HOW DARE THEY SAY WE'RE TOO SAD TO ADOPT! A Drunken Football Star Killed Their Sons. Yet When This Couple Wanted to Give a Loving Home to a Child in Care, Social Workers Had a Shock in Store
doing it?' he adds. 'Adopting instead of fostering made sense because then that child is our child. We're committed and it's not being passed from one person to the next.
'Sometimes, when they're being fostered, they stay with one person for a limited time. You find the biological parents can come round and say, "I want my child back" at any time. It would be heartbreaking to hand back someone we'd loved and cared for.
'I know a lady who adopted a little girl when she was three years old and, in those three years, she'd already been moved between five different foster homes.
'All children need a stable home environment. You're told from the minute they're born how important it is to get a routine going for them, but the fostering system would screw up the head of any child. It could have been designed to make them insecure.' Another of the objections raised by the Peaks' social worker was that they might be using an adopted child, or children, as a 'replacement' for Arron and Ben.
Phil, 38, is the quieter of the pair. He moves slowly, cautious of his spine and neck, which were seriously damaged in the crash, and speaks softly, but his response is fierce.
'How can anyone "replace" two children? We were so proud of our boys. When we took them out for a meal, people used to remark how well-behaved and polite they were.
'Arron was a real character and other children, even older children, used to look up to him. He had this quiet way about him of inspiring people to listen to what he said. And Ben was so full of life and personality.
'Are we supposed to pretend there isn't a big gap in our lives now? There is -- and it's getting bigger because time is passing. We're getting older and they're not. But that doesn't mean we're looking for little clones.' 'We deliberately said we wanted to adopt someone below the age of five because, after five, it's too close in age to Ben and Arron and that might be difficult to handle,' says Amanda.
FOR the first time, she falters slightly. 'I can't see anything wrong with admitting there's a gap in your lives. It's just being honest. Children would bring a lot to us, it's true, but in return we'll give them a stable, loving home.
Those children will not be any less precious than Arron and Ben. We'll be their mum and dad.
'We wouldn't dream of treating other people's children like they're worth something less because I didn't give birth to them. Every child deserves to be loved and cared for and we can give them that: a secure home where they aren't in fear of violence or rejection.
'We've been parents, and good parents, so it's not as if we don't know what we're doing. But we're not stupid. We know that whatever children we adopt are going to come with some kind of problems. You do extra classes. You prepare.
'Ben had learning difficulties. We had a heck of a hard time with him from when he was a baby because he didn't walk until he was two and he had speech problems that needed therapy. …