A Rich History of Tradition and Growth

The Barker Adoption Foundation, a nonprofit adoption agency licensed in Washington, D.C., Maryland, and Virginia, is built on the fundamental belief that all children deserve safe, loving, and permanent families. The Barker team is passionately dedicated to this vision, and to that end we offer comprehensive, ethical, child-centered adoption services and lifelong support for birth parents, adoptees, and adoptive parents. 

Ruth and Richard Barker, themselves adoptive parents, founded the agency in Washington, D.C., in 1945 in response to a request from the U.S. Navy Department to address the needs of pregnant WAVES (“Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service”). The Barker structure was formalized in 1951 when it was incorporated as the nation's first cooperative adoption agency. Since then, Barker has evolved from a traditional domestic infant-placing adoption agency into a highly regarded, comprehensive adoption center offering the following adoption-related programs and services: 

  • No-cost crisis pregnancy and adoption counseling services
  • Pre-adoption education and training services    
  • Domestic infant adoption
  • Older child adoption from U.S. foster care
  • International adoption, with partners in China, Colombia, India, and South Korea
  • Lifelong post-adoption education, training, and counseling services for all members of the adoption circle: birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees
  • Community education, including customized adoption-related workshops and training sessions at schools, hospitals, and community organizations

To date Barker has placed more than 7,000 children into the welcoming arms of adoptive parents and provided counseling and related support services to more than 30,000 women and their families who are considering placing a child for adoption.                      

As the fourth-oldest adoption agency in the country, Barker focuses on serving the communities of Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., but also works diligently with prospective adoptive parents and adoption professionals nationwide to match children with “forever families.”

Non-Discrimination Statement

The Barker Adoption Foundation welcomes adoption applications from couples and individuals of all religious and ethnic backgrounds, and all sexual orientations and gender expressions. However, families should be aware that each U.S. state has specific adoption legislation, and each international country has its own legal restrictions on adoption. The Barker Adoption Foundation and our clients must abide by the adoption laws in the state where the family resides or the country from which they are adopting.