A couple who have experienced adoption through three generations have shared their story in a bid to help other vulnerable children find a home.
Even before newlyweds Bryan and Joy from Nottinghamshire adopted their two sons, they were no strangers to the adoption process.
HGV driver Bryan, 44, was adopted through Barnardo’s at only six weeks old, while his father, Dave, 71, grew up in the charity’s children’s homes and was later fostered.
Meanwhile, Joy’s father, Richard, 69, was also adopted as a baby.
Now, the couple have shared their experience as new figures show there are twice as many children waiting to be adopted as there are families willing to adopt.
Bryan and Joy, who married in September, said they decided to adopt after undergoing an unsuccessful course of IVF treatment several years ago.
Joy, 44, said: “We had a choice between saving up thousands of pounds to try another stressful round of IVF, or give a child in care a loving home and a life they deserve.
“The decision for us was simple, plus we had several positive adoption experiences in our families already, so we felt reassured it wasn’t anything out of the ordinary for us to do.”
After the couple were approved to adopt, they were quickly matched with a baby boy, Joy said.
While still in the process of adopting their son, who is now aged four, they were told he would soon have a brother who would also be placed for adoption.
Despite only planning to take on one child, five months later their second son, who is now aged two, came to live with them at just three days old.
Bryan said: “Our two boys are just out of this world and we can’t imagine our lives without them now.
“It’s not something we really think about, that myself, my dad and now my two boys have been either adopted or fostered, as it’s just normal to us and everyone is treated exactly the same.
“But it’s nice to think that we have three generations who have been brought into the family and we are all so close.”
Figures from the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board show there are 4,140 youngsters across England where a decision has been made by authorities that they should be adopted.
In comparison, there are around 1,700 families who are approved to adopt and waiting to be matched with children.
Speaking at the beginning of National Adoption Week, which begins on October 14, Joy encouraged others to adopt a child.
She said: “You won’t regret it. Having an adopted child is no different to having a birth child.
“In our family, everyone is treated and loved exactly the same by all the family, and you are giving a child the life that they deserve.”
Bryan’s father, Dave, said: “Bryan being adopted never changed anything and we never hid it from him.”