They’ve brought a lot of love into our lives - Malcolm and Shelley's story.

Thursday 30 June 2022

For Malcolm and wife Shelley, from Stockton on Tees, it was vitally important to adopt brothers Kieron, now 22, and his brother Tyler, 21, together. The two boys have grown into adults that make their parents proud every day.

Kieron, now 22, and his brother Tyler, 21, were given a fresh start in life and have grown into adults that make their parents proud every day.
“They’ve brought a lot of love into our lives,” says Malcolm Atherton, 62. 

“It was very emotional being able to adopt the boys and becoming their mum and dad. We initially fostered them but loved them to pieces.
“Kieron studied health and social care at college and Tyler recently passed his motor mechanics apprenticeship and is a talented musician who plays guitar and drums. We are extremely proud of them.”

For Malcolm and wife Shelley, it was vitally important for them to adopt both brothers together. Sibling groups are among the many children judged “harder to place” – but they are not harder to love.

“Children can be split up as people just want to adopt one but they are very close to each other. Adopting two children brought twice the fun into our house.”

Figures released show that 65% of children up for adoption are judged harder to place, meaning they wait on average a year longer to be adopted than other children. 

For example:

  • Children over 5 wait 13 months longer to be adopted from care.
  • Children with a disability wait 11 months longer.
  • Children in a sibling group wait 11 months longer.
  • Children from an ethnic minority (excluding white minorities) wait 3 months longer.

As well as Kieron and Tyler, Malcom and Shelley are parents to Courtney, 15, who is also adopted and has several disabilities. The teenager is blind in her right eye, has the spinal condition scoliosis and has problems with her hips. With Courtney, Malcolm says there have been challenges with managing her conditions but she has thrived, becoming a gymnastics champion. 

He says: “We just fell in love with this bundle of joy straight away. “When we found out that we were able to adopt her, we were over the moon, it was a very emotional moment. She’s achieved so much."

Malcolm and Shelley have fostered several children over the years as well as having his own biological kids. He was adopted by his aunt Thelma after his mum died when he was just 14 months old and his father had struggled to look after him on his own. Malcolm says taking in children who need a loving home is in his blood because of his own experience.
He adds: “Adopting a child will give you a burst of pride. If anyone is considering it, you should go for it.”


To find out more about adopting, call 01642 526 400 or request a call here