Eight years of heartache turned to happiness for a Cheshire couple – with the help of their council’s adoption team.
Their heart-warming story will unfold to the nation tonight (Thursday, May 1) on prime-time television in the second episode of ITV’s ground-breaking series Wanted: A Family of My Own at 9pm.
After years of unsuccessful fertility treatment, David and Leanne finally realised that dream in the shape of two wonderful little girls, Ella, aged two and her sister Leah, 15 months.
The film tells how, in desperation, they finally decide to approach their local authority and outlines all the stages of adoption with Cheshire West and Chester Council’s adoption and children’s teams.
“It is an extremely moving account, which I’m not ashamed to admit, made me cry,” said Cllr Margaret Parker, chairman of safeguarding and a member of the adoption panel.
“That unique moment when the children bonded with their new parents and called them ‘mummy and daddy’ for the very first time is simply unforgettable.”
Leanne said: “We found the filming to be an amazing experience, a real eye-opener of the adoption process.
“It was inspiring, interesting and a once in a lifetime opportunity we feel blessed to have been given.”
Ella and Leah are among 29 children currently living with their prospective adoptive families across the borough awaiting an adoption order – the authority is in the process of finding families for a further 20.
Cllr David Armstrong, shadow spokesman for children and young people, said: “The adoption process is never easy but this series shows that the results can be life-changing and so rewarding for both prospective parents and the children involved.
“The number of children in our care is increasing and we agreed to take part in the series in the hope that it will encourage more prospective parents to come forward.”
Earlier this year the newly published adoption score card revealed that CWaC arranges adoptions more quickly than any other authority in the North West.
Since April last year, 23 children have been adopted and 31 adoptive families approved. A further 26 prospective families are being assessed.
David and Leanne are currently waiting for the court to make the adoption order that will legally confirm that they, at last, have a ‘family of their own’.
“We love them to bits. We will do absolutely anything for them” he added.
Presented by Nicky Campbell – himself adopted as a baby – the series sets out to provide an intimate insight into adoption in Britain today and offer a rare perspective on the impact on the lives of those lives of those involved.
Anyone interested in adopting should visit the council’s website at www.adoptionwestcheshire.co.uk .