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Terms of Service

1. Your Agreement with First4Adoption Limited trading as First Steps

1.1. Your use of the ‘First Steps’ service is governed by this agreement and referenced Policies (the "Terms"). First4Adoption is a partnership managed by the charities Coram Children’s Legal Centre, Adoption UK and Coram and is supported and funded by the Department for Education, with a registered office address at 49 Mecklenburgh Square, London WC1N 2QA . (“First Steps’”). The “Service” means the making available the website known as (the “Site”) and the information and content on the Site.

1.2. In order to use the Service, you must first agree to the Terms. You can agree to the Terms by actually using the Service. You understand and agree that First Steps will treat your use of the Service as acceptance of the Terms from that point onwards.

1.3. You may not use the Service if you are a person barred from receiving the Service under the laws of the United Kingdom or other countries, including the country in which you are resident or from which you use the Service. You affirm that you are over the age of 18, as the Service is not intended for children under 18.

1.4. As a consumer, you have legal rights in relation to the Services. Advice about your legal rights is available from your local Citizens’ Advice Bureau or Trading Standards office. Nothing in these Terms will affect these legal rights.

2. Your Account and Use of the Service

2.1. You must provide accurate and complete registration information any time you register to use the Service. You are responsible for the security of your passwords. If you become aware of any unauthorised use of your or any User’s password, you agree to notify First Steps immediately.

2.2. Your use of the Service must comply with all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances, including any laws regarding the export of data or software.

2.3. You agree not to (a) access (or attempt to access) the administrative interface of the Service by any means other than through the interface that is provided by the Site in connection with the Service, unless you have been specifically allowed to do so in a separate agreement with First Steps, or (b) engage in any activity that interferes with or disrupts the Service (or the servers and networks which are connected to the Service).

2.4. Your usage of the Service is subject to the First Steps Acceptable Use Policy (the "Acceptable Use Policy").

3. Service Policies and Privacy

3.1. You agree to comply with the First Steps Acceptable Use Policy which is incorporated herein by this reference and which may be updated from time to time.

3.2. The Service shall be subject to the First Steps Privacy Policy (“Privacy Policy”) for the Service. You agree to the use of your data in accordance with the First Steps Privacy Policy, which may be updated from time to time.

3.3. You agree that you will protect the privacy and legal rights of the end users of your website. You must provide legally adequate privacy notice and protection for End Users. If end users provide you with user names, passwords, or other login information or personal information, you must make the end users aware that the information will be available to your website and to First Steps.

4. Proprietary Rights

4.1. You acknowledge and agree that First Steps (or First Steps licensors) own all legal right, title and interest in and to the Service, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in the Service (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist).

4.2. Except as provided in Section 8, First Steps acknowledges and agrees that it obtains no right, title or interest from you (or your licensors) under these Terms in or to any Content or the Application that you create, submit, post, transmit or display on, or through, the Service, including any intellectual property rights which subsist in that Content and the Application (whether those rights happen to be registered or not, and wherever in the world those rights may exist). Unless you have agreed otherwise in writing with First Steps, you agree that you are responsible for protecting and enforcing those rights and that First Steps has no obligation to do so on your behalf.

5. License from First Steps and Restrictions

5.1. First Steps gives you a personal, worldwide, royalty-free, non-assignable and non-exclusive license to access the Site. This license is for the sole purpose of enabling you to use and enjoy the benefit of the Service as provided by First Steps, in the manner permitted by the Terms.

5.2. You may not (and you may not permit anyone else to): (a) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Service or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by First Steps, in writing (e.g., through an open source software license); or (b) attempt to disable or circumvent any security mechanisms used by the Service or any Application.

6. Modification and Termination of the Service

6.1. First Steps is constantly innovating in order to provide the best possible experience for its users. You acknowledge and agree that the form and nature of the Service which First Steps provides may change from time to time without prior notice to you. Changes to the form and nature of the Service will be effective with respect to all versions of the Service; examples of changes to the form and nature of the Service include without limitation changes to Privacy Policy, Acceptable Use Policy, security patches, added functionality, modified appearance and other enhancements.

