Member Meet-ups: Chat, support, share frustrations and find a friendly face

We will be holding at least two UK wide member meet-ups per week - all free as part of your membership to AUK. For now we have included below the first two weeks of meet ups, which can be joined simply by clicking on the links below. 
If you have any problems please get in touch via: [email protected]

Please note that the name you register with for each event below will appear on screen next to your video image, so if you don't want your full name shown please register using a pseudonym

Links to register for an event/webinar can only be viewed if logged in as a member. When logged in you will be able to click on the button below of the event/webinar to register.

Login now to view booking links


Tuesday 4th August - Adoption UK members' meet-up - UK-wide at 8pm:

Click here to register


Thursday 6th August - Adoption UK meet-up for all prospective adopters - UK-wide at 11am:

Click here to register - this meet-up is open to everyone


Monday 10th August - Adoption UK meet-up for all prospective adopters - UK-wide at 8pm:

Click here to register - this meet-up is open to everyone


Thursday 13th August - Adoption UK members' meet-up - UK-wide at 11am:

Click here to register


Expert voices - A series of webinars from specialists in the adoption sector

We have lined up a number of fantastic speakers who will be hosting truly inspiring and supportive free webinars for our members to enjoy. Below are the details of the webinars coming up in the next few weeks and further details will be sent to you in due course. 

To register for a place on any of these webinars simply click the links and if you have any problems then please contact the membership team


Friday 31st July at 11am

Peggy and Laura: Two Good Mums

Click here to register

Two Good Mums is a podcast about the shared adoption journey of a first mother Laura and an adoptive mother Peggy

Laura’s children, ‘CJ’ and ‘RJ’, were removed from her care and adopted by Peggy and her husband. Over more than a decade, the two mums developed a friendship based on their shared goal of doing the best for their boys. Over the course of the podcast they discuss how they met, began direct email contact and then face-to-face meet-ups.

Laura and Peggy are passionate about promoting the benefits of post-adoption contact and keen to share their experience to help others think about how it might, or might not, work for them. For the webinar, they’ll be talking about how their post-adoption contact evolved and what made it work. There’s no assumption, or expectation, that the webinar audience will have already listened to the podcast.


Monday 3rd August at 11am

Helen Oakwater: Expectations, Disappointment and Happiness within adoption

Click here to register

Disappointment takes a lot of planning. Unrealistic and rigid expectations can lead to frustration, anger, sadness and worse.
In this webinar Helen will offer concepts, models and tools to support you being more flexible, enabling you to embrace the inevitable changes and challenges which adoption brings. It will illustrate reasons for rethinking your approach and actions for everyone’s benefit.

Whether you are an experienced adopter or just thinking about adoption, there will be useful information, models, tools and practical strategies for you and your children including:
• the power of preframing and reframing
• practical change models
• how you can change your responses and why it’s so important
• benefit of stepping into other people’s shoes
• avoiding the enemies to happiness
• parenting models


Helen Oakwater is an adoptive parent, coach, trainer, speaker and author.

She adopted a sibling group in the early 90s, held various roles in the adoption field including membership of Government Task Force, two LA adoption panels, Adoption UK Local Coordinator and Trustee.

Naturally curious, she searched diverse fields to understand her children’s behaviour, tools for healing and her own personal development. This includes global travel to learn from the best, deliver workshops internationally and have some fun. She is a Coach, NLP Trainer, IEMT Practitioner, and mBIT Master Coach.


Wednesday 5th August at 10am

Rachel Swanick from Chroma - Interactive Music, Art and Drama event for the whole family. 

Click here to register

Rachel is from Chroma; they help people to realise their potential through creativity. 
This interactive webinar is aimed at over 7-year olds.

