October 18th, 2016
Most children in the UK are raised by their birth parents. But more than 3,000 children in England alone are waiting for a family to adopt them.
Have you ever thought about adopting a child? If so, perhaps worries about the law and your right to adopt have stopped you from taking the next steps.
Here are five legal facts about adoption that many people don’t know.
1. I’m single. Can I adopt?
You can adopt if you are single or an unmarried couple. It doesn’t matter what your gender
or sexual orientation is.
2. I’m disabled. Can I adopt?
You can adopt if you are disabled. A large number of children who need adopting are
disabled, so your experience could help.
3. I’m unemployed. Can I get financial support if I adopt?
You can adopt if you are unemployed or on a low wage. You could get tax credits, benefits
and support such as a Disability Living Allowance if you adopt a disabled child.
4. I don’t have my own house. Can I adopt?
In England you can adopt even if you aren’t a home owner. You need to have the space and a safe place for children to grow up in. You may even get priority for council housing.
5. Am I too old to adopt?
As long as you’re over 21, you can adopt. There is no upper age limit. You do need to be healthy enough to look after a child.
British National Adoption week falls in October. You can find out more about becoming an adoptive parent on the First4adoption website.
Here at Legal Choices, you can learn about family issues and sources of support.
Article categories: Family
September 9th, 2016
If you are accused of breaking the law and are ordered to go to court, you will get a Duty Solicitor—a lawyer who is supplied to you for free. This is legal aid.
They will talk to you before your court case and will go to court with you to put your side of the story across. It’s very important for you to tell them everything and be honest with them, so they can help you.
If you are under 16, you must have a parent or guardian with you in court. If they aren’t there, it will hold up the process.
The Youth Court is for people aged 10 to 17. It isn’t as formal as adult court. You won’t see the judge and lawyers in wigs or gowns. If you are there because you have been accused of something, you will sit near the judge. Your lawyer will ask you questions, and so will the lawyer for the other side. They may also question witnesses or a victim, if there is one.
It will help you to stay calm and to speak clearly, taking the time you need for your answers.
If you are accused of something very serious, you may have to go to Crown Court, which is also where adults are sent.
Regulators make sure that lawyers do their job properly when they go to court. For example, the Bar Standards Board (BSB) makes sure that lawyers who are barristers do their job well. The BSB and other regulators are working to make standards in Youth Court as high as possible. They want young people to get the best legal support they can.
Lawyers are working harder to make sure that young people with special needs get the right help and support when they go to court.
If you have a legal problem and don’t know what to do, find out where you can get help.
Article categories: BSB
July 26th, 2016
As schools, colleges and universities break up for summer, there’s all sorts planned. Pokémon Go—gotta catch ’em all—might keep you busy. For some, a fun-packed holiday abroad is on the cards.
But many students will start a new job. Summer is an ideal time to gain new skills—and earn some cash!
There’s usually a summer job to suit everyone. You could be volunteering overseas or working in residential summer camps, outdoor centres, festivals or holiday parks.
Wherever you end up, it’s worth being aware of the law and how it can help you.
There are laws covering the type of work you can and can’t do, minimum wages, working hours and rest breaks, to name just a few.
To find out more about employment law for young people, visit the Citizens Advice website.
Article categories: Advice