Main Office M-F 9 AM-5 PM +1-301-664-9664

24/7 Crisis Pregnancy ONLY Hotline for Maryland/Virginia/DC:+1-888-731-6601 or TEXT: 240-600-1106

PWNL (Older Child) after hours counselor:+1-888-955-3339


One of Barker’s most distinguishing assets is our well-trained and experienced professional and administrative staff. Our staff includes persons who, in addition to their professional credentials, are also themselves birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoptees.

Continuing in the tradition begun by Ruth and Richard Barker, our staff also provides consultation services and in-service training for teachers, physicians, nurses, social workers, and parent groups in the community.

Executive Director & CEO

Sue Hollar Barker Adoption

Sue Hollar, LCSW-C, LICSW

Executive Director & CEO
BS, Lenoir-Rhyne University; MSW, Syracuse University

Ms. Hollar heads The Barker Adoption Foundation, one of the nation’s leading and oldest comprehensive adoption organizations. Her experience includes nearly three decades of social work practice, including 25 years of child welfare and adoption work locally, nationally and internationally. She previously served in numerous roles at Barker, most recently as its Associate Director. Ms. Hollar’s experience includes direct-service and managerial positions in foster care, treatment foster care and independent living programs. Prior to her work at Barker, she directed programs for the US Department of Health and Human Services Children's Bureau supporting the federally mandated child and family services reviews and title IV-E foster care eligibility reviews of state child welfare agencies. Ms. Hollar has also developed and conducted training for foster care and adoption staff throughout the country.



Susan H. Baker, CPA

Director of Finance and Administration
B.A. Bucknell University

Ms. Baker joined The Barker Adoption Foundation as Director of Finance and Administration in 2011. In this role, she is responsible for Financial and Accounting operations, Human Resources and Benefit Administration, Information Management, Risk Management and Operations Administration. She brings to Barker over 30 years of expertise in financial management and a broad range of experience, both in similar roles for other nonprofits and in providing Accounting and Financial Services to a variety of organizations as an independent consultant.  Ms. Baker received her undergraduate degree in Sociology  before she began her career as a Certified Public Accountant with Deloitte. She is pleased to bring together her passion for helping others with her Nonprofit Management expertise.


Anne Clark Christman

Director of Development 
B.A. Hamilton College, J.D. Boston College Law School

Anne joined The Barker Adoption Foundation in 2017 as Director of Development. In this role, she is responsible for creating and implementing development strategies for Barker and its individual programs as well as cultivating and developing new and existing individual, corporate and foundation funding sources.  Anne brings to Barker years of experience in nonprofit fundraising.  Anne received her undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Psychology before receiving a J.D. degree and practicing law for over 10 years.  Anne is also an adoptive parent.  She is pleased to bring together her passion for the work Barker does and her development expertise to help grow support for the Barker mission.


Project Wait No Longer Director Bev ClarkeBeverly N. Clarke, LCSW-C, LICSW

Senior Director of Clinical & Support Services
BSW, Andrews University; MSW, Andrews University

Ms. Clarke is the Senior Director of Clinical & Support Services and responsible for managing, developing, implementing and providing oversight and quality assurance for the clinical aspects of the work provided by the agency’s adoption and support programs. Ms. Clarke has more than 20 years of experience as a social worker and clinician, with many of those years focusing on children and families. Previously, Ms. Clarke was the Director of Barker’s Project Wait No Longer. Prior to Barker, Ms. Clarke worked with the foster care system, family preservation programs as well as domestic and international adoption programs.  As an adoptive parent herself, she brings both a personal and professional understanding of the adoption process as well as a passion for supporting families and achieving permanency for children.


