The UK's top family judge has intervened in the case of a mentally-ill mother whose baby was delivered by caesarean section by court order.
The Prime Minister has tried to bring some festive cheer to couples and children caught up in the adoption system in England.
David Cameron is to announce plans to radically speed up the amount of time it takes to place children with potential adopters.
A man hoping to adopt for the first time along with his wife has explained the process to Daybreak.
Sam began the process of adoption at the beginning of this year and has already been through screening, preparation, and home visits.
He explained: "It has been made so much more simple. It has taken us from January 2 until today - and we've been to panel already."
He continued: "The social workers were excellent with us...really if you are thinking of doing it, please do it."
The Government has pledged an extra £50 million to help improve adoption services, the children's minister has announced.
– Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson
Our new adoption leadership board will play an important role ensuring local authorities and adoption agencies stay on track and recruit more adopters - and a further £50 million for councils in 2014 will help them put the building blocks in place to implement our reforms.
The Government is urging more would-be adoptive parents to use their interactive online adoption maps to find suitable children to raise.
Children and Families Minister Edward Timpson said "promising progress" was being made towards improving adoption rates but significantly more remained to be done.
Information like the number of children waiting for adoption, approval rates and the time taken to complete the process are on the map.
Department for Education figures show a 34% increase in adopters and adoptions up by a record 15% following the implementation of reforms.
Prime Minister David Cameron has said the issue is a personal priority.
Two new parents have told Daybreak of their joy at adopting siblings and the bond they have built with the young children.
Liz and John were speaking as children's charity Barnardo's launches a campaign to persuade more people to adopt siblings, as 50% of the children on the Adoption Register are immediately related.
Mum Liz dismissed concerns two children would be overwhelming for new parents, because if there was no previous parenting experience to compare it to, "how would you know any different?"
Dad John beamed as he spoke of the thought of his first Christmas with his children:
"We have always really wanted to have two children. Unfortunately we cannot have children naturally. When we started out with the adoption process, we always said we wanted two children.
"That's what we aim for, and that is what we got."
According to the Government, in the British care system in the year ending March 2013:
- 3,980 looked-after children were adopted, an increase of 15% from the year 2011-12.
- Adoption is now at its highest point since 1992.
- Only 8% of children adopted were taken in by single parents.
- 3,710 children were adopted by couples.
More parents willing to adopt siblings are being urged to come forward by children's charity Barnado's, who fear some children are being overlooked because adults are only willing to take on one child.
The number of children in the care system has risen for the 7th year in a row to 90,000.This is compounded by the number of sibling groups on the Adoption Register - 50% - compared to the 35% of adults willing to consider them.
Barnardo's make this plea on the day the charity's patron the Queen and president,the Duchess of Cornwall will officially open Barnardo's new Barkingside headquarters.
An Italian woman whose daughter will be adopted in the UK after a court ordered caesarian saw her give birth in this country has spoken about how she is, "suffering like an animal."
The woman told Italian newspaper La Repubblica:
I want my daughter back, I’m suffering like an animal. They forced me to have a caesarean without telling me anything. The day of the birth, I thought they were just moving me from one room to another, while I was saying I wanted to go back to Italy. I was sedated. When I woke up she wasn’t there any more. They’d taken her from me.
It was a caesarean birth which was forced upon me, I wasn’t even told.
I did not give my consent, verbal or written, to the adoption of my child. The natural father, who is from Senegal, and one of my American relatives were prepared to take the little one into their care. But the English social services ignored them. Why? Why did nobody help me?
The Italian lawyer of a woman whose baby was delivered by a court ordered caesarean section has said that the English rulings over the child's future are "contradictory" and "inexplicable."
Speaking about a judgment which agreed to have the baby girl adopted in the UK Stefano Oliva told ITV News: "I've been able to read the judge's decision and it's completely contradictory in its motivations.
It says the mother was well in her health, that she strongly desired to live with her baby, that she really wanted to go back to Italy… it's positive about her family, the relationship between mother and daughter - but inexplicably it concludes with the adoption order."
A judgement that ruled a child delivered by caesarean following a court order should remain in care, has been made public.
Judge Newton, sitting at Chelmsford County Court, said in the ruling he hoped the mother - who was mentally-ill at the time of her daughter's birth - would meet with the people who are to adopt her child.
– Judge Newton
I very much hope that the mother on whom I concentrate will be able to have an opportunity of meeting the adopters. It is important for P to know that her birth family, as I know they do, will continue to take a continuing interest in her. It will not be straightforward. It will not be easy. The mother, I know, is to return to Italy shortly but if it is possible and a meeting is offered I very much hope that the mother would be able to play her part in that.
Court papers have revealed a baby removed from her mentally-ill mother after a court-ordered caesarean cannot be cared for by her father as he is an 'over-stayer' in Italy.
The ruling made by Judge Newton, sitting at Chelmsford County Court, explained the father of the child, known as P, was a Senegalese national who went to Italy on a student visa but over-stayed.
– Judge Newton
He certainly has no status in Italy and he is unable, as I understand it, as a result of his status, either to leave Italy at all, and is certainly not able to come to the United Kingdom.