In the Press

"There are no pat notions of redemption or rehabilitation in this moving film. Just two parents trying to do their best in extraordinary circumstances."
The Independent

The Film

What would you do if the kids you adopted grew up to be an arsonist and an alcoholic? This film follows one family's struggle for justice and reconciliation.  

Dr Andrew Hale and his wife Helen love their two adopted sons very much.  So why do they want to go to court to argue that their children have made their lives a misery and should never have been given to them in the first place? 
The Hales fostered their two boys Jason and Andy when they were five and two years old. Five years later they officially adopted them and did everything they felt they could do as their new parents to provide them with a happy childhood. 
16 years on Andrew and Helen’s relationship with the boys has broken down. 18-year-old Jason has a serious drug and alcohol problem and Andy, now 21, is serving a two year prison sentence for arson. The Hales argue that social services withheld information about the boys’ background and should have warned them that they might erupt when they were older.   Andrew and Helen Hale are part of an anonymous group of disillusioned, angry, middle class parents who feel that have been failed by the system and now want recompense. 
Did they fail as parents or were they failed by social services? ONE life follows the whole family over one year as they attempt to find answers and some kind of family resolution.
Executive Producer
Producer & Director
Filmed by
1 x 40' for BBC1
Distributed by BBC Worldwide