News Bites: A warning, a comment and a commentary

Vociferous to the last, outgoing Barnardo's chief executive Martin Narey warns that: "Britain is facing a dangerous collapse in adoption rates because of the prejudiced attitudes of some local authorities and adoption agencies towards white parents adopting minority ethnic children." In an interview with The Guardian, he says that the adoption rate of babies must increase fourfold, pointing out the remarkable statistic that: "Only 70 babies were adopted last year compared with 4,000 in 1976."

Meanwhile, in an article for Family Law Week Olivia Stiles and Byron James have little that is positive to say about the Government's consultation on child maintenance: "Here, the Government want more people to keep using the child support system, so, they propose to charge them. It doesn't make sense ... It is not going to encourage more to apply or give confidence in the system to those applying. It is to look at a problem and provide a different solution: 'The dog is barking? Don't worry I've locked the cat in the study'." They go on: "You might say that the number of applicants is not the problem; it is processing those claims effectively. In that case, nothing that has been proposed so far does anything to actually address what is in fact the real problem. The Government's current response is revenue raising, pure and simple."

Lastly, Lucy Reed at Pink Tape, who is clearly a masochist, requested the practice directions to supplement the Family Procedure Rules 2010 and received no fewer than 27 of them, upon which she has today commented, for those who can stand the excitement.