6.2. You agree that First Steps, in its sole discretion and for any or no reason, may terminate the Service or any part thereof. With the exception of infringement of Acceptable Use Policy which may result in termination of the Service and your account without prior notice, First Steps will serve notice of at least 30 days for any other termination of the Service. You agree that First Steps will not be liable to you or any third party for such termination.

6.3. Upon any termination of the Service or your account these Terms will also terminate, but Sections 5.1, 7, 10, and 12 shall continue to be effective after these Terms are terminated.

7. Liability

7.1. If we fail to comply with these Terms, we are responsible for loss or damage you suffer that is a foreseeable result of our breach of these Terms or our negligence, but we are not responsible for any loss or damage that is not foreseeable. Loss or damage is foreseeable if they were an obvious consequence of our breach or if they were contemplated by you and us at the time we entered into the Contract.

7.2. We only supply the Services for domestic and private use. You agree not to use the product for any commercial, business or re-sale purposes, and we have no liability to you for any loss of profit, loss of business, business interruption, or loss of business opportunity.

8. Other Content

8.1. The Services may include hyperlinks to other web sites or content or resources or email content. First Steps may have no control over any web sites or resources which are provided by companies or persons other than First Steps.

8.2. You acknowledge and agree that First Steps is not responsible for the availability of any such external sites or resources, and does not endorse any advertising, products or other materials on or available from such web sites or resources.

8.3. You acknowledge and agree that First Steps is not liable for any loss or damage which may be incurred by you or your end users as a result of the availability of those external sites or resources, or as a result of any reliance placed by you on the completeness, accuracy or existence of any advertising, products or other materials on, or available from, such web sites or resources.

9. Changes to the Terms

9.1. First Steps may make changes to the Terms from time to time. If we change the Terms in any substantive way, we will give you at least twenty eight (28) days notice before the changes take effect, during which period of time you may reject the changes by terminating your account.

9.2. You understand and agree that if you use the Service after the date on which the Terms have changed, First Steps will treat your use as acceptance of the updated Terms.

10. General Legal Terms

10.1. The Terms constitute the whole legal agreement between you and First Steps and govern your use of the Service (but excluding any services which First Steps may provide to you under a separate written agreement), and completely replace any prior agreements between you and First Steps in relation to the Service.

10.2. There are no third party beneficiaries to these Terms. The parties are independent contractors, and nothing in these Terms creates an agency, partnership or joint venture.

10.4. You agree that First Steps may provide you with notices, including those regarding changes to the Terms, by email, regular mail, or postings on the Service. By providing First Steps your email address, you consent to our using the email address to send you any notices required by law in lieu of communication by postal mail.

10.5. You agree that if First Steps does not exercise or enforce any legal right or remedy which is contained in the Terms (or which First Steps has the benefit of under any applicable law), this will not be taken to be a formal waiver of First Steps's rights and that those rights or remedies will still be available to First Steps.

10.6. First Steps shall not be liable for failing or delaying performance of its obligations resulting from any condition beyond its reasonable control, including but not limited to, governmental action, acts of terrorism, earthquake, fire, flood or other acts of God, labour conditions, power failures, and Internet disturbances.

10.7. The Terms, and your relationship with First Steps under the Terms, shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the law of England and Wales, without regard to its conflict of laws provisions. You and First Steps agree to submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts located within England and Wales to resolve any legal matter arising from the Terms, unless submitted to arbitration as set forth in the following paragraph.

Notwithstanding this, you agree that First Steps shall still be allowed to apply for injunctive remedies (or an equivalent type of urgent legal relief) in any jurisdiction.

Privacy Policy

11. Our Privacy Policy Principles

In short, our basic principles are:

  • We won't spam you or sell your personal information to others. We may send you a newsletter occasionally but you can always opt-out of that and we promise to keep it relevant to new adoption opportunities or significant website content launches.
  • We will not use or share your information with anyone except as described in this Privacy Policy.
  • We will only use, and share your information as we describe in this Privacy Policy or as you give us permission to do. This Privacy Policy does not apply to information we collect by other means or from other sources.

