Five surprising legal facts about adoption

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.

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Family law
Adoption

The lowdown on going to court

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.

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Courts
Youth Courts

Students out for summer

As schools, colleges and universities break up for summer, there's all sorts planned. Catching up with Love Island 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.

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Holidays

Lower prices, more choice: Using a solicitor could become easier

The Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) wants to know what people think about changes it's planning to the way solicitors offer their services. The SRA believes the changes will help make solicitors easier to afford and access.

One in ten people think about paying for legal advice but then don't go ahead, mainly because they decide they can't afford it, reports YouGov.

The SRA wants to let solicitors offer legal services even if they don't work in a regulated law firm, and thinks this change could help lower prices.

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Solicitor
SRA

Stepping on to the property ladder

Moving house is one of the most stressful things we ever do in life.

When moving house there are legal tasks to take care of. Nearly two out of three people put moving house at the top of their stress list, recent research by energy company E.On shows.

And it's not just the prospect of broken crockery or re-directing your post. The legal side of moving (known as conveyancing) can be just as stressful. 

With any house move, there are important legal tasks to complete:

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Conveyancing
CLC

Pets and the law

From trips to the vet to micro-chipping, being a good pet owner means knowing the law.

Mandatory micro-chipping

They say dogs are man's best friend, and losing a much-loved pet can be devastating. Micro-chipping offers the best chance of a missing animal's safe return.

More than 86% of UK dog owners have already micro-chipped their pets. But, on 6 April this year, micro-chipping dogs became compulsory. Any dog over the age of eight weeks must be micro-chipped and registered on a national database.

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Pets

How to protect ideas

The bright ideas that keep the world evolving

The birth of a Finn-Dorset lamb in 1996, marked a big step forward in scientific developments globally.

This animal was no ordinary sheep but became known as Dolly the Sheep, the first mammal to be cloned from an adult cell.

Scientists Sir Ian Wilmut and Keith Campbell were the ones who developed the cloning process and published patents on it in January 2000. This intellectual property allowed them to have the right to prevent anyone else from using their process for a period of time.

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IPREg
Protecting ideas
Intellectual property

Free Wills Month - March 2016

Where there's a will, there's a way

Making a will can be a big step, but there are lots of reasons to take it. You might want to legally state where your money and the things you own should go when you die. Or you may want to say who will take care of your children.

Without a will, you can't make sure things will go to the people you would like them to go to.

But many of us don't have a will or feel we can't afford to pay for one.

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wills

Dream date or scam?

Thousands conned in online dating fraud

Online dating sites do bring lonely hearts together. But, for some, online dating has led to heartbreak—and a sudden drop in their bank balance.

One in four Britons now use online dating websites, reports consumer body Which?

But thousands of users each year are tricked into fake relationships and conned out of their hard-earned cash. According to Action Fraud, the average victim of online dating fraud loses £9,500.

How online dating scams work

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Fraud
Online Dating
Scams

Divorce Day

One in five married couples consider separating in the New Year

Divorce enquiries at law firms traditionally surge on the first working Monday of the New Year—so much so that it has become known as Divorce Day.  

More than 40 per cent of all marriages now end in divorce, reports the Office for National Statistics. And one in five married couples start thinking about separating during the post-Christmas period, according to research from leading law firm Irwin Mitchell.

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Divorce