been linked with an 18 month old called Samuel (not his real name) who is currently living with foster carers Colin and Chris. Samuel was taken into care because his birth mother was struggling to look after him and his social worker is keen to place him with adoptive parents before he becomes too attached to Colin and Chris. Sandra and Jones have been linked to Samuel partly as they share the same ethnic background.
Jones explains: “We are matched because he shares the same sort of ethnic history as myself and my wife and I think we will be in a good place to establish his identity and help his curiosity as he grows up so he feels included in the family.”
But there’s no guarantee that the couple will be approved as adopters of the child they’ve set their hearts on. First they will need to face an adoption panel that will decide if they can become Samuel’s adoptive parents.
Alison and Andy are part way through a six-month assessment by their social worker Sarah. The pair met in 2001 through a dating website and have been married for the last 10 years.
Alison and Andy always wanted a family of their own and began trying for children about eight years ago – but things didn’t go as planned and they decided to try IVF. After three unsuccessful rounds of IVF they decided to look at adoption and are hoping to adopt a sibling group to give them the family they have been dreaming of.
Alison explains: “Whether it be boys or girls didn’t really bother us. It isn’t about what sex the children are it’s just about having children in our lives.”
Andy says: “Having a family means the world to me and Alison if we weren’t to have a family I’m not sure what we’d do to be fair.”
At an Adoption Open Day, the pair see information about a sibling group who seem perfect for them - but there’s still a long way to go before getting the family they so desperately want. For Alison and Andy, the path to adoption doesn’t run smooth. After being approved as adopters, there’s an unexpected turn of events at the final hurdle.
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.