We Are Family
Terms and Conditions of Membership
We are Family is a peer-to-peer support community by adopters, for adopters. We’re there for families throughout their adoption journey. Online and in person, our parents’ groups, events, resources and talks offer mutual support, information and inspiration to adopters and those considering adoption. We believe that by coming together, sharing our experience and understanding, we can help each other to thrive. Founded and led by adoptive parents, We Are Family reflects and responds to its members, helping them navigate the challenges and joys that adoption brings [See the becoming a member section of our website for more information].
The word ‘event’ in these Terms and Conditions covers both live events and virtual or online events. Online events include talks and webinars (both live and recorded), and support sessions provided through an online meeting platform.
Your Membership is provided by We Are Family, a charitable incorporated organisation registered with the Charity Commission of England and Wales with number 1163318. Our registered office is at 27 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AY.
In order to become a We Are Family Member, register on our database, or use our services you must confirm that you have read, understood and agreed to these Terms and Conditions, so it’s important you read them carefully and check that all the information you give us is accurate. If you have any questions about these Terms and Conditions, or anything else regarding the Membership process, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Becoming a We Are Family Member
1. Membership is free and for individuals only so each adoptive or prospective adoptive parent should make their own application. Please ensure that all the information you provide We Are Family is correct at the time of submission.
2. 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.
A member who is an approved adopter (with adopted children) is able to validate their partner (e.g. a step-parent or partner who cannot officially be validated by a social worker or official paperwork) to become a full member of We Are Family.
Typically, the membership stages are:
- 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.
In order to ensure 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.
3. By submitting your application, you agree that We Are Family can carry out identity checks to confirm that you are in the process of adopting a child or have done so. We cannot take your membership application further (from stage 2 onwards) until your identity and your adoption status has been confirmed (at stage 2, 3 or 4 or as a partner of an adopter), usually by a social worker, but in some cases through self-evidencing or partner validation.
4. When you apply to become a We Are Family Member you may choose to join one or more local or pan-We Are Family groups (from stage 2 onwards). We Are Family offers groups which operate in various local areas and some which are designed for particular types of Member (e.g. Singles). 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.
5. Each Member is responsible for keeping his or her own Member account details up to date. You may change your account details, including which We Are Family groups you belong to, at any time either by logging into your account or, if you cannot do this, by contacting email@example.com.
6. You can choose to stop being a Member at any time (See Ending your Relationship with We Are Family].
7. Being a We Are Family Member does not give you any rights under our constitution, this means, for instance, that you can’t elect board members.
We Are Family Programmes and Events
8. We Are Family offers a variety of programmes, events and information to its members, including:
- Face to face and online 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.
9. When you participate in a We Are Family event, you must follow these rules:
- Members must ensure that they always respect the privacy of other Members. You must never share confidential information about another Member or his or her family without consent. For example, you may not:
- take photographs or other images of an adult or a child during a We Are Family event without the permission of the adult or the child’s parent;
- publish, disclose or use photographs or other images without the permission of the adult or parent; or
- refer to who attends sessions.
- Anything that is said within a We Are Family activity or event must stay within the group and must remain confidential;
- Listen, but don’t give advice, the groups are not intended as therapy sessions;
- Be respectful of others’ emotional space and avoid interrupting;
- Please do your best to arrive/join on time.
10. If you decide to set up or join a group-messaging arrangement (for example, WhatsApp) to communicate with other Members in relation to We Are Family or We Are Family-related activities, you acknowledge that you do so independently of We Are Family and that We Are Family has no responsibility for the content or security of the messages.
11. By participating in a We Are Family event in person, or online, you acknowledge that We Are Family has no responsibility for any unauthorised photographs or other images, or for any unauthorised use of authorised images.
12. Providing information about training opportunities or other services does not imply any endorsement by We Are Family.
13. Each local We Are Family group organises its own events, based on its Members’ wishes and the group’s resources. Because of this, not all We Are Family local groups offer the same selection of events and each group’s selection may change from time to time. We Are Family cannot guarantee that any event or service will continue to be available or that arrangements like frequency, location and timing will stay the same.
14. There may be times when a planned We Are Family event needs to be cancelled or changed, possibly at short notice. While we will try to let affected Members know sufficiently in advance about any cancellation or other change, we cannot guarantee that we will always be able to do so. You acknowledge that We Are Family will not be responsible for any expenses or other losses that you may incur if an event is cancelled or changed.
15. Most We Are Family events and services are run by volunteers, who are also adoptive parents or prospective adopters, and we may need to alter or amend activities depending on their availability. Volunteers may be unable to respond immediately to questions or issues raised by Members.
16. If you bring a child to a We Are Family event, you retain full responsibility for that child and you acknowledge that We Are Family is not able to accept any responsibility for the child’s welfare or safety. Please see We Are Family’s policy and procedures about safeguarding.
