Episode 37 - An interview with Daniela Shanly

March 17, 2018

In this weeks episode we have a conversation with Daniela Shanly, adoptive parent and proprietor of Beech Lodge School. Beech Lodge is an attachment-focused school providing education for children aged 7 to 18 that have been failed by mainstream school. From their website 'we offer a nurturing and inovative approach to education for those children who require an individually tailored learning environment to build social and life skills.'. 

We speak to her in relation to her experience of international adoption and some of the challenges that caused and how they overcame them. She also discussed what led to her decision to start a school and some of the challenges that they had to overcome. We talk about the school and answer some listener questions as well as enjoy our usual heady mix of prattle and banter. 

It's well worth a listen as Daniela's story is inspiring as well as offering hope to many families who struggle to find schools where their children can feel safe and learn.



Episode 36- LGBT Adoption Week, being a grandparent and Voices of Adoptees

March 3, 2018

This week is LGBT Adoption & Fostering week and Scott discusses his experience as one of the first cohort of same sex couples being approved as adopters, children's questions, callenges and shifting values and perceptions of society. Both Al and Scott discuss their experience of being on panels and the unique strengths that same sex couples may bring to being an adopters. The converstion touches on a range of questions and issues that face LGBT adopters.

Al talks briefly about becoming a grandfather and his clear lack of knowledge of pregnancy and birth. We also ponder the last few interviews that we've had on the podcast and the interesting point raised by the adoptees that we've had on lately. Of course, how could we not mention the fantastic Carrie Grant and we consider gatecrashing her adoption support group. 




Episode 35 - An Interview with Carrie Grant

February 16, 2018

With much giddy excitement we finally present an interview with Carry Grant. She is a singer, singing coach and TV presenter amongst many other things as well as experience of parenting children with aditional needs as well as being an adopter. 

The conversation covers all aspects of adoptive parenting and reflects on the challenges that many families face. Carrie discussed why she decided to adopt and their experience of the process of preparation, approval and being matched with a child. As a family they have experienced a range of challenges and Carrie is open and honest about their struggles with child to parent violence and the help that NVR (Non Violent Resistance) has been to them. During the interview we discuss Carrie's experience of accessing adoption support and the needs of parents who look for support in dire circumstances. Amongst a range of subjects we discuss self care and most adopter's time old favourite of support in school and the challenges that many face in education.

As always there's a little light banter from Scott and I and we ask a few questions that people had given to us through our Facebook page and Twitter feed.


Episode 34 - Catt Peace

February 2, 2018

In ths episode we speak to Catt Peace  an adult adoptee. Catt is a member of the Patches Family Foundation on Facebook and aims to raise awareness, help and offer practical support to families worldwide caring for children suffering from unattachment and developmental trauma.

Catt is very open and honest about her life before and after adoption, having been adopted in the 90's her experience is very contemporary and reflects similar experiences to the children of many contemporary UK adopters and adoptees. She is very honest about her own challenges as a teenager and young person but also comments on life as an adult, birth family reunion and relations with her adoptive parents. I can't recommend this interview enough.

As usual Scott and Al bookend the interview with a little news, chatter and comment. 

As always comments and reviews welcome. 


Episode 33- An interview with adoptee Shona White

January 21, 2018

After a mini January relaps/break we've hit 2018 with vim and vigour. As ever there's usual banter with Al & Scott, with a look at the New Year and the podcast for 2018. We cover some topical stuff and with relentlessness and unwavering mockery Scott turns on Al (the highly recognised and praised adopter and MBE holder), ha ha ha ha. We do touch on plans for guests for the year, briefly on the Children's Minster, though the full details hadn't really come out, and the Child on Parent Violence and Aggression Survey 2018.

We also speak to adoptee Shona White an Ambassador for Adoption Uk. Shona is a long time friend of Scott and trained at The Royal Academy of Music in London at which she is now an Associate Artist. She has had a long successful career in London's West end having starred in a range of musicals including Mama Mia! West Side Story, Chess, the Rocky Horror Picture Show and Les Miserables and the first patron of the West End’s Playhouse Theatre.

Shona was adopted in the 70's, we explored some of her perspectives on adoption and she talk candidly in relation to some of her adult experiences as an adoptee

Shona was adopted in the 70's, we explored some of her perspectives on adoption and she talk candidly in relation to some of her adult experiences as an adoptee. 







Episode 32 - A Chat with Blair Mortimer

December 30, 2017

This is the year end podcast so we reflect on some of the highs and the lows, ramble a little and ask each other some questions. 

Jacob makes a micro appearance and Al's children make noise. 

Al caught up with Blair and he talks a little about fostering at Christmas and thoughts on times of celebration and challenges  


Episode 31 - Xmas Special with Sally Donovan + a Special Message

December 16, 2017

It’s the Christmas Podcast!

With a sense of festive fun and mirth we speak to Sally Donovan, we ask some listeners questions, add a little frivolity and have a good old chinwag. 

Of course, we discuss all manner of things, self regulation, writing books, an all kinds of other stuff. We play the infamous Adoption & Fostering Christmas Quiz, Scott and Al have a full on Podtiff and Sally D leads us onto the rocks of questionable taste.

To round it off we have what is now another tradition of our Christmas message from secret adoption blogging royalty. We hope you enjoy, thanks for listening and we wish you well as you navigate the festivities!

As always if you’re bored and feeling benevolent you could seek us out on iTunes and give us a wee review!

Hold Fast! 


Episode 30 - An interview with Stuart Guest

December 1, 2017

This week we speak to Head Teacher and adoptive parent Stuart Guest. He has taken an innovative approach to create a nurturing, supportive and safe learning environment for all the children in his primary school. This approach has been informed by an understanding of the impacts of early life adversity. 

Scott and Al have a brief intro then we get straight into the interview. Stuart shares his experience and thoughts on a range of issues including; pupil premium, pupil premium plus, partnership with schools, information packs, secondary schools, homework and of course the now legendary #CookieNookieNight 

Thank you for all the questions that were sent in and we hope you enjoy this episode and we aspire to get Stuart back to the podcast in the new year.

Stuart has sent a link to some resources and they can be found here


I appologise that there's a wee bit of 'clipping' in the audio quality for the first 4 minutes of the interview with Stuart. It does pass and so please bare with it. 





Podcast Special - National Adoption Week Scotland 2017

November 24, 2017

This week we see Scott return to the land of his ancestors, Scotland. He talks to three Scottish guests in honour of Adoption Week Scotland, which is now in its second year.

Firstly Fiona, an Adopter and foster carer from Edinburgh - a real character - and provides peer support through her work with Adoption UK.

Then Mark, an Adopter from a same sex couple - currently going through the process to adopt for a second time. And finally Jess, an administrator got the Adoption Register in Scotland. 

As always banter and humor bagpiped into infopodcastainment!


Episode 29 - Jenny Jones MBE and Suddenly Mummy

November 18, 2017

This week we spoke to Jenny Jones and Suddenly Mummy about moving from adopters to working in the adoption world. Actually, that was the plan and it kind of went a little askew and spiralled into other issues and topic including mountains, affecting change and representation.

Al made Scott talk about the Adoption UK conference and in a bizzare twist Al insulted Scott and he fell out of the podcast and was lost in the internet for a few minutes until he found himself again by sending a text to Al.

As always banter and thought turned into podcasting shenannegans.