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To help with any questions that you may have about We Are Family membership, we have put together a list of FAQs. For any questions that have not been answered below, please email
hello@wearefamilyadoption.org.uk 

MEMBERSHIP 

What kind of services can I expect from We Are Family membership? 

We Are Family offers a variety of programmes, events and information to its members, including:

  • Face to face and online peer-support events run by We Are Family local groups;
  • Online events for all Members, such as WAF Talks webinars and thematic support groups
  • The Member Hub, which provides access to our webinars on-demand, articles of interest to our members, and information about adoption-related training and news;
  • Our blog, which is available on the We Are Family website.

How do the different stages work? 

Membership is open to anyone at Stage 1 (exploring) and beyond, and members at each stage will receive tailored services and communications that are more relevant to their specific needs at the point in the adoption journey at which it is useful.  For example, members at:

  • Stage 1 (exploring, considering adoption, Stage 1 of assessment process) will have access to selected resources and a regular newsletter.
  • Stage 2 (prospective, Stage 2 of assessment process) will be able to access resources, attend talks and specific peer support groups and events.
  • Stage 3 (approved adopter, family finding, pre-placement) will be able to access resources, attend talks and specific events aimed at family-finding peer support.
  • Stage 4 (approved adopter with child/ren placed) will have full access to all of our services including peer support sessions and participation in family friendly events.

Some events are open to multiple stages and we are working on plans to connect members with other adopter / prospective adopters in their area. 

Is membership free? 

Yes, membership is and always will be free.

How do I join? 

There are now multiple ways that you can join We Are Family membership: 

  • Route A – Social Worker validation: Your social worker, or authorised professional, can validate your adoption status. This is the primary route and should be used for all members that can validate this way. 
  • Route B – Self-evidencing: For those that may no longer have contact with their Assessing Authority / Adoption Agency (e.g. they adopted some years ago). In these cases only, we have a “self-evidencing” process which can be used. Full details will be provided within the sign-up process.

If none of these processes will work for your unique circumstances then please contact us directly.

I live / adopted outside of the UK, can I still join?

Membership is open to anyone who is going through or has been through the UK adoption process, has adopted outside the UK and is now resident in the UK, or was previously resident in the UK and a validated member who has since moved abroad.

I adopted a while ago, can I still join / my adopted children are now over 18, can I still join?

Yes, membership is open to anyone who is going through or who has been through the UK adoption process, has adopted outside the UK and is now resident in the UK, or was previously resident in the UK and a validated member who has since moved abroad.

Does my partner automatically get access to membership if I sign up on our behalf? 

No, membership is for individuals only so each adoptive or prospective adoptive parents should make their own application. 

We encourage partners to become full members in their own right in order to have access to all of the relevant services, and to grow our membership numbers which in turn increases We Are Family’s ability to be considered an important advocate for adopter’s voices. 

What does partner linking mean? 

To speed up the process to validate an adoptive partner, you can input your partner’s email and you will therefore become a “linked account”.

Each partner will still need to create individual accounts to become a member in their own right. 

Do I need to join a local group? 

No, you do not need to join a local group but we would encourage you to consider joining one or more local or pan-We Are Family groups (from stage 2 onwards) as this is how you access the online and in-person peer support groups. 

We Are Family offers groups which allow you to interact with others in your local area, and some which are designed for particular types of members (e.g. single adopters). When you join a group, you will be added to that group’s e-mailing list. You may change your group choices at any time. 

Please note that you can join whichever group is geographically closest to you; you do not have to live in the borough of the group that you choose to join. 

What events does each We Are Family group put on?

Each We Are Family group puts on a range of different events depending on what its members want and what its volunteers can do. Typically a group will run support groups for adoptive parents, family get-togethers, parent social events and information evenings about adoption related topics.

If I don’t join a local group, how do I access programmes and services? 

Each member that joins We Are Family will receive a digital welcome note, providing further information about how to get the most out of membership, and will be invited to join our next New Member Event. These are online sessions and a brilliant opportunity to meet the team, learn more about the membership and services, and connect with fellow adopters. 

Any member that joins a local or pan-We Are Family group will also receive emails from the relevant group. 

You will need to consent to receive emails from us, in order to receive central emails about upcoming events, training, opportunities and more. This is the best way that you access our full programme and services. 

How can I sign up to attend a WAF Talks webinar? 

To join an upcoming webinar, you will need to have a Zoom account and to have installed the Zoom app. Once you have this set up, you can then register for the webinar by clicking on the webinar below, clicking on the “Register Here” button and filling out your details. Once you have registered you will receive a confirmation email. You will receive another email 1 hour before the webinar starts which includes the link for you to join the webinar and the passcode that you will need to provide.

What happens if I miss a WAF Talks webinar? 

All of our webinars are recorded and available to watch “on demand” via the Member Hub. To find the recording, visit the Member Hub, use the search bar to navigate to the WAF Talk or a topic of your choice e.g. ‘therapeutic parenting’. Next, click on the webinar then the “Watch Here” button, provide your details and the webinar will start to play.

What is the Member Hub?

The Member Hub is where we store our vast collection of resources, training opportunities and expert webinars to watch on-demand. Explore the Member Hub here. 

Can I bring a guest to events? 

Where advertised as such, participation in some events is for Members only. This means that any partner who does not join We Are Family will have limited access to our events and services.

We recommend, therefore, that if a couple have adopted together or are in the adopter-approval process together, both become Members so you can fully benefit from what We Are Family offers. 

Some events are intended for Members accompanied by their children, their partner (who is not a We Are Family member) and extended family members. In these cases, you are responsible for the behaviour of anyone participating in a We Are Family event with you and you must ensure that the person is aware of We Are Family’s rules for its events. 

