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Al-Anon and Alateen Family Groups in Santa Barbara

The Three Legacies

Al-Anon's program of recovery is based on the Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions of Alcoholics Anonymous. The Steps are the foundation for personal recovery in Al-Anon, and the Traditions help Al-Anon groups maintain their unity and fellowship. The Twelve Concepts of Service provide guidance for the service structure in the Al-Anon fellowship.

Alateen, a part of Al-Anon, is for teenagers who are troubled by someone else's drinking. Alateen has a slightly different set of Traditions.

Obedience to the Unenforceable as Related to Pronouns in the Al-Anon Legacies

On behalf of the clearinghouse, the WSO would like to provide clarity as it relates to this discussion of changing any words in the Twelve Steps, Traditions or Concepts of Service used in Al-Anon and Alateen meetings and events:

  • Alcoholics Anonymous (A.A.) holds the copyright to the words found in the Twelve Steps of A.A.. This includes any translation of those same Steps. Any recovery program that wishes to use and adapt the Twelve Steps of A.A. must request permission to do so from the A.A. GSO. The Twelve Steps are not part of the public domain.
  • Al-Anon Family Groups Headquarters, Inc. has held the legal copyright to the Al-Anon and Alateen Twelve Steps and Twelve Traditions and Concepts of Service since 1996.
  • Our World Service Conference, which is recognized as the senior conference by all other structures, has deemed it to be prudent to only consider changing these steps through the written consent of three-quarters of Al-Anon groups worldwide. Please see the Al-Anon World Service Conference Charter on page 224 of the 2018-2021 Al-Anon/Alateen Service Manual (P-24/27) version two (2).
  • WSO encourages review of page 36 of the 2014 World Service Conference Summary (P-46) where the process is described to effect such a change.

Again, our members are free to interpret the Legacies according to their own perceptions. When in an Al-Anon meeting, our unity is preserved when the Legacies are read aloud as they appear in our Conference Approved Literature (CAL). It is not within the autonomy of the individual group to change the pronouns when reading the Legacies as this affects Al-Anon as a whole. Changing the wording of our Steps and Traditions is very similar to bringing outside literature into our meetings.  The consistent reading of our Three Legacies as they are written protects Al-Anon's copyright and assures Al-Anon members that wherever we go throughout the world, Al-Anon's message of help and hope remains clear and consistent.