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Adopter Voice - Forum rules of use

To ensure that the Adopter Voice message boards are a safe, respectful and smooth-running facility for all users, Adoption UK and any connected third parties, we have created the following Rules of Use:

  1. The Adopter Voice forums are not private forums. Anyone with an online account can select to view up to five of the forums. To protect your identity and security, we therefore ask that you remain completely anonymous on the message boards and do not divulge any identifiable details about yourself, your family or any other third parties (for example: do not include names, locations, contact details, schools attended etc). We ask that you always use your anonymous online username (created at registration) and that you create additional online nicknames for family members, as required.
  2. The Adopter Voice forums are for adopters, prospective adopters and those interested in adoption to report experiences, good and bad, to discuss suggestions on how to improve services, locally and nationally, and to respectfully express their opinions in discussions – regardless of their level of adoption experience or time as message board users. All message board users must be respectful of other users' opinions and experiences. Adoption UK does not tolerate any form of verbal abuse, online bullying or deliberate attempts to initiate tension/arguments on the Adopter Voice forums. Any user found to break this rule will receive a formal warning and/or, in extreme or persistent cases of this rule break, may be suspended/banned from the Adopter Voice forums.
  3. You must not include in your message board posts any swearing, offensive or taboo language. However, within reason, Adoption UK permits the use of part-asterisked (*) words only to describe extreme situations. Nonetheless, extensive asterisked swearing, or implied swearing at other message board users, is not permitted.
  4. The Adopter Voice forums must not be used to post or link to any material that is: illegal, defamatory, threatening, offensive, abusive, obscene, racially, sexually or otherwise discriminatory, knowingly or potentially inaccurate, libellous, anything that could encourage or constitute a criminal offence, anything that gives rise to civil liability or causes harm, loss or suffering, anything objectionable of any nature or anything else which disrupts the smooth running of the message boards.
  5. Information or opinions posted by message board users on the Adopter Voice forums do not reflect the opinions or recommendations of Adoption UK and Adoption UK cannot be held responsible for any consequences that may arise from the content of message board users' posts. We therefore ask that message board users also carefully consider the content which you post on the boards as message board users are fully responsible (and potentially legally liable) for any consequences that occur as a result of the content of their posts.
  6. Even though anonymous usernames/nicknames are used on the Adopter Voice forums, we also ask that message board users carefully consider the level of information that is shared about their children's histories and backgrounds. This is out of respect for the children as, in many cases, the information is their information to share if/when they choose to and, even where anonymised, it may not be appropriate or fair to a child for a parent to share details about their past on an online forum.
  7. You may not use the Adopter Voice forums to promote, link to or gain support for an external organisation or website that you either run yourself or work/volunteer for, whether the organisation or website is commercial or not-for-profit. Please contact Adoption UK if you would like to publicise an organisation or website that you run yourself or work/volunteer for, on the main Adoption UK support forums. Contact the Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk with this request. In cases where requests are granted, the online community moderators will post details on the main Adoption UK support forums on the user's behalf.
  8. You may not use the Adopter Voice forums to appeal for sponsorship or funds. If you are fundraising for Adoption UK and have received prior permission from Adoption UK we are happy to post the information on the main Adoption UK support forums. If you are fundraising for Adoption UK and would like to share the information on the Adoption UK message boards, please contact the Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk with your request. The online community moderators will then post details on the user's behalf.
  9. You may not use the Adopter Voice forums to make media or research requests. Media and research requests should be made through Adoption UK by contacting the Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk and, if permission is granted, requests will be posted on the main Adoption UK support forums on the user's behalf.
  10. Due to important issues surrounding safety and liability, you may not use the Adopter Voice forums to promote non-Adoption UK events or organised activities without prior permission from Adoption UK. Requests should be made through Adoption UK by contacting the Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk (please note, where non-Adoption UK events run as part of a series or on an annual basis, permission must be sought from Adoption UK for each occurrence of the event).Requests to promote events which are deemed by Adoption UK to be genuine, meet certain safety requirements and are complementary to Adoption UK's existing services of work, will be granted and the details posted by Adoption UK moderators on behalf of the user on the main Adoption UK support forums. However, where there is concern surrounding the genuineness or safety of an event, or where an event is deemed not to compliment Adoption UK's existing services of work, requests to promote the event on the message boards will not be granted. Adoption UK runs secure, structured events and activities for its members and non-members including training events, family days and support groups. For more information on Adoption UK events, please contact the Events team at events@adoptionuk.org.uk Adoption UK accepts no responsibility for any harm, damage, loss or injury caused as a result of message board users attending non-Adoption UK events which are promoted on the Adoption UK message boards.
  11. Due to important issues surrounding safety and liability, you may not use the Adopter Voice forums to arrange (for either yourself or others) any form of informal, non-Adoption UK 'meet-up' between message board users. Adoption UK runs secure, structured support groups for its members. If you are not a member of Adoption UK you are welcome to attend an initial meeting as a guest before deciding whether or not to join fully. For more information on the location of and how to attend Adoption UK support groups, or if you are interested in volunteering to run an Adoption UK support group in your area, please visit our Volunteering page for more information. Adoption UK accepts no responsibility for any harm, damage, loss or injury caused as a result of Adoption UK message board users meeting up privately under their own initiative via arrangements made through channels external to the public Adoption UK message boards. Where message board users do meet up privately under their own initiative, Adoption UK would always recommend following the Suzy Lamplugh Trust guidelines on reducing the risks associated with such activities.
  12. You must not impersonate other online users, individuals or any other third parties.
  13. Trolling, in the sense of people/hoaxers with no relation/interest in adoption using the Adopter Voice forums for the sole intention of causing trouble/seeking attention, is not tolerated by Adoption UK. Where any suspicious users are noticed Adoption UK will investigate and reserves the right to permanently ban from the Adopter Voice forums anyone found to be 'trolling'.
  14. If Adopter Voice forum users suspect that another user is a 'troll', they should report their suspicions to the online community moderators by either using the 'reported topic' function on the message boards or by emailing onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk . It is not acceptable to (directly or indirectly) publicly suggest that another user is a 'troll'. Where any users do publicly suggest this, their post(s) will be removed and they will receive a formal warning in accordance with rule two of these Rules of Use.
  15. By submitting content to the Adopter Voice forums, users are granting Adoption UK the right to use or link to message board posts, without seeking prior permission from the original poster, in feedback to external stakeholders, in other areas of the Adoption UK website, official Adoption UK social media channels, Adoption UK eNewsletter, reports and in other printed Adoption UK materials such as magazine articles and special features. Any content submitted to external stakeholders will be anonymised.
  16. You must not partake in any activity which involves spamming, hacking, altering or adding to message board coding, exploiting code bugs or applying automatic scripts.