Tina Ji, LLM

Director of International Programs
LLB, Peking University, China; LLM, University of Virginia School of Law, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Ms. Ji currently oversees all of Barker’s international programs. She has worked in the adoption field since 1992, first with Children’s Hope International in St. Louis, and for the next ten years with Families Thru International Adoption (FTIA). Ms. Ji has extensive experience supervising adoption programs in Asia, Latin America and East Europe. She also developed humanitarian programs in China. In 2001 she started a foster care program in China which currently trains foster parents to care for over 100 children in non-institutional settings. She has also led efforts to help many orphanages improve conditions for the children, including provision of medical care. She is active with Joint Council on International Children’s Services and has also been substantially involved in the Hague Treaty and compliance issues for U.S. agencies.


Post Adoption Services Director Varda MakovskyVarda Makovsky, LCSW-C

Director of Family and Post-Adoption Services
BS, New York University; MBA, New York University; MSW, University of Maryland

Ms. Makovsky heads the Department of Family and Post-Adoption Services at The Barker Adoption Foundation.  In this capacity, she provides ongoing consultation and support to adoptive and birth families, and coordinates support groups and skill-building educational programs for all members of the adoptive triad in both domestic and international programs. Ms. Makovsky acts as the Barker Foundation’s confidential intermediary, serving as a link between adoptive and birth families and assisting adult adopted persons who seek non-identifying information about their birth families, or undertake court-ordered searches.

Ms. Makovsky’s prior social work experience includes working with adoptive families in the home study and post-placement process, counseling women facing domestic abuse, and providing therapy services to clients at a mental health center.


Saara McEachnie, LICSW, LCSW-C

Director of Domestic Adoptions
BSW, Oakwood University; MSW, Western Michigan University; 

 Ms. McEachnie is the Director of Domestic Adoptions, the newly integrated program of Project Wait No Longer (PWNL) and Infant Adoptions. This merger will lead to new and exciting opportunities for the dedicated families of Barker. Ms. McEachnie comes to the Barker Adoption Foundation with over eleven years of experience working with children and families. Ms. McEachnie spent the first years of her career working with children who were diagnosed with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome and assisting families of soldiers who had served overseas in the military. The majority of Ms. McEachnie's experience has been with the public Child Welfare system, helping children to achieve permanency either through reunification with their birth parents or through adoption/guardianship with a loving and able caregiver. Ms. McEachnie worked on supervisory teams to implement evidence-based, trauma-informed treatment models to best serve the vulnerable population of children within the foster care system in the District of Columbia. Her passion is mostly found in ensuring  happy, healthy, and loving families for children.



anna2-staff-bioAnna Beers

Executive Assistant
BA, McDaniel College

Ms. Beers joined the Barker Adoption Foundation in 2013 and now serves as the Executive Assistant. She comes to us after three years with Barker’s older child adoption program Project Wait No Longer as the Program Assistant. Before her time at Barker she worked in Carroll County with the CASA program and with domestic violence survivors, and on the eastern shore as Operations Manager of a marketing firm.  Ms. Beers is passionate about the important mission of the Barker Adoption Foundation, and is very excited to support the executive team and board at Barker to further this mission.


staff-pic-jenny-beersJenny Beers

Domestic Program Assistant
BA, Indiana University

Jenny’s role as Program Assistant allows her to support families through each step of the adoption process. She joined Barker after completing her Criminal Justice degree from Indiana University in 2016. Jenny has previously worked at summer camps and is passionate about children. She is enthusiastic about the Barker Adoption Foundation and their mission, and is excited to be a part of the Barker team.


charnita-mercer-pictureCharnita Mercer, MSW, LGSW

Pregnancy & Family Support Counselor
B.S., Frostburg State University; MSW, LGSW, School of Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore 

Charnita works with women and their partners who are experiencing crisis pregnancy and are considering adoption.  She works to support and educate birth parents during their time of need about options for adoption, parenting, access to community resources, and helping clients to complete an adoption plan. Charnita also, works to educate other professionals in the field and the broader community about ethical adoption and best practice when serving birth parents. Ms. Mercer is also responsible for providing clinical services for post-adoption clients.

Previously, Charnita worked with children and families in foster care providing individual and family counseling. She also worked with, adults in a behavioral health setting providing, case management and rehabilitative skills to support re-integration back into the community.


