On this week’s Home and Away in Australia, with Mia and Ari not wanting to risk the heartbreak of another miscarriage, they turn to adoption as a way to raise a child of their own.
Fostering and adoption have been staples of Home and Away since the show first aired in 1988.
Alan Bateman, the Head of Drama at the Seven Network at the time, came up with the idea for the show when driving through a country town in southern NSW. Stopping in an ice cream shop to escape the heat, he struck up a conversation with the locals about a new building causing controversy on the town’s main street.
“[It will be] a place for druggies, thieves and bludgers,” was how one resident described it. Alan was stunned to learn they were talking about a foster home, but it gave him an idea for a new show.
“Then in the country town I saw it.” said Alan in a 1989 interview. “Nobody in the community wanted [the foster children] to move in and I began to wonder how streetwise city kids would adapt to the new lifestyle.
Suddenly I thought, there is my slice of life in a community. Some residents were violently opposed to what they saw as troublesome kids being dumped on their own doorstep. Others wanted to give them a go. It had all the elements of fine drama.”
Fast forward 33 years and fostering may no longer be front and centre on Home and Away, but it has still played an important part in the show’s storylines over the years.
Irene (Lynne McGranger) has cared for numerous teens over the years, welcoming them into her house as her own. Selina, Chloe, Hayley and Nick are just some of the foster kids who’ve been under Irene’s care in her many years living in Summer Bay.
2012 saw the arrival of Jett James (Will McDonald), a troubled teen with a drug addict mum. After his mother’s death, Gina (Sonia Todd) and John Palmer (Shane Withington) took him under their wing and fostered him themselves.
They eventually offered to adopt Jett, but Gina’s sudden death put the plans on hold when John admitted he was struggling with the idea of adopting Jett alone.
Finally, at John and Marilyn’s (Emily Simmons) wedding, Jett asked the couple to adopt him, which they did shortly after.
Now, adoption is about to become centre stage once again.
Mia (Anna Samson) and Ari (Rob Kipa-Williams) have had nothing but bad luck when it comes to having a child of their own.
They suffered multiple miscarriages in their years together, before eventually having a beautiful baby boy, Kauri. Devastatingly, Kauri died just a few days after being born, leaving the pair struggling to cope.
The impact on Ari was huge, and it led him to focus on a life of crime which landed him behind bars for a decade. His years in prison separated him from Mia and her daughter Chloe (Sam Barrett), as he pushed them away rather than make them wait for his release.
After his spell in jail, he moved to Summer Bay with his sister-in-law Gemma and her son Nikau. They were eventually joined by Tane (Ethan Browne), and Gemma returned to New Zealand soon after.
By coincidence, Nikau bumped into Chloe whilst backpacking in New Zealand. The two had been like siblings growing up, and Chloe accompanied the young Parata back to Summer Bay, where Mia closely followed in search of her nomad daughter.
She had a dramatic reunion with Ari, but the pair soon realised that their feelings for one another had never truly gone away, and it wasn’t long until they were back together and happier than ever.
When the subject of kids came up, both were nervous that it would lead to more heartbreak, but they decided to have one last go at having a baby together. They, along with Chloe, were delighted when Mia quickly fell pregnant, and couldn’t wait to become a family of four.
This time, it was a car accident that led to them losing the baby. Dean’s (Patrick O’Connor) car ran off the road and flipped down a hill, leaving Dean and Nikau seriously injured, and ending Mia and Ari’s baby dreams once again.
Heartbroken at losing another baby, Mia decided that enough was enough. She couldn’t face trying again, and told Ari that if he couldn’t deal with that, then they needed to call time on their relationship.
Of course, the most important things to Ari are Mia and Chloe, and he has no intention of abandoning them again. They’ve accepted that they aren’t going to have a child of their own, and are looking forward to whatever their future holds… together!
This week, they come up with another idea – why don’t they adopt? If they’re matched with a child young enough, they’ll still get to share the experience of raising a baby, but with none of the medical risk.
They invite John to dinner, knowing that he’s been through the process himself and knows all of the hoops that need to be jumped through. He explains to them just how tough it was, but how it was worth every moment.
Yet there’s one thing they haven’t considered. Ever the optimist, Nikau reminds Ari that he’s got a criminal record – something the adoption agencies don’t look too fondly on, to say the least.
Is their adoption dream over before it’s even begun?
This week, an innocent discussion about honeymoon destinations leads to Christian making a huge suggestion – why don’t he and Tori move to London?
Here’s the full spoilers for the next week of Home and Away episodes in Australia:
Monday 30th August (7638)
Can Leah bring John and Justin back together again? Logan is the one house guest Tori never wanted. Jasmine and Cash have a roadblock called Felicity.
Tuesday 31st August (7639)
Jasmine learns of Cash’s traumatic past. Nikau tries to make things right with Bella. Tane and Felicity are drawn to one another.
Wednesday 1st September (7640)
Dean struggles with his recovery. Bella is furious with Nikau. Tane puts a stop to his romance.
Thursday 2nd September (7641-7643)
The air goes out of the Nikau and Tane’s road trip. Ziggy and Mackenzie clash over what’s best for Dean. Ari and Mia seek out John’s advice.
Nikau gets mixed results with his olive branches. Ari and Mia adopt some hope from John. Can Ziggy and Dean get back on the same page? Tane manages to avoid Felicity… well, almost.
Christian’s idea of an extended honeymoon doesn’t go over well with Tori. The Felicity and Tane tornado continues to spin. The joy of Martha and Alf’s return is short lived.