“We never knew we could actually adopt but we heard the advert on Bridge FM a few times on my way on to work. We thought it was the same as in America with surrogacy, so we were keen to get in touch once we knew we could” says Mark as I we ask him about how he heard about WBAS and adoption.

“It still felt a little daunting, says Mike “but we eventually took it all in our stride.”

The adoption process generally started pretty smoothly but they did experience some delays due to Mike’s nationality, Covid and some further health checks needed.

Further delays could have occurred due to Mark and Mike’s original social worker going on sick leave.

“Jodie (a WBAS social worker) came in though and totally reassured us. She just said ‘I will get you through adoption panel’ which was fab, really. From approval to matching panel it’s just flown in a bit of whirlwind and gone really quick!” says Mark

The adoption process can vary on case by case basis, however the average adopter approval time with WBAS is usually around 6 months.

“We were bricking it meeting the child’s social worker, says Mark.

“We were watching The Lion King in Cardiff, says Mike “and we just couldn’t concentrate on the show once we knew that we were going to meet Charlie. We were just so excited with lots of different scenarios running through our minds.”

“After getting to know us though Charlie’s social worker was really keen for us to push ahead and progress things.”


Adopters are assessed on what strengths they bring as a potential parent to a child. Every spoke in the wheel of the process is in place to secure the best possible future for the child or siblings.

“One of the areas that Charlie’s social worker was keen to focus on was the lack of strong male figures previously in his life. This was one of our strengths and we could bring to the picture, says Mark.

“Although to add balance to Charlie’s environment the social workers wanted to assess the female figures and influence in our support network. We’ve certainly got a few with my mother living across the road!”

Mark and Mike adopted Charlie who is aged 4, 6 months ago. Traditionally, slightly older children like Charlie are more at risk at going through the care system and not finding permanent homes. Sibling groups and children with more complex needs are also more at risk of waiting longer for permanent homes.

“We were worried about Charlie ending up in care. The thing is though, in our case the early connection during transition was so easy for us. It made making the decision to proceed a no-brainer.”


The transition phase between fostering and adoption is of course a critical part of the adoption process for all involved. Deep relationships often need to be made between the adopters and foster parents and close working from professionals is required with various therapeutic and attachment techniques deployed.

“I hid behind a car from Charlie at the first meeting and Mike was like ‘what the hell are you doing, he doesn’t know who we are!”

“I shouldn’t have worried as Matching Panel was agreed and we couldn’t ask for more. Our connection was strong from the start.”

Adopters have to go through 2 panels during the process, one to be approved as adopters and one to be matched with the child or sibling group.  Mark and Mike’s story is pretty positive and straightforward, which is heartening; however we ask adopters to keep realistic expectations of the process – in some instances adopters can wait a long time for successful matches…or matches can fall through at final hurdles. The needs of the child always come first in adoption.

“The Foster Carer just said he doesn’t even want to stay here with me, he just wants to be with you guys, why are we waiting” says Mike.

“He’s a very social, outgoing, lively little boy which has helped everything, says Mark. The first Christmas was great and then transition to school was smooth.”

“He is like other children, says Mike, “he will have tantrums but there is also a deeper, inner anger there that we sense that will need to be felt and processed more in the future. This is something that we will link in with adoption support with and be mindful of.”

The adoption support team at WBAS run School Awareness Sessions with teachers and parents to improve the understanding of adopted children’s needs in the educational environment. The team also delivers an extensive programme of workshops, training and groups aimed at not only upskilling parents to be able to deal with issues such as identity and attachment, but also to help parents identify issues before they become larger.

So first Father’s Day then for the family this weekend, what’s the plans?

“It was Charlie’s birthday this week so we are going to combine everything into one big family party this Sunday. A bouncy castle, spider man character, the works. We’re not singling out any figures, it’s just all about one big family!”

Keep up to date with our adoption content by following our social media pages here

WBAS Adoption Hearing Celebration Days✨🎉🎈💜The magic of play