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More support for adoptive families

The past twelve months have seen the Government place great emphasis on improving adoption processes in England for both children and potential adopters.

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London pilot shows early success in speeding up care proceedings

A care proceedings pilot launched between three London councils in April is already proving it is possible to dramatically speed up the majority of children’s care cases, including adoption, to hit the government’s target of six months.

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Court removes threat of prison for child maintenance arrears

The Court of Appeal has ruled that the Child Maintenance and Enforcement Commission (CMEC) cannot threaten two men with imprisonment if they continue to fail to pay child maintenance arrears, reports the Telegraph.

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Helping children find new families

The Economic and Social Research Council has reported on recent research that suggests children's parties or activity days, where prospective adopters meet children awaiting adoption, could be part of the solution to the current adoption crisis.

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More UK couples involved in overseas custody cases

A service manager at the Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (Cafcass), John Mellor, has reported seeing an increase in the number of international child custody cases involving British couples abroad, reports the Guardian.

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Latest statistics on births and deaths in England and Wales

The Office for National Statistics has recently published a statistical release showing that there were 723,913 live births in England and Wales in 2011, increasing slightly (by 0.1%) from 723,165 in 2010.

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BASW responds to adoption ‘demand’ claims

The British Association of Social Workers (BASW) has commented on recent claims that families who move to England from Slovakia and Russia are being unfairly targeted to satisfy demand from prospective British adopters.

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Adoption UK comments on adoption figures

Adoption UK has commented on the recent release by the Department of Education of statistics relating to children in care.

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Stability and security for fostered and adopted children

Barnardo's has issued a statement welcoming the announcement that the Government is to consult over changes to fostering and adoption procedures.

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Commission seeks views on matrimonial property, needs and agreements

The Law Commission has published a supplementary consultation paper as part of its project examining a number of different aspects of the law relating to the financial consequences of divorce and of the dissolution of civil partnership.

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Lack of communication a common cause of divorce

A recent study from Portugal has found that men are more likely to divorce because of a lack of love, whereas women find lack of communication to be a greater cause of marital breakdown, reports the Portugal News. Other reasons given included infidelity and domestic violence.

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Draft family justice legislation published

The Government has published draft legislation to implement its proposed changes to the family justice system following David Norgrove’s Family Justice Review.

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More countries sign up to child protection conventions

The Russian Federation and Lesotho have deposited their instruments of accession to the 1996 Hague Convention on Jurisdiction, Applicable Law, Recognition, Enforcement and Co-operation in Respect of Parental Responsibility and Measures for the Protection of Children.

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Divorced couples' experience of co-parenting

A research study in America has found that couples that have gone through a bitter divorce don't always continue to retain the same level of hostility to each other.

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Education of looked after children slowly improving

The educational attainment of looked after children and young people is improving slowly but there is too much variation in attainment, inconsistent support and a lack of clearly defined outcomes against which progress can be assessed. These are the findings of a report published by the Auditor General for Wales.

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Mother wins reprieve in international custody dispute

Four sisters caught up in an international custody dispute have been allowed to remain with their mother in Australia for a further month after a Family Court judge agreed to another hearing, reports the Brisbane Times.

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High Court rules on care consent case

The High Court has ruled that social workers were wrong to obtain consent from a woman to take her new-born baby into care when she was still under the affects of drugs administered during a difficult birth, reports the Daily Mail.

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Cohabitation a popular choice amongst the over 50s

Recent research from the National Center for Family and Marriage Research (NCFMR) at Bowling Green State University has found that an increasing number of adults age 50 and over are choosing to live with their partner instead of marrying them.

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The emotional impact of children moving away

We live in an increasingly globalised and fast-paced society. It is more common than ever for us to move overseas to work, and marriages between partners of different nationalities are on the increase. This creates obvious problems where children are concerned. While me may hope that our moves abroad, and our marriages, are permanent, often our work situation changes or our relationships break down. In these types of situation, children can become the subject of custody disputes of a transnational (or perhaps even just trans-regional) character. One partner may wish to return to their native land (or indeed remain in an adopted homeland) when a relationship breaks down.

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Adoption UK statement on new adoption figures

Adoption UK has issued a statement in response to recent figures released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which show that there has been a 6% increase in the overall level of adoptions in England and Wales.

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