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New Children and Families Bill announced in Queen’s Speech

Adoption, care proceedings and shared parenting changes to be introduced

The government will introduce a Children and Families Bill in the current parliamentary session. The Bill will legislate upon aspects of the Family Justice Review and the Action Plan for Adoption.

Changes to adoption rules will prioritise the need to find a child a permanent placement over race considerations. The government will liaise with the welsh government concerning the extension of changes to the principality. There will be a six month deadline for the completion of care cases.

On family breakdown, the government will seek to ensure that children retain a continuing relationship with both parents if it is in the children's best interests.

Parents will be given the opportunity to take flexible leave in order to share child care responsibilities.

Legislation will also give parents more choice and control over support for children with special educational needs.

The government proposes to undertake consultation over the proposed changes.

The Speech contained no reference to same-sex marriage.

For details of the 19 Bills and Draft Bills announced in the Queen's Speech, go to the BBC News website.