The Story Behind The Drewitt-Barlow Family
Barrie and Tony met in 1987 in Manchester UK.
Tony had won the runner up prize in the the New Scientist of the year award and was on his way to Manchester’s Granada Studios where the awards were being given that year. Getting lost on the way, Tony pulled into a petrol station where he could see a broken down car and a huge fuss going on with the driver and the petrol station attendant. The driver had broken down and the car wouldn’t move, Tony walked over to ask for directions to the studios and before he knew it, the driver of the broken down car was jumping into the conversation saying he would be happy to show Tony where the studio was if he could give him a lift into the city centre.
Before Tony could say yes or no, the young stranded driver with the broken down car had jumped into Tonys car. Tony went round to the drivers seat and introduced himself to the young man who told him his name was Barrie. From that day to this, the pair have been together and now have 5 wonderful children.
The journey to parenthood has not been as easy as it seems in the mass media. Barrie and Tony had been together for 11 years before they decided to have their children. They had spoken about it for years but had never done anything about it. They looked at adoption first with Essex County Council.
Being the first same sex couple to try to make an application, they were handled like a hot potato. The social workers had no idea how to handle the case and were stuck from day one. The social worker attached to the case was not the right person to handle the county’s first application and she was out of her depth. Looking back, both Barrie and Tony wish they had fought harder to make the legal system easier for themselves and others, but in those days there was not much point and a more gentle approach was needed.