Forum moderation

Adoption UK will maintain oversight of content posted on the website but will not read every post.

Adoption UK reserves the right, without prior notice, to remove, edit or move any posts which are deemed to break any of the Rules of Use listed above. We will, in most cases but not necessarily all, private message users involved to advise why posts have been removed/edited.

In instances of serious/persistent breaches of the Rules of Use, Adoption UK will issue a formal warning and operates on a 'three strikes' policy. Adoption UK reserves the right to temporarily suspend an online user's profile or permanently ban users from posting on the message boards. In the case of the latter, subsequent attempts to re-register as a user of the message boards by a banned user, will be blocked.

Adoption UK's decisions are final.

Adoption UK does not tolerate any level of verbal abuse directed at either Adoption UK staff users, based on them individually or on their moderating decisions, or towards

Adoption UK as an organisation. Any message board users who do verbally abuse either Adoption UK staff or Adoption UK as an organisation will receive a formal warning and/or, in extreme cases, may be suspended/banned from the boards.

If you do wish to complain about either an Adoption UK staff member's responses/decisions or responses/decisions made on the boards by Adoption UK directly, then please refer to our Complaints Policy and Procedure or contact the Online Team directly at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk

Any threads discussing previous moderating decisions or Adoption UK decisions/responses may be closed by moderators.
Reporting Adopter Voice forum content

If you are concerned about the content of a message board post, either by another user or yourself, please use the 'report this post' link located underneath the post in question. This reported post system is anonymous. Adoption UK will only respond directly to a report if the reporter has included their online username and/or if a reply is deemed necessary by the online community moderators and/or Adoption UK. Deliberate misuse of the reported topic facility is not permitted. Alternatively, you can report posts to Adoption UK in the first instance at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk

If you have any further queries regarding these Rules of Use, please contact the Adoption UK Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk

Adoption UK reserves the right to change, edit or update these Rules of Use at any given date and without prior notice.

Please read Adoption UK's main Terms and Conditions which accompany these Rules of Use.

June 2015