Attending Events with Non-Members
17. 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.
18. 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.
19. 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 (See point 13).
20. If your partner (who is not a We Are Family Member) or anyone else you invite to participate in a We Are Family event or use any service provided by us, acts in a way which would be a breach of these Terms and Conditions, we may bar that person from using any or all of our services or participating in We Are Family events going forward.
Respect, Confidentiality, Policies and Procedures
21. We Are Family Members must treat each other with respect and dignity at all times. This includes making sure that no-one is discriminated against for any reason, including on the basis of age, gender, sexual orientation or identity, race, religion or disability.
22. All Members must comply with We Are Family’s policies and procedures. These are aimed at protecting Members and their families and enabling We Are Family to operate effectively and properly. These include policies and procedures about privacy, confidentiality, health and safety, and safeguarding. To read all our policies and procedures visit our website.
23. We Are Family takes its duty to protect any personal information which it holds about Members and their families seriously. This includes personal information that you may provide when you apply for Membership and that we may collect about you afterwards. For further details about the types of personal information that we collect, how we use and protect it, and what your rights are in relation to it, please see We Are Family’s Privacy Notice.
Social media, websites and online meeting platforms
24. Other than personal information that We Are Family may hold in accordance with its Privacy Notice, anything which you disclose, submit or offer to We Are Family on or through the website, the member hub, during any online event or otherwise will become and stay the property of We Are Family once submitted (unless already the property of someone else). This includes comments, blogs, feedback, suggestions, questions, ideas, artwork, images and any other submissions (collectively called ‘Submissions’). You must promise that you own or have the right to use any Submissions.
26. Submissions must not include:
- abusive, offensive or otherwise inappropriate language;
- profane, spiteful, racist, sexually explicit, sexually gratuitous or discriminatory comments or content that might otherwise be considered to be harassment, abuse or threats against the personal safety or property of others;
- remarks that repeat criminal accusations, false, defamatory or misleading statements;
- material which impersonates others or personal information about anyone, including yourself, such as telephone numbers, postal addresses or credit card numbers;
- spam or advertising;
- third-party brand names or trademarks; or
- HTML code or computer script.
27. We Are Family may decide not to publish any Submission or to remove or edit it, or to take any appropriate action it decides is necessary if the Submission, including any Submission on a third-party site or made through an online meeting platform, does not comply with these Terms and Conditions. Please let us know if you see any Submission that does not comply with our rules.
28. Participation in an online event may involve you disclosing information, including personal information, to the online meeting platform provider. How this is held and used will be determined by the terms and conditions of the relevant provider and is not the responsibility of We Are Family.
29. We Are Family records WAF Talks webinars to make them available to Members afterwards. Other events or meetings may be recorded but notice of this will always be given in advance. You should take account of this, along with the nature of each online event, in deciding how you participate in it (for example, whether you are visible to other participants and how your identity is shown).
Ending or suspending your We Are Family membership
30. We Are Family may end or suspend your We Are Family membership or limit your access to any or all of We Are Family’s services or events, if it has reasonable grounds to do so. Reasonable grounds include breaking any of these Terms and Conditions. We Are Family will notify you of any termination, suspension or limitation, which will usually take effect immediately.
31. We Are Family reserves the right to end the membership of an adopter’s partner (who was validated for membership by the partner, as a non-adoptive parent to their adopted children) should the relationship end and membership of We Are Family become inappropriate for the ex-partner of the adopter. In this case, you need to contact We Are Family by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
32. You may terminate your We Are Family membership at any time by sending an email to email@example.com.
Supporting We Are Family
33. You are encouraged to put forward your ideas about improving what We Are Family does or to volunteer in running any of the services and events the charity provides. You may also support We Are Family’s operation as a charity by applying to become a We Are Family trustee or working on a board committee or working group.
34. If you would like to apply to be a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Appointments to volunteer roles may be subject to suitability assessments.
35. All We Are Family volunteers must comply with these Terms and Conditions as well as the specific policies and procedures applicable to them. We Are Family provides training for volunteers relevant to their roles, including about the use of personal information held under our Privacy Notice.
36. To help us improve and develop our services, we may send you survey requests. We will only use your responses as described in our Privacy Notice.
37. We hope that any issues which might arise between a Member and We Are Family can be resolved informally and in a constructive manner. However, any Member may formally raise any concerns about any We Are Family event or service or any person working for We Are Family as a trustee, volunteer or staff member under We Are Family’s Complaints Policy [see website for more information].
Changes to Terms and Conditions
38. We Are Family may change these Terms and Conditions from time to time. Any changes will be notified to members by email and will apply from the date of notification. By using our website, the member hub or continuing to make use of your We Are Family membership, you will be treated as agreeing to any changes to our Terms and Conditions.
Updated July 2021