A couple from a small town south of Regina is heartbroken after the two little boys they have been fostering for more than a year are set to be adopted by another family.

CTV News has elected not to identify the couple to protect the identity of the two boys, who are 2 and 3-years old respectively.

The couple says they started the process to become foster parents in February of 2014. They began fostering the two brothers in September of 2014. They tell CTV News that the boys flourished in their care. When the toddlers came to live with them, the foster mother said the older boy’s speech was severely delayed.

“We were told that he may never speak, and today he doesn't shut up! We love it.” the foster mother says.

When the toddlers were placed with the couple, they were not up for adoption, but the couple hoped to become adoptive parents if the option became available. The foster mother says their case worker told them they would be considered because of their history with the children.

“The longer they were in our home, the better chance we have of adopting them.” she says she was told by the case worker.

When the boys were put up for adoption, the couple say they waited until the government had examined the boys’ family members as options, before starting the paperwork to adopt the toddlers. But the couple says that after they filled out the paperwork, they were told the two little boys would be adopted by a different family.

The couple says they were notified on Monday, October 26, that officials would be picking the children up that day to go to their new home. Tearfully, she says she and her husband picked the boys up from daycare, and packed up all of their belongings. She says they only had 20 minutes to say goodbye.

“They're really not looking into the best interests of these boys at all,” the foster mother says, “Their home has been ripped away from them and it didn't need to be. They had a mom and a dad that wanted them.”

However, the government says that it is not their policy to allow foster parents to adopt their foster children unless a suitable match cannot be found in the province’s adoption registry. Tammy Kirkland, Assistant Deputy Minister of Child and Family Programs says that factors such as training, and cultural background, and the age of the children in question are considered when selecting a potential adoptive family. Only in rare cases are foster parents ever considered in the search for adoptive parents.

“In this situation, there was no need to dismiss the adoptive registry process to place these children in a home that meets their needs,” Kirkland says, “So we would not have said in this situation that we would bypass the system, and the people who have been waiting, and that match with these children, to have them remain as adopted children in this foster home.”

The couple says that’s not the information they received from their case worker when they started the process. They say if they ever take in foster children in the future, they’ll go into it with a different mindset.

“You have to close your hearts a lilt bit. You can't leave them wide open,” the foster mother told CTV, “Social services is lacking foster parents, and we know why now.”

The government will now conduct a review to see how the case was handled, but they say the children will stay with their new family.