Watch this short film to find out how adoption has changed over the decades.

We Are Family

We Are Family is a peer to peer support community by adopters, for adopters. For 10 years they have supported families throughout their adoption journey. Online and in person, parents’ groups, events, resources and talks offering mutual support, information and inspiration to adopters and those considering adoption.


Support for adoptive families

We Are Family believe that by coming together, sharing experience and understanding, adopters 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.

We Are Family partner with Adopt London to provide WAF Talks, the successful webinar programme for adoptive parents. Specialist webinars run for We Are Family members throughout the year and can be watched back at any time after the event through the Member Hub.

Membership is free and open to families from Stage One of the UK adoption process and anyone who has had a child placed or adopted (check to see which level of membership you are eligible for). To join WAF Talks live or watch any of the talks on demand, as well as to access support groups and resources please join here. If you are already a member and want to register for a talk log in here.

WAF Talks Anniversary Specials

We Are Family marks it’s 10th anniversary of providing digital and in-person support to adopters and prospective adopters. As part of these celebrations, they are hosting WAF Talks specials for WAF members and non-members. Check back to find out more about these sessions and how you can ‘Donate What You Can’ , asking that if you can afford to donate, you do so via their Big Give Christmas Campaign between Tues 28th November – Tues 6th December. During this time, your donation will be doubled at no extra cost to you! To read more and book onto a webinar, please visit the We Are Family 10 year anniversary page.


WAF Talks for November 2023 – Members can sign up to listen on demand


WAF Talks: National Adoption Strategy and the Regional Adoption Agency (RAA) Leaders’ work with Sarah Johal and Lydia Samuel.

Sign up on demand to hear how RAAs are working nationally and collaboratively to develop services and to improve adoption across the country and London. Together Sarah and Lydia discuss how adoption is changing and modernising and the impact on contact and adopted adults. This webinar can be found on the Member Hub.

Sarah Johal is the National Adoption Strategic Lead working with Regional Adoption Agencies around the country. Previously Head of One Adoption West Yorkshire – the first RAA in England – Sarah has worked as a leader and social worker developing fostering, adoption and kinship services for over 30 years. Sarah is a firm believer in restorative practice and developing services based on research and evidence of what works well. Key to this approach is hearing from those with lived experience so they can influence decisions and services that affect their lives. Catch up with Sarah on X (formally known as Twitter) @sarahjohal1

Lydia Samuel is the Head of Service for Adopt London North, one of the four Adopt London Regional Adoption Agencies in London. Lydia has over 15 years’ experience as a social worker and has been part of Adopt London North and it’s development since 2018. Lydia takes a lead for Adopt London in their partnership with We Are Family, and leads on the Adopt London Black Adoption Project which seeks to end disparities in the adoption system impacting Black children and families.

WAF Talks: Christmas, what comes up for your family with Al Coates MBE. Tuesday 21 November, at 8pm

Join us for a webinar workshop with Al Coates to explore what comes up for your family during Christmas. For children who have experienced adversity and historic separation from family and carers Christmas can be an emotive time. High expectations, memories and unusual routines add to the challenges that families face and this webinar considers some strategies to avoid pressure, unnecessary demands, stress and pressure that can often lead to everyone having a difficult holiday and celebration.

Al and his wife Paula adopted three children in 1999 and went on to be foster carers for two additional children, who they adopted. They went on to adopt their sibling five years later. Their children are now aged 30 to 12 years old. Al has been an Independent Social Worker specialising in fostering, supporting adoptive parents and managing challenging and aggressive behaviour and co authored several publications on the topic. Al has also campaigned to raise issues in relation to adoption and has worked with the Department of Education (DfE) since 2015 in various voluntary roles and was awarded an MBE in 2018 for services to children. Al also trains across the sector including police, youth justice, education, social care and families in a broad range of associated issues and is an NVR advanced practitioner. Al has also been a blogger and is the founder and co-host of The Adoption & Fostering Podcast. Catch up with Al on Facebook or follow him on X (formally known as Twitter) – @mralcoates

Adoption Shared

The third series of Adoption Shared is available! Join Eddie Elliott as he hosts Black Voices – sharing the joys and challenges of adoption in the Black community. Click to listen to Adoption Shared

WAF Talks

We Are Family host evening online sessions with adoption experts; adopters, adoptees, therapists and professionals, tackling and discussing a range of subjects. These include education, transracial adoption, the impact of past trauma, contact and much more. Members are welcome to take part in the Q&A, or just listen in, but many agree on how valuable the sessions are and the benefits they feel just being part of this safe and supportive community.

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