Arts and Entertainment Damien Hirst,

Damien Hirst has today unveiled a new spot painting based on Disney character Mickey Mouse.

Delay on fate of last tsar

Delay on fate of last tsar

Surrogate mother set for legal battle

The biological father of a surrogate mother's newborn baby has begun a legal battle for custody of the child after she refused to give him up. Kate Watson-Smyth reports on the looming custody battle.

Adoption: If this is your idea of adoption, think again

The chance of adopting a baby in the Nineties is very slim and many prospective parents find the stringent vetting process a shock. But help is at hand, says Kate Hilpern

Letter: Families who suffer in silence

Sir: The Government's decision to review whether more can be done to tackle domestic violence is very welcome (report, 12 August).

Letter: Children can cope with real life

Sir: It may be true that life is more difficult for young people these days: an "ordinary" life has never seemed both less attractive and more difficult to attain for most people ("Eighteen is a dangerous age", 25 July).

Surrogate mother lied about abortion

A surrogate mother who was believed to have aborted a baby she was carrying for a Dutch couple admitted last night that she was still pregnant.

Letter: Mind your language

I have just read your article concerning bad language and children. ("The Language Barrier", Education+, 17 April)

Letter: Assisted failure

Sir: David Woodhead (letter, 1 March) stated that the Assisted Places Scheme costs pounds 117m and enables 40,000 academically able children to achieve up to three grades better at A-level. These figures represent spending of about pounds 3,000 per child compared to state secondary costs of about pounds 2,000.

Snacktime doll warning

Each Cabbage Patch Snacktime Kids doll sold in future will have a label warning parents that its munching mouth can catch a child's hair or fingers, US federal officials and the toy maker Mattel Inc said on Tuesday.

Yawning gap for parents

More than a million parents are suffering the torture of sleep deprivation inflicted by young children.

Sister cleared of killing baby

A woman who grew up thinking she had killed her baby brother when she was a toddler has been told by authorities investigating the case that her stepfather killed him and framed her.

Smacking legacy

Children who are smacked frequently are more likely to think that physical punishment is right, the British Psychological Society heard.

Letter: The uses of mothers-in-law

I read with great sympathy Emma Cook's article on the anguish and confusion of girls who find themselves unexpectedly pregnant ("When you don't want it...", Real Life, 1 September). Even in a supportive family where children are wanted, the changes wrought by pregnancy, particularly in the first few weeks, can be very distressing. Though marriage may not be so fashionable or popular today, it does forge links between families. When I was pregnant and unwell with my much wanted children, I would have found it very hard to cope without the support and encouragement of both my mother and my mother-in-law.

Letter: Right to care for our own children

Sir: Your interesting articles on "holding the baby" (29 August) suffered from the weakness which afflicts all debate on this subject: you did not address the problem of how to enable women to look after their own children. Most mothers of young children do not want to hand their children over to a stranger, however well-qualified, and the only reason they do so is from economic necessity - they have to work in order to maintain their standard of living.

Letters: Places to play

Sir: Stuart Walton (25 June), expressed the anxiety of a growing number of parents and professionals concerned with the long-term health and wellbeing of our children.
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