Whether you’re thinking about adopting, you’ve already done it, or you’re just interested in powerful real-life stories, you don’t want to miss our first ever podcast - The truth be told: adoption stories.
From single adopters and same sex couples to adopters of siblings and older children, the podcast has been created to tell the success stories of a range of adopters in Wales who have experienced the high, lows, and everything in between. No adoption journey is the same, but what brings our adopters together is the love they have for their children.
There will be plenty of laughs and eye-watering moments for you to enjoy.
So, without any further ado – here are the amazing adopters who took part.
Gareth and Clare
“The whole adoption experience was great – it’s not very often you get the opportunity to sit and talk about yourself for hours on end. It’s quite nice and cathartic. You learn an awful lot about yourself and your upbringing. Ours was massively different!”
Achieving their dream of starting a big family, husband, and wife, Gareth and Clare adopted three siblings – a 13-month girl, 3 year old girl and 4 year old boy back in August 2016. They’ve experienced some challenges but emphasise that adopting their children was the best decision they’ve ever made. As you’ll hear in the podcast, they are a really fun and charismatic couple who are honest about the support that they needed.
“I thought that when I get older, I want to have a positive impact on a child and give them that better start in life.”
Dedicated to creating a loving home environment, Natasha is a single adopter who adopted siblings in 2014 – a boy and a girl. Natasha was inspired to adopt as a teenager, after watching various programmes about the impact of the one-child policy in China and seeing orphanages in Romania and India. This desire did not leave her as an adult and was what prompted her to make the decision to apply when the time was right for her.
“I had this feeling of wanting to be a parent; of wanting to start a family with someone and raise a child. But most gay men of my generation weren’t really doing that, which was hard. The law changed in 2005, and at 41 I found myself single and starting to explore adoption on my own. It was during this time that I met and fell in love with someone who wanted to go on that journey too.”
After a busy life working in London, Ben decided to embark on a new chapter to start a family with his partner in Wales. From the matching process to the moment he welcomed their son into the home, Ben has lots of great insight about LGBT adoption and the realities of raising a child who has had a difficult start in life.
“Our son has brought sunshine into our lives. He’s a joy. He’s everything you could wish for really.”
What’s it like to re-marry and adopt a child after your children have grown up and fled the nest? Malcolm and his second wife started a family through adoption and welcomed their son into the family back in 2018. Much to the envy of the rest of the group, they didn’t experience any sleepless nights!
“I’ve been thinking about adoption for most of my life. When I was four years old, my mum had a little boy who she relinquished, and he’s been on my mind for all of my life. Because of this, I’ve got a lot of empathy for adopted children. I’m really glad we adopted an older child because she’s just flourished.”
Northerner Amanda moved from England to the ‘middle of nowhere’ in west Wales. Her story and the bond she and her husband created with her child who they adopted at the age of seven will tug on your heart-strings. Amanda had her own challenges during her upbringing and this inspired her to give a child with a similar story a loving and stable home.
“The idea of adoption was in my head from a very young age - I can clearly remember a conversation with my friends at the age of 15 where I told them that yes I was going to have children, but I wasn’t going to have them in the biological way.”
Rachel, who you’ll be lucky enough to hear in both the English and Welsh versions of the podcast, adopted her eldest daughter with her husband when she was just 26 years old. Rachel always knew that she wanted to adopt and has been so enriched by the experience, she has since adopted another child. She wants to use the podcast as an opportunity to share her enthusiasm about all things adoption and to ‘challenge lots of stigmas that still need to be addressed’.
“When I made that first call as a potential-adopter, I was so excited, and I remember that first meeting with the worker who said “There’s no problem, I’m going to be here for you and I’m going to help you become a mother.” And I remember crying, thinking “This is going to happen, it’s becoming a reality.”
A single-adopter, Sioned has always wanted to start a family and challenges with her health and the end of a relationship didn’t quash her desire. Since then, she describes her adoption journey as one of ‘complete joy and love’. She is full of empathy and understands that the road may not always be easy, and bubbling with happiness about her new family, she really is a hub of insight when it comes to coping with each stage of the adoption process.
“Going through the adoption process, it really helped us to hear from other families who had gone through the process and hearing that the right things do happen at the right time. I’m so pleased to be going through this process, despite its challenges and the difficulties we face at times, it has lead us here which is what’s important.”
Steffan and his partner experienced some delays during the adoption approval process and things fell through with the first child they were due to be matched with just before the adoption panel. Despite this, he firmly believes that everything happens for a reason and wouldn’t change it for the world. Instantly connecting with his two sons, Steffan knew that he and his partner made the right decision to adopt and family life has been a blessing for them ever since.
“I’d never thought about it that way before, that you can choose how many children you want, their age, their sex. After all the hurdles and relying on chance, you know at the end of the adoption journey that you’ll be a parent.”
Eurgain and her husband spent over a decade trying for a baby before deciding to explore other options to start a family. It took a little while but they eventually agreed that adoption was the way forward for them and they welcomed their son just after his first birthday. Three years later they were gifted with their second child, their biological daughter. Eurgain explains that just seeing both of their children play, develop and thrive together ‘sometimes just takes my breath away.’ From listening to the podcast, you’ll also understand the role of social workers, and how much Eurgain benefited from hers.