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UK women increasingly looking to IVF: new figures

Increasing numbers of women over 40 in the UK are having recourse to IVF treatment, mainly due to couples delaying having children.

13/06/07
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Unmarried couples cannot adopt, Northern Ireland High Court rules

An attempt to get Northern Irish law to recognise unmarried couples as prospective adoptive parents has failed in the Court of Appeal. The case was brought by an unmarried couple, named X and Y in court and X's child, a 10 year old girl, named as P.

06/06/07
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Ban schools from promoting marriage, say UK academics.

Schools should be prohibited from teaching the benefits of traditional marriages compared to alternative lifestyles, according to top UK academics. Members of the University and College Union (UCU) representing 120,000 lecturers are calling for new legislation to stop teachers telling children that marriage is superior to gay partnerships. This would apply to all teachers, including staff in faith schools.

06/06/07
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Tax exempt status of Northern Ireland under threat from new legislation

New legislation is set to threaten the tax-exempt charity status of churches across Northern Ireland , it has been claimed.

05/06/07
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Married people at less risk of depression, research shows

Marriage helps improve the mental health of those suffering from depression, a new study has found. This remains true even though marriage quality is poorer for depressed individuals. The study compares two sets of people suffering from depression, those who remain single, and those who recently married. It found that after five years of marriage the second group exhibited fewer signs of depression than the first.

05/06/07
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Huge increase in households without children, Census reveals

There has been a major increase in the number of Irish households without children, new figures from the Central Statistics Office show. A majority of households in the State (52 per cent) now have no children.

01/06/07
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“Marriage gap” creating growing inequality in US, says Economist

A widening gulf in attitudes towards marriage is accentuating America's growing inequality problem, according to a feature influential magazine the Economist. Divorce rates among college-educated women have plummeted, the article says.

30/05/07
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Divorce hurts men's health, Canadian research shows

Men suffer more than women from divorce and marital breakdown, according to new Canadian research. Canadian government statistics showed that both men and women whose marriages have dissolved have a higher risk of being depressed than people who remained with their spouses.

30/05/07
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Couples postponing marriage for longer, new figures show

Couples are putting off getting married for longer, according to new Census figures. Spouses are now getting married later into their 30s and more are having civil marriages, the latest data from the Central Statistics Office shows.

24/05/07
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Record number of children in US born to cohabiting parents: report

The number of children born to parents who are unmarried but cohabiting is at a record level, says a study released today by a nonprofit research group. More than half the children who were born outside marriage had both parents in the home, Child Trends researchers said in their new paper.

22/05/07
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Single parent group to lobby for “family diversity day”

One Parent Exchange and Network (OPEN), a group representing single parents in Ireland, are to lobby the Government to establish May 15th as “Family Diversity Day” May 15th is currently the United Nations Designated Day of Families.

17/05/07
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European women having fewer children than they would like: report

European women would like to have more babies, according to a survey by the European Commission.

15/05/07
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US divorce rate lowest since 1970

The rate of divorce in the US, which climbed dramatically during and after the 1960s, has dropped to its lowest levels since 1970, according to figures released earlier this month by the National Center for Health Statistics.

15/05/07
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World Congress of Families hears of threats to family

Over 3000 delegates attended the World Congress of Families in Warsaw last weekend where they heard speakers highlight current legal and other threats to marriage.

Delegates came from across Europe, the US, Asia, Africa and Latin America. They heard a range of speakers discuss the importance of the family based on marriage and threats ranged against it. The Polish Minister for Education and Deputy Prime Minister, Roman Giertych, told the Congress that the natural family predates the State, and deserves the State's protection.

Addressing Friday's opening session, Mr Giertych said that hosting the Congress was “a great honour for Poland”, adding that it was “a sign that Poland is seen as the hope for Europe and the World”. Mr Giertych said that the family was under attack, but that his Government was determined to defend it. “The family is life. Without the family, there is no State. There is no government. There is nothing," he said.

Dr Pat Fagan, a clinical psychologist with US-based think tank the Heritage Foundation, gave a talk explaining the benefits of both religion and marriage.

Citing a number of US studies on the impact of marriage compared to other family forms such as single parent families and divorced parents, Dr Fagan showed that children fared better educationally, financially and emotionally in stable marriages. He also cited studies which showed that the more religiously observant couples were, the more likely they were to stay married.

Dr Fagan went on to point out that divorce had a “flattening effect” on individual incomes. As median incomes tended to rise in response to economic growth, people who had divorced failed to reap similar rewards in comparison to rest of the population.

Marriage also had the effect of raising people out of poverty, he said. Almost 80 per cent of the of people currently below the poverty line in the US would be taken out of poverty if they were married, he insisted. “No Government anti-poverty programme can pull 80 per cent of people out of poverty,” Dr Fagan said. “Only marriage can do that.”

Delegates also heard a talk by Philip Longman, fellow at the New America Foundation, who spoke about the long term decline in global fertility. Explaining that fertility rates were plunging not just in the developed world, but also in developing countries in Africa and the Middle East, Mr Longman said that these trends were wholly exceptional in human history.

However, he said that the trends held something of a silver lining for religiously motivated people. While the average family size was decreasing, religiously observant families made up a disproportionate number of larger families. Since many of the children of such large families would continue to be observant, he argued “the meek may well inherit the earth, if only by default”.

15/05/07

“Lip service” being paid to denominational schools, says Church of Ireland Archbishop

The State is paying lip service to religious schools, according to the Church of Ireland Archbishop of Dublin, Dr John Neill. Department of Education requests that denominational schools double in size almost overnight are endangering the Protestant ethos of his Church's schools.

10/05/07
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Religious freedom still threatened around the world: US State Department

Eleven countries have been designated by the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as engaging in “systematic violations of religious freedom”. The Commission has recommended that Burma, North Korea, Eritrea, Iran, Pakistan, China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam be designated by the US State Department as “countries of particular concern” (CPCs).

10/05/07
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Marriage and the family: a summary of the main parties' positions

With the election just weeks away, here is a summary of the policies of some of the main parties on the questions of tax individualisation, civil partnership and family issues.

09/05/07
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New French President attacks “immorality” of 1968, supports religion

Nicolas Sarkozy, winner of Sunday's French Presidential elections, has signaled his intent to put morality at the heart of public debate. Last week, as he rallied his supporters in the final week of this bitterly contested election, he dared to criticise one of the most cherished memories of the French Left: the student demonstrations of 1968.

08/05/07
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It's official: Stay-at-home mums worth their weight in gold

Research has confirmed what many have known for some time: the work done by housewives is worth a small fortune.

03/05/07
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Ongoing clash between secularists and Islamic democrats

Clashes between Turkey's secularist bureaucratic and military elite and its Islamic ruling Justice and Development party, the AKP, are continuing to convulse the country.

03/05/07
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"The child...shall have the right from birth to a name, the right to acquire a nationality and, as far as possible, the right to know and be cared for by his or her parents."

Article 7. UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.