Today Is International Missing Children’s Day – And Many Are Stolen For The Adoption Industry

Researching Reform

Around the world today states, charities and child welfare organisations will be remembering the many hundreds of thousands of children that go missing every year because today is International Missing Children’s Day.

And yet the level of awareness surrounding what happens to these children and where they go once they are abducted is still very low.

Did you know for example, that many children are stolen or bought from families to fuel the adoption industry around the world? It sounds like a conspiracy theory, one that may seem hard to believe, but there is ample evidence which highlights this terrible practice.

In order to raise awareness about missing children, we’ve added some very interesting links below:

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Research: Forced Adoption

Researching Reform

The Australian Institute of Family Studies has begun to focus on the issues surrounding forced adoption, and as such have a very interesting dedicated page to the phenomenon.

The site tells us that the Institute has looked at a number of areas within forced adoption and separation matters including:

  • The history of adoption in Australia
  • Effects of closed and forced adoption policies and practices on affected individuals
  • Links between adoption and other family separation practices, and their effects
  • Current service and support needs of those affected
  • Broader service delivery implications.

The site is well worth a visit and offers links to other relevant publications, as well.

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Family courts: justice and any imbalance

Is any form of bullying tolerated in the family court? These are a few notes by one who has appeared in family courts as advocate throughout a forty year career as a solicitor. They are written at speed, and will need to be developed in a number of the controversial areas which this subject throws up.

It is surely important to recall that bullying – is it not? – is, like discrimination. It is a matter for the perception of the object (victim) of the bullying; and therefore anyone with the ability – eg a judge because of his/her position – needs awareness training on the subject as part of the qualification (and continuing assessment: continuing assessment for judges?) for the job.

Between parties

If both sides appear in person, they are in conflict of some sort, by definition. I do not know what…

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Former Head Of Child Abuse Inquiry Says Investigation Is Deceiving Survivors

Researching Reform

Baroness Butler-Sloss, who was very briefly Chair of what is now the Statutory Inquiry Into Child Sexual Abuse, has made a series of critical comments about the Inquiry, at a recent Chatpolitics event.

Speaking at the event, Butler-Sloss, whose statements were recorded, said:

“The real problem about this inquiry is the victims have now been given a false view that they’re all going to be heard.

“There are an enormous number of victims out there, and of course they won’t all be heard. I am absolutely sure that they will not be pleased with the result.”

At first glance, the comment appears to be a rather poor show of sour grapes. Butler-Sloss was forced to stand down as Chair for the Inquiry after it emerged that her brother Sir Michael Havers was Attorney General at a time when some of the worst alleged abuses in the 1980s took place. Her less…

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Adoption rates in freefall


I’ve been asked if I would write about the story in the newspapers this week about adoption rates going down and the blame being placed on some high profile case law decisions. This is the first time that I have ever received a request, so I should oblige.  [If anyone’s future request is that I write about my love of Jaime Lannister, or that Joe Hill’s Locke and Key is the best comic series since Grant Morrison’s run on Doom Patrol, then for those, it’s on like Donkey Kong]

The Painting that Ate Paris (Doom Patrol) The Painting that Ate Paris (Doom Patrol)

Locke and Key - this is what happens when you use the Head key to look inside your own mind Locke and Key – this is what happens when you use the Head key to look inside your own mind

So, here is the Independent piece – there’s a startlingly similar one in the The Times, but you need to pay Rupert Murdoch money to look at it. The choice is yours.


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Removal from grandparents under Interim Care Order


This is a curious appeal (I have to say that my gut feeling is that the grandparents were damn unlucky to lose this appeal, but of course the Court of Appeal have the benefit of seeing the papers and hearing the full argument. And each time I read the appeal judgment, my view that the grandparents were damn unlucky increased.  )

Re T (Children) 2015

There are two issues of wide import

1. That the test for removal under an ICO from grandparents is exactly the same as for removal from parents.

[Most of us thought this and worked on that premise, but it is helpful for the Court of Appeal to formally confirm it –  in short terms – the child’s safety must require immediate separation]

2. That the original trial Judge had not been fair in curtailing the time for the parents to seek a Stay application…

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Are Children “Born Naughty?”

Researching Reform

This evening, Channel 4 will be airing a programme about children’s behaviour which will explore whether children are born naughty or whether their mischief is down to less than adequate parenting skills.

The series will be hosted by Dr Dawn Harper, and will follow several children whose behaviour has been deemed extreme, and will attempt to uncover the underlying reasons for their conduct and offer solutions.

For what it’s worth, we don’t happen to think that children are born naughty, rather each child has his or her own temperament, which needs to be acknowledged and worked with. We also happen to think a little spirited mischief is no bad thing (we have to confess to having been a Devil Child ourselves – our parents’ words, not ours).

What do you think? Are children born naughty, or is it all just a question of understanding?

The programme starts at 8pm, and…

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CAFCASS Chair, Baroness Tyler Answers Our Questions On Forced Adoption And The Future Of Child Welfare

Researching Reform

The Chair of Cafcass, Baroness Claire Tyler, has very kindly answered the questions we put to her about child welfare, social work and the social care sector.

Cafcass’s history has been a long and troubled one, which nearly saw its dismantling in 2010. Since then, having taken on board the need to look at their service delivery, Cafcass have made an effort to do so and have implemented several interesting directives to this effect. These include a stakeholder system which invites parents to offer their input and a Young People’s Board made up of children who have been through the family justice system, designed to collect feedback about their services and amplify the voice of the child.

We felt now would be a good time to check in with the organisation and see how they’re getting on. To that end we invited Baroness Tyler to chat with us about her…

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Adverse Childhood Experiences Study Links Maltreatment To Ill-Health In Later Life

Researching Reform

This fascinating piece of research, called the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACE) though not new, was put together to explore associations between childhood maltreatment and later-life health and well-being.

It is one of the largest studies of its kind and is a collaboration between the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Kaiser Permanente’s Health Appraisal Clinic in San Diego.

According to the research, certain experiences are major risk factors for leading causes of illness and death as well as poor quality of life in the United States.

Major findings of the study can be viewed here. 

The very thorough stats can be accessed here and they are divided and subdivided for various categories and demographics.

Particularly helpful is the Related Links page which holds a great deal of information on child welfare and family related research and support information.

The CDC website itself is a huge resource and well worth exploring…

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