12. Information We Collect

We collect the names and email addresses of users of the Service as well as the users’ county. If you correspond with us by email we may retain the content of your email messages, your email address and our responses. If you have provided us with the personal data of another person, you confirm that they consent to the processing of their personal data and that you have informed them of our identity and the purposes for which their personal data will be processed.

We use session cookies containing a unique session identifier as an authentication mechanism for some of services which we provide to you. If you disable cookies in your browser, you may not be able to access all of the Services which we provide.

When you use our Service we may record and log certain information about your browser such as your IP address, browser type, referring url, number of clicks, domain names, and other such information to help us monitor the effectiveness of the First Steps website.

We may also want to contact you through the registration information you provide and you consent to us using that information to contact you.

We will record your progress, scores and any information you put into the “Notes” section. We will not allow any third party access to this information other than First4Adoption partners .

13. How We Protect Your Information

We use reasonable physical, managerial, and technical safeguards to preserve the integrity and security of your personal information. We cannot guarantee the security of any information you transmit to us, and you do so at your own risk. To protect your privacy and security, we take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting you access to your account. You are responsible for maintaining the secrecy of your password and account information at all times.

You are entitled to ask for a copy of any personal data that we hold about you (for which we may charge a small fee) and to have any inaccuracies in your personal data corrected. If your personal details change, or if you have any queries about how we use your personal data, please contact us.

Cookie Policy

This page describes First Steps cookie policy, which applies to this website and any First Steps produced websites. We don’t use cookies that place any advertising banners on your computer . Our main website at does use Google Analytics to measure how many users visit us and that does set a persistent cookie but that’s it.

If you can’t accept this Cookie Policy please don’t use this website or any of First Steps authors sites.

14. What are cookies?

For almost any modern website to work properly, it needs to collect certain basic information on its users. To do this, a site will create files known as cookies – which are small text files – on its users’ computers. These cookies are designed to allow the website to recognise its users on subsequent visits, or to authorise other designated websites to recognise these users for a particular purpose.

Cookies do a lot of different jobs which make your experience of the Internet much smoother and more interactive. For instance, they are used to remember your preferences on sites you visit often, to remember your user ID and to help you navigate between pages more efficiently.

Any Information collected by cookies and web beacons is not personally identifiable.

15. What types of cookie does First Steps use?

There are two types of cookies that First Steps uses: Session Cookies and sometimes Persistent cookies if our users choose to use Google Analytics.

  • Session cookies are temporary. They allow website operators to link the actions of a user during a browser session. A browser session starts when a user opens the browser window and finishes when they close the browser window. Once you close the browser, all session cookies are deleted.
  • Persistent cookies remain on a user’s device for a set period of time specified in the cookie. They are activated each time that the user visits the website that created that particular cookie. This is the case if a First Steps website has enabled Goggle Analytics inside their First Steps website or is you visit our website.

16. What’s the law?

Recently, the law on cookies has changed. Now sites that try to place performance, functionality, and targeting and advertising cookies need your permission for before they can place them onto your computer. To find out more about the law, click here.

17. How does First Steps use cookies?

First Steps collects a number of cookies from its users for various reasons, not least to track our own performance – but also to let us serve you content tailored to your own specifications, hopefully improving your overall experience of the site. Amongst other things, the cookies we use allow us to calculate how many visitors we have - anonymously, of course - and how long they stay on our site. We do our utmost to respect users’ privacy.

18. How do I turn cookies off?

Most browsers accept cookies automatically, but you can alter the settings of your browser to erase cookies or prevent automatic acceptance if you prefer. Generally you have the option to accept all cookies, to be notified when a cookie is issued or reject all cookies. Visit the ‘options’ or ‘preferences’ menu on your browser to change settings.

To switch off third-party advertising cookies, you can turn these off by visiting the Internet Advertising Bureau’s consumer advice site.

19. User agreement

By continuing to use our First Steps sites, you agree to the placement of cookies on your device. If you choose not to receive our cookies, we cannot guarantee that your experience will be as fulfilling as it would otherwise be. For instance, you may not be able to log in and update your First Steps website – which would be a shame.