I have listened to each of the seventeen episodes and it is a brilliant insight into the adoption process within the UK.
A real adoption as it happens. Nineteen months in the making. Introducing our unprecedented new podcast series. The first episode is coming soon. From BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, with Jon Manel.
“It’s the last resort.” Bethany and Ben need new parents. That's the decision a court in England has made. Why? Sharon is leading the search for their new mum and dad. Who makes the decisions?
With just their teddy bears and dummies in their hands, the children move into a new home. Meet Bethany and Ben's foster carer, Lucy. She tells us about the moment they arrived.
"They had no idea of safety or danger." Who are Bethany and Ben? Meet the children at the centre of this story. Sharon the social worker looks at their progress.
Heartbreak. Bethany and Ben's maternal grandparents make a life changing decision. Knowing that the toddlers will be adopted, they continue to take the children on days out. How is the adoption affecting them?
"I've cried myself to sleep". Ben and Bethany's father is dealing with the news that Bethany and Ben, his children, are being placed for adoption. He looks back at what happened.
"They've got it wrong". Bethany and Ben's mother believes her children should not have been taken away and placed for adoption. How are those decisions affecting her?
"It's a bit strange." Potential adopters prepare rooms for two children they have never met. They explain why they have decided to adopt, what they have learnt about adoption and what to expect.
Are they the "right children for you"? Julie and Robert hear all about their lives before they moved into foster care. The potential adopters meet 11 people who know the children well.
"I didn't expect it so soon." The birth family is told adopters have been found and to prepare for their final visit to see Bethany and Ben.
"Mummy bear and daddy bear don't know how to keep little bear safe." How do you begin to tell a two and three year old that they are being adopted?
Is it a match? Usually held in private, 11 people scrutinise the proposed adoption. Will they recommend that Julie and Robert should become the new parents of Bethany and Ben? We hear some of the deliberations.
"It feels as though you're losing a part of your body." The birth family have seen Bethany and Ben for the last time. "I gave them kisses and hugs and then I went."
"I'd give my life for them." Bethany and Ben's father talks about why he believes they were taken into care. “I'm really going to miss them."
"That's my new family?" Telling the children who their new parents are going to be. Sharon, the social worker, returns to the foster home to show the children The Teddy Bear Adventure - Book 2.
"Is that Daddy and Mummy?" The day Bethany and Ben meet their new parents for the first time. "When they come knocking on our door, you can open it and you'll know who they are."
"You want them to like you." It is a few weeks since Julie and Robert met their new children. "It was very unusual to be called Daddy."
The final episode. Lives changed forever.