The events encourage communication and well-being, with four ten-minute activities: 
• Music 
• Art  
• Drama  
• Guided Meditation 

The resources you'll want to have to hand for this session: 
• Music – a homemade shaker (rice or dried beans or lego blocks in a bottle), or hand held musical instrument 
• Art – paper or notebook and colouring materials 
• Drama – paper and colouring materials 
• Guided Meditation – a comfy blanket and pillow 

As well as:

  • Voices for music
  • A white wall in a darkish space
  • A torch or lamp (with an adult!)
  • Plastic or hard toys such as action figures, Barbies, Playmobil, Lego


Find out more about Chroma's work here: https://wearechroma.com/education/ 


Thursday 6th August at 2pm

Childnet: Making the internet a safe place for your child

Click here to register - this webinar is open to all

We are very lucky to be working in partnership with them to share useful advice, tips and tangible learning on how, as parents, we can support our children to use the internet and wider digital world in a safe and enjoyable way.

We will be joined by Phoebe and Ellie from Childnet, who will take us through all the pitfalls and opportunities of social media, online gaming, the internet and more, with specific relevance to the importance of safeguarding adopted children and young people and ourselves as parents.

There will be the opportunity to ask questions of these experts and the session will be co-hosted by Adoption UK's Digital Engagement Manager Charlotte and Director of Membership Rob Langley-Swain.

This webinar is open to members and non-members of Adoption UK.


Monday 10th August at 11am

Katy Perry - Getting education right for my girls

Click here to register

Katy is a single adopter. Her twins came home in 2016 then aged 4. Her journey so far has been pretty smooth sailing, but education has been one of the hardest areas to get right.

In this webinar she’ll take us through her experiences, including mainstream schooling, independent education provision, flexischooling, home educating and alternative provision!


Tuesday 11th August at 11am

Susan Darker Smith: Blocked Care

Click here to register

Blocked care/parenting is a state parents can enter when prolonged stress suppresses their capacity to sustain loving and empathic feelings towards their child.

Susan Darker-Smith is an accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, an accredited EMDR Consultant & a Europe accredited Child & Adolescent EMDR Trainer. She specialises in complex trauma and works with child populations. She is a founding member and active Trustee of the Trauma Response Network - UK and runs her own business: Child Trauma Therapy Centre - a centre of excellence for children and families recovering from psychological trauma.


Wednesday 12th August at 10am

Rachel Swanick from Chroma - Interactive Music, Art and Drama event for the whole family. 

Click here to register

Rachel is from Chroma; they help people to realise their potential through creativity. 
This interactive webinar is aimed at over 7-year olds.

The events encourage communication and well-being, with four ten-minute activities: 
• Music 
• Art  
• Drama  
• Guided Meditation 

The resources you'll want to have to hand for this session: 
• Music – a homemade shaker (rice or dried beans or lego blocks in a bottle), or hand held musical instrument 
• Art – paper or notebook and colouring materials 
• Drama – paper and colouring materials 
• Guided Meditation – a comfy blanket and pillow 

This is a garden/outdoor session. You will also need:

  • Up to 5 glass jars (empty and clean)
  • Stones, mud, grass, leaves
  • Two sticks (drumstick sized) per person
  • Cardboard
  • More leaves, flowers, grass


Find out more about Chroma's work here: https://wearechroma.com/education/ 


Wednesday 12th August at 8pm

Ans Aspden and Ann Bell: Adult adoptees

Click here to register

Ann Bell is the Director of Adoption UK Cymru. She lives in Swansea and is an adoptive parent of a 13 year old boy who was initially placed in foster care with her and her partner Sally. Ann was adopted as an infant and met her mother’s side of her birth family again when she was 21. She is still trying to trace her father’s side!
Ann sits on the National Adoption Service (NAS) Advisory Board and represents the NAS on the National Strategic Group for raising the attainment of looked after and previously looked after children and has written a number of publications to support adopted children in school. She is currently part of a work stream set up by Welsh Government to look at early help to support mental health in young people.

Ans Aspden is a volunteer with Adoption UK Cymru. Ans was born in Cardiff and placed into foster care at birth; she was adopted by a loving family as an infant and grew up in Swansea valley. After 12 years of searching, Ans met both her father and mother’s side of her birth family again when she was in her early 30s. Today, Ans lives in Cardiff with her husband Dave; 5 children, 2 grandchildren and 3 dogs.
Ans runs an adult adoptee group who meet online monthly, and is keen to continue exploring ways of capturing learning and sharing knowledge between fellow adult adoptees and adopters.