‘Adoption has expanded our world’

Wednesday 24 May 2023

As Adoption Tees Valley marks its fifth birthday this month, families who have adopted talk to us about their experiences of providing a forever, loving home to children.

For Pete and Phill Stockdale, adoption had always been on their minds.

For years, the couple, who live in Stockton, thought about adopting but agreed it was never the right time due to their careers and lives taking priority.

However, eight years ago, they began to realise that it would never actually be ‘the right time’, so they decided to take the leap.

The couple were living in Sheffield and decided to attend an adoption open evening. They were told to go away and think about it, but they called back the very next day, certain that it was right for them.

Before long, Pete, from Teesside, and Phill, from Sheffield, were matched with brothers Brett, six, and Aiden, four. Very quickly, their family was complete.

Once their adoption was formalised, the dads decided to move back to Teesside to be closer to Pete’s family.

Looking for support, the new dads were introduced to Adoption Tees Valley, which has been a constant in their lives ever since.

Watch Pete's full podcast above.

Pete said: “Thanks to Adoption Tees Valley, very quickly we had a support network that we could call on whenever we felt we needed a bit of guidance with the boys.

“If you have any questions or need advice, they have someone on hand to speak to and they offer a range of support – the boys love coming here for the social aspect – they attend the children’s groups. They meet up with other adopted kids like them and make new friends with children who have similar experiences.

“Phill and I have also benefitted from the children’s groups as it also gives the parents a chance to catch up and expand their support network.”

Pete said, like all families, they had faced challenges along the way, but they always tackled them head-on as a family, and both he and Phill couldn’t imagine life now without Brett, 14, and Aiden, 11.

“Adoption has enriched our lives and broadened our horizons – it’s expanded our world,” he said.

“Previously, the school was just a building at the side of the road. Now I’m more involved and I have become a school governor.

“Everything is about the boys now. They are happy, confident, and very settled, and the unconditional love we have for each other is just lovely.”

Pete and Phill’s advice to future adopters:

“Don’t expect to bond with your adopted child straight away. It takes time for the glue to form that will ultimately bond you all together, but once it does, it’s wonderful.”


Interested in finding out more about adoption? Call us on 01642 526400 or email info@adoptionteesvalley.org.uk