When it comes to podcasts, we’re always after a good new listen – and BBC Radio 4s The Adoption has been keeping us glued to our headphones all week. Here’s why this fascinating and poignant story will have you hooked too…
What’s it about?
The series follows a real-life adoption over the course of 19 months. It charts the lives of two toddlers, Bethany and Ben, as they find themselves being adopted – with each episode focusing on a different aspect of the adoption process told through the eyes of the people involved.
Can you give away any more?
The podcast’s tagline: ‘A family is being shattered; can a new one be created?’ says a lot without giving too much away. In a nutshell, the two children were deemed unsafe living with their birth father and mother, and the podcast covers how the court decided they should placed into adoption, the search for prospective parents and, finally, the adoption itself.
Why is it so gripping?
Speaking to the biological parents, social workers and prospective foster families, it’s an incredibly personal story, and truly heartbreaking at times – hearing the biological parents cry over losing their children isn’t easy and the details of their case — which, we are reminded, is one of thousands — are pretty harrowing.
There are 17 episodes, and each one is relatively short compared to a lot of podcasts (between six and 16 minutes-long) so they’re easy to find time for, but are also intense and emotional.
It’s presented by journalist and broadcaster Jon Manel. The sensitivity of his reporting is particularly impressive – he doesn’t dodge the hard questions, but seems genuinely sympathetic and never judgemental. It’s a difficult story, but Manel tells it brilliantly.
Where can I find it?