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Children & Child Custody

New Measures to End Adoption Delays

The Queen’s Speech has outlined further improvements to the adoption system that aim to benefit children awaiting adoption by enabling them to be placed with a family far quicker.

Judge Gives Ruling in Surrogacy Case

A High Court judge has ruled that a one-year-old girl should live with her father and his male partner instead of her mother, reports the BBC.

Giving Children a Voice in Court

New Government proposals will mean that children involved in any type of family case - whether to remove them into care or disputes about child arrangements following divorce or separation - will be able to have their views heard when decisions are made that will affect them.

DNA Tests to Cut Courtroom Battles

The Government has recently announced that from September all family court judges in England will be able to order DNA tests to determine a child’s parentage.

Impact of Family Court Advisers

Researchers at Northumbria University have recently studied the impact of Family Court Advisers on the duration of court cases involving adoption or care proceedings.

Maintenance Payments Hit Record Levels

The number of non-resident parents who pay towards the cost of their children through the Child Support Agency (CSA) has hit an all-time high, according to the Government.

Cafcass Gives Update on Case Workload

The latest figures from the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass) show that in December 2014, it received a total of 918 care applications. This figure represents a 13% increase compared to the number received in December 2013.

Raising Awareness of Child Abduction

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) has recently come together with charity Reunite to help raise awareness of the issue of international parental child abduction.

Family Carers Discriminated Against

A new survey by charity Grandparents Plus has found that many kinship carers and the children they look after are discriminated against by public officials and other parents.

Criminalising Parental Child Abduction by Retention

UK charity reunite International Child Abduction Centre has welcomed a recommendation by the Law Commission that parental child abduction by retention should be criminalised.

“Myth Busting” Guide on Adoption Published

Over the past few years there has a rise in adoption to record levels, with an increase of 63% in just three years, charity Adoption UK has said. This means thousands more children have found permanent and loving homes through a faster adoption system.

Children's Relationship with Separated Parents

A new law came into force on 22nd October that reinforces the importance of children having relationships with each parent following family breakdown.

Concerns over Rise in Special Guardianship Orders

Fostering and adoption charity TACT has expressed concern over a sharp rise in the use of Special Guardianship Orders (SGOs) in England.

Lack of Support for Children Returning Home from Care

The Government is spending £300 million a year as a result of the breakdown of children's return home from care, according to new research commissioned by the NSPCC.

Child Maintenance System Fees Come into Effect

New enforcement fees for people using the Child Maintenance Service Collect and Pay system came into effect on 11th August this year.

Giving Children a Voice in Family Courts

The Government has committed to giving children a greater voice in the family justice system.

Launch of New Child Maintenance Service

A new Child Maintenance Service was launched this week (30 June 2014). The new system is design to provide greater support and encouragement for separated families to reach an agreement on child maintenance payments in order to allow more time and resources to be dedicated to the most extreme cases.

Family Courts Remove Successive Children

Thousands of mothers have had successive children removed by family courts in England over the past seven years, according to research led by experts at the University of Manchester.

Report on Progress of New Child Maintenance Scheme

A recent report by the National Audit Office has found that the Department for Work and Pensions has successfully introduced the first phase of the Child Maintenance 2012 scheme.

New Rules to Overhaul Adoption

New rules to speed up the adoption system are due to come into force in July, the Government has announced.

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