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Forum rules of use

To ensure that the our forums are a safe, supportive and smooth-running facility for all our users, ourselves and any connected third parties, we have created the following forum rules of use.

  1. Most of our forums are public and the content can be viewed by anyone visiting the our website. 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. Our forums are for adopters, prospective adopters and those interested in adoption to communicate advice, support and knowledge and to respectfully express their opinions in discussions – regardless of their level of adoption experience or time as message board users. All forum users must be respectful of other users' opinions and experiences. We do not tolerate any form of verbal abuse, online bullying or deliberate attempts to initiate tension/arguments on our 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 forums.
  3. You must not include in your message board posts any swearing, offensive or taboo language. However, within reason, we permit 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. Our 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 users on our forums does not reflect the opinions or recommendations of Adoption UK and we 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 our 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. In accordance with copyright laws of Fair Dealing , you may post on our forums small quotes and excerpts of content (poems, songs, articles, extracts from books, journals and magazines, recipes, extracts from external websites, information specifically sourced from a training event ) which is held under intellectual property rights by a third party. However, the author and source of the content must be clearly acknowledged and the content must be deemed appropriate and justified. If you are unsure of the source/owner of the content, please refrain from posting. If the content is your own, please clearly state this.
  8. You may not use our 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, without prior permission from Adoption UK. If you would like to publicise an organisation or website that you run yourself or work/volunteer for, on our forums, please 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 user's behalf.
  9. You may not use our forums to appeal for sponsorship or funds unless you are fundraising for us and have received prior permission from us. If you are fundraising for Adoption UK and would like to share the information on the forums, 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.
  10. You may not use our forums to make media or research requests without prior permission from Adoption UK. Media and research requests should be made through by contacting the Online Team at onlineteam@adoptionuk.org.uk . This is to ensure all requests are genuine and appropriate for the message boards. In cases where requests are granted, the online community moderators will post details on the user's behalf.
  11. Due to important issues surrounding safety and liability, you may not use the Adoption UK message boards 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. 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.
  12. Due to important issues surrounding safety and liability, you may not use our forums to arrange (for either yourself or others) any form of informal, non-Adoption UK 'meet-up' between message board users. We run secure, structured support groups for our 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 one of our support groups, or if you are interested in volunteering to run an Adoption UK support group in your area, please email info@adoptionuk.org.uk. Adoption UK accepts no responsibility for any harm, damage, loss or injury caused as a result of Adoption UK forum users meeting up privately under their own initiative via arrangements made through channels external to the public Adoption UK forums. Where forum users do meet up privately under their own initiative, we would always recommend following the Suzy Lamplugh Trust guidelines on reducing the risks associated with such activities.
  13. You must not impersonate other online users, individuals or any other third parties.
  14. Trolling, in the sense of people/hoaxers with no relation/interest in adoption using our forums for the sole intention of causing trouble/seeking attention, is not tolerated by Adoption UK. Where any suspicious users are noticed the Online Community Team will investigate and reserves the right to permanently ban from our forums anyone found to be 'trolling'.
  15. If 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 forums 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.
  16. We ask that you adhere to the specific topic areas of the Adoption UK forums. Please keep 'off topic' posts (such as discussions on popular culture, the weather, children's toys, recipes etc) to the 'Life in General' board. Also, although we understand that our forums provide a space to discuss issues, please also note that extremely long posts can disrupt the smooth running of the message boards and time spent moderating them can affect the speed at which other issues are dealt with.
  17. By submitting content to the Adoption UK forums, users are granting Adoption UK the right to republish or link to message board posts, without seeking prior permission from the original poster, in other areas of our website, official Adoption UK social media channels, our eNewsletter, and in other printed materials such as magazine articles and special features. Any posts that may be chosen for this purpose will have been deemed to provide useful information or positive experiences that the wider Adoption UK community could benefit from. In the vast majority of cases, only the title of the thread will be used, with an accompanying link to the specific are of the public forum in which it is located. Where posts are republished in full in other Adoption UK materials, they will always remain in their original format so that their message board origin is clear. Please be assured that any decisions to republish posts will be taken with the utmost regard to the sensitivity and appropriateness of the material in the post. This is in line with Adoption UK's Privacy Policy and content will never be passed to any other third parties for reproduction.
  18. 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.

Message Board Moderation

Every post on the forums is read by a team of Adoption UK online community moderators, and moderated where necessary, within 24 hours of it being posted.

Adoption UK online community moderators reserve 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. Adoption UK online community moderators 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, we 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.

The Adoption UK online community moderators' and Adoption UK's decisions are final

Adoption UK does not tolerate any level of verbal abuse directed at either Adoption UK online community moderators, 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 the online community moderators 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 Adoption UK online community moderators' 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.

The Adoption UK forums are available for online users' personal use and, where possible (excluding necessary moderating duties), users are left to discuss topics at their leisure. However, where the Adoption UK moderators become aware of an extreme situation which requires additional/external support (such as a parent/child being in severe distress, a child or vulnerable adult protection issue or any other illegal activity), Adoption UK reserves the right to contact the message board user directly (via the details given at online registration). In addition to this, where details of a situation imply a significant threat to a person or persons Adoption UK reserves the right to contact the necessary authorities/agencies/third parties (irrespective of whether or not the message board user has been informed what action is being taken). This is in line with Adoption UK's existing Privacy Policy and its Child and Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and will only be applied in very extreme circumstances .

Reporting content

If you are concerned about the content of a forum 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 the Adoption UK moderators 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.