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A toddler allegedly murdered by her adoptive father suffered injuries which were "very typical" of babies and children who have been shaken, a court has heard. Elsie Scully-Hicks, who was aged 18 months when she died, was found to have suffered three separate areas of subdural bleeding when she was…
Increasing numbers of gay men and lesbians in Britain are adopting children or becoming foster carers. Latest figures show that there are now more than 20,000 children living in same-sex couple families. Enabled by legislation passed in 2002, this trend is contributing to the emergence of new conceptions of family…
A family court judge has decided not to name a council she criticised over its handling of a case involving a baby girl now placed for adoption. Recorder Carly Henley said the little girl, who will soon be 12 months old, had gone into temporary council foster care a day…
A fitness instructor "assaulted, abused and ultimately murdered" his 18-month-old adopted daughter, a court has heard. Matthew Scully-Hicks, 31, is accused of inflicting serious injuries on Elsie Scully-Hicks before her death in May 2016. Cardiff Crown Court (pictured) heard Scully-Hicks had formally adopted Elsie with his husband, Craig Scully-Hicks, just…
A woman has had three children taken from her care in the space of five years after social workers raised concerns about her drug and alcohol misuse, mental health difficulties and "chaotic lifestyle". Two, born in 2010 and 2012, were placed for adoption following a ruling by a family court…
A family court judge has raised concern about the lack of support offered to a woman with a low IQ who suffered "extreme abuse". Judge Stephen Wildblood said the woman, who was in her mid-20s and had an IQ of 66, had not been offered "therapeutic support" although there had…
Family court judges have a crisis on their hands because council social services bosses are making more applications for children to be taken from the care of parents, the most senior judge in England and Wales has suggested. Lord Thomas, the Lord Chief Justice (pictured), said last year saw a…
Six children have been taken from the care of a couple whose "fundamental" disagreements over parenting led to "turbulence and worse" in their home. A family court judge said the woman had a "more relaxed" parenting style but the man was "firmer". Judge Ross Duggan said the woman talked about…
A policewoman who says her two-year-old son was wrongly taken from her care following an investigation by council social workers has lost the latest round of a court battle. The officer says the little boy accidentally fell over a stair gate and bruised his groin. But she says a social…
A senior judge has ruled a "thwarted" mother was treated unfairly and unlawfully when she was not given a proper chance to challenge a local authority's plans to place her child with prospective adopters. The judge ruled Essex County Council social workers "deliberately for welfare reasons sought to prevent (the…
Council social services bosses unlawfully allowed the surname of two sisters to be changed before they were adopted, a family court judge has concluded. Judge James Meston said bosses had allowed the girls' names to be changed to the names of a couple aiming to adopt before an adoption process…
A council social worker who told a couple that it might be harder to place their baby son for adoption if he was christened has been criticised by a family court judge. She said adoption attempts might be hindered if the little boy, now about 15 months old, was "christened…
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