Read the We Are Family Terms and Conditions for further details. 

You can choose to receive blog updates separately and can update your mailing list preferences at any time via your Member Account, found within the Member Hub. 

How do I tell you if my adoption status changes? 

To ensure that we let you know about the most appropriate services and events for whatever stage you’re at in the adoption process, we encourage you to let us know if/when your stage changes by updating your Member Account, found within the Member Hub. 

What do I do if I want to end my We Are Family membership? 

To end your We Are Family membership, please email database@wearefamilyadoption.org.uk.

I have a peer that would like to join – what should I send them?

Please direct them to follow the steps on the Join us page. 

YOUR MONITORING INFORMATION

Why do you ask questions about my gender, ethnic origins and sexual orientation?

This information will be used only for analytical purposes.  We need to know whether our membership reflects the actual make-up of adopters. For example, we need to be able to work out what proportion of our members are from minority ethnic groups so check we are reaching everyone who might want to use our services. From time to time, We Are Family also makes funding requests to funding bodies. Often we are asked to provide supporting information to demonstrate that what we do helps different groups of people. We will never share information about specific members and any supporting information we provide would consist only of reports summarising information rather than showing individual personal data.  

Why do you ask how many children I have adopted?

This is an optional question and it helps We Are Family understand who its members are and how they can support them.  We do not collect any personal information about adopted children and all information is treated confidentially.  

You are asking me to provide the details of my assessing authority – is that for me, or for my child / the adoption? 

When you join We Are Family, we ask you to provide the name of the assessing authority that is assessing you as a potential adopter / has assessed you as an adopter. 

Please select this from the list provided of the new regional or voluntary adoption agencies. If your assessing authority is not on the list, please type it into the ‘other’ assessing authority.

Please note: for those applying for Stage 4 membership, this question is not asking for the ‘placing authority’ (which is the local authority where the child is from and was a Looked After Child, before and immediately after their placement with their adoptive family.)

YOUR MAILING LIST & CONTACT PREFERENCES

I am a prospective adopter – is there anything particular for me?

Yes, you can also join our prospective adopter group, which has its own events, as well as a local group.

I am a single adopter – is there anything particular for me?

Yes, you can also join one of our single adopter groups, which have their own events, as well as a local group.

What happens if I don’t consent to receiving emails from We Are Family? 

Being on our email list enables you to make the most of your membership. It’s the best way to hear about what’s going on and how you can get involved. You are of course welcome to opt-out, however you won’t receive any emails from We Are Family about our resources, webinars, events and training. 

You can choose to receive blog updates separately and can update your mailing list preferences at any time via your Member Account, found within the Member Hub. 

To end your We Are Family membership, please email database@wearefamilyadoption.org.uk.

PROTECTING YOUR PRIVACY & TERMS OF MEMBERSHIP

What will you do with my personal information?

We treat taking care of any information you have given us extremely seriously. We will only use your personal information for the purposes we have stated. You can find out more about how we keep and use your personal information in our Privacy Policy which can be found on our website.

How do I know my information is safe?

Information security is of the highest importance to We Are Family and we have taken steps to ensure that your data is fully protected:

  • Our database centralises all our member data, so it exists in only one place which has even tighter controls over access.
  • Very limited personal information which could identify you is required in the registration process. For example, we only ask for an email address, not a postal address or telephone number. We do not ask for any children’s names, of course. And you can choose whether to answer many of the questions too.
  • We have recently reviewed our privacy policy which clearly sets out how we use and store your personal information.  We will never share any personal details without your explicit permission, and if we prepare any internal reports, data is anonymised and aggregated, meaning that no individual details are ever included. 

Read our full Privacy Notice.

Why do you ask for my proof of status as an adopter and what do you do with the documents that I provide?

If you are applying for Stage 4 membership, you are given the choice of being able to “self-evidence” your application (rather than asking your social worker to).  This option is available to you if you are joining at Stage 4  and may have already adopted (in some cases, this could have been a long time ago) and therefore you may no longer have contact with your Social Worker.

“Self-evidencing” means that you are asked to provide evidence that you have already adopted, and proof of your identity.  We Are Family asks for this as a simple security step so that they know that applicants are genuine adopters.  

Once you have uploaded your documents, We Are Family will review the application and, providing there are no questions, we will “validate” the application and you will then be notified that your application has been approved.  

The action of validating the application automatically removes the documents from the system so that no confidential or sensitive information is retained.

OTHER FAQS

Is We Are Family a charity?

Yes, We Are Family is a charitable incorporated organisation, registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales with charity number 1163318.

We were founded in 2013 by adopters who had experienced first-hand the lack of peer support available. Becoming a family through adoption can bring its own unique set of challenges, as your child joins your family with an identity and a history of their own. Sharing problems, insights, frustrations and laughs with other people who have similar experiences can be invaluable.

Can I make a donation? 

Yes. Adoption can bring a lot of joy, but also significant challenges.

Post-adoption support often doesn’t meet the complex needs of adoptive families who helping their children overcome the significant impacts of early trauma. Since 2013, We Are Family has provided peer support to adopters, no matter where they are on their journey. Our parent groups, webinars, articles and other resources provide community, information and inspiration to anyone navigating the world of adoption.

We’re growing and having to adapt to meet the challenges this brings. We’re proud to offer our services for free, but we need donations to make this possible. Making a donation at a level that you can afford will help us to expand our services and ensure we can be there for every adopter that needs us, no matter where they are on their journey.

Thank you for your support. 

I am having problems registering

If you have any problems with your registration, you can email itsupport@wearefamilyadoption.org.uk for help. 

For any questions that have not been answered above, please email hello@wearefamilyadoption.org.uk