My son Elia with his amazing foster mother Treena

This is a photo of my son Elia with his amazing foster mother Treena.  And this is my Lords debate where I argue for a change in the law.  It is CRAZY that the Government is making it harder (in some cases) for incredible foster parents like Treena to help Britain's most vulnerable children.  Treena picked up Elia from hospital at 10 days old, and with her mum Pam, helped him recover from a terribly difficult start in life.  By the time I got Elia at 13 months old, his health and prospects we're transformed.  We should make things easier for foster families like Treena's, not harder.   So here's what I argued:

My Lords this amendment seeks to prevent the introduction of financial disincentives for adoptive parents. I strongly commend the Government’s stated desire to increase adoption rates where adoption is an appropriate outcome for the child concerned. However, recently passed legislation will have the opposite effect, which is why I have tabled this amendment. The noble and learned Baroness, Lady Butler-Sloss, first brought this to my attention, and the Committee reminded itself this afternoon that if she thinks something is a problem, it is a problem.

Hot off the press: here's the report on Adoption that myself and other members of the House of Lords have worked on for many months.

We argue that adoptive parents should receive more support to help them care for vulnerable children. This is because children adopted from care have often experienced neglect and abuse and therefore may have a range of complex needs. There should be a legal obligation on Local Authorities and others to provide post-adoption support to children and adopters, where that support would previously have been paid for by the state: it just isn't fair to expect adoptive parents to pick up the financial price tag (on top of the emotional challenges) from giving a loving home to Britain's most vulnerable children.

As she welcomes a third baby, Oona King talks to Rosamund Urwin about motherhood, the struggles of adoption and why she’ll be voting for her old opponent in the mayoral election. 

Oona King’s local pub in Mile End could scarcely have more appropriate reading material on its loo doors: a list of memorable lines and gaffes from Boris and Ken. Among them is Johnson’s bizarre quip “Voting Tory will cause your wife to have bigger breasts”, and the quote that has come back to haunt Livingstone: “These rich b******s just don’t get it. No one should be allowed to vote in a British election, let alone sit in Parliament, unless they pay their full share of tax.”

A fortnight before my adopted daughter's arrival date, as I set up the cot in the baby's room and excitedly folded nappies and miniature clothes, I took a call from a social worker. Due to a previously overlooked piece of discretionary bureaucracy, she told me matter-of-factly that she might now delay the adoption by as much as a year. I was gripped by rage, horror and helplessness. That is the experience, for one reason or another, of too many prospective adopters. And at the same time vulnerable children languish in care – every extra week that they are separated from their “forever family” makes it harder for them to adjust throughout the rest of their lives.

Earlier this year I stood in the dusty doorway of an African orphanage in the Congo, rage consuming me as I watched two babies moan in pain. They were covered in flies and filth, misery etched on their faces. Their eyes were sealed with mucus. Tiny stick arms hung limply over distended stomachs.

For these children, there was no chance of adoption, let alone a new home with celebrity millionaires. Less than 100 yards away was the room they would move to within the next fortnight. The mortuary.