Kathleen Porter Barker AdoptionKathleen Porter

Montgomery College – Technical Writing

Ms. Porter joined Barker in 2008 and handles all incoming calls and requests for information. She comes to Barker after many years in the telecommunications industry. Ms. Porter manages the Barker’s calendar, and coordinates and schedules workshops, training, and other events including Barker’s annual conference. She enjoys being the first point of contact and speaking with all families and individuals who call for information, assistance, and support.


Patricia Sanyer, MPA, MSW, LGSW

Pregnancy & Family Support Counselor
BSW and BA in Spanish, N.C. State University; MPA, N.C. State University; MSW, Our Lady of the Lake University

Patricia works with women and their partners who are experiencing crisis pregnancy and considering adoption. She supports clients during this challenging time by providing education about adoption and parenting, accessing needed services before, during and after delivery, and helping clients to select adoptive families while working with them to complete an adoption plan. Ms. Sanyer also works to educate other professionals in the field and the broader community about ethical adoption and best practice when serving birth parents and is responsible for providing clinical services for providing clinical services for post-adoption clients.

Patricia previously worked with families of small children, coordinating services to address developmental delays of children aged 0-3 years old.  She also worked with mothers of the perinatal community, providing therapy primarily to Spanish speaking clients interested in managing pre- and post-delivery mental health issues.

Patricia trabaja con mujeres embarazadas  y sus compañeros para educarlos sobre adopción y la realidad de un embarazo no planeado. Ella trabaja con las mujeres embarazadas para proveer servicios antes de, durante de, y después de dar a luz. Las madres pueden elegir las familias adoptivas y completar un plan de adopción con la apoya de Patricia.  Patricia también comunica con organizaciones a través del área para informarlas sobre prácticos éticas en relación con el proceso de adopción.  


Kate Simpson, MSW, LGSW

Clinical Specialist
BA, California State University – Monterey Bay; MSW, University of Washington – Seattle  

In her role as the Clinical Specialist, Ms. Simpson is responsible for providing support and oversight to the intake, home study and post placement process of Barker’s adoption programs.  She also assists in developing trainings, resource lists and services for Barker families, and supports the agency’s quality assurance initiatives.  Prior to her current role, Ms. Simpson worked with the infant domestic adoption program as a family specialist and pregnancy counselor here at Barker.

Ms. Simpson’s graduate work focused on mental health, healthcare systems, and global health. Through her global health studies she focused on maternal and child health specifically, and worked on nutrition and women’s empowerment in Africa. Her professional background also includes working in mental health services and refugee resettlement. Prior to working with international populations Ms. Simpson was a lead teacher in a daycare program and worked with two agencies serving victims of domestic violence.


staff-pic-Margeline-ThomasMargeline Thomas

Digital Marketing & Outreach Manager  

Ms. Thomas joined The Barker Adoption Foundation to engage the digital community in Barker's mission and advocacy for adoption services. Ms. Thomas comes to Barker with years of experience at an international humanitarian development organization, where she provided technical and digital support in marketing and development. She is passionate about using digital strategy, graphic design, and data analysis to tell Barker's story and make a lasting impact in the lives of those who need it most.           


Eileen Wharton, MSW, LGSW

Child Matching & Family Support Specialist, Project Wait No Longer 
BSW, Radford University; MSW, University of Denver

Ms. Wharton serves as the Child Matching & Family Support Specialist for Project Wait No Longer: Permanency for Foster Youth. She is responsible for managing matching and placement services which includes connecting waiting families with children who are awaiting adoption in the public foster care system. Ms. Wharton, who previously worked in international adoption, has also been a home based child therapist and has worked with families, at-risk youth and individuals with disabilities.


Alex Williams, MSW, LGSW

Community Outreach and Recruitment Specialist 
BSW, James Madison University; MSW, George Mason University 

Ms. Williams serves as Barker’s primary representative managing and conducting general outreach and recruitment services for families for waiting children or children with specialized needs in Barker’s Domestic and International adoption programs with specific emphasis identifying families for Barker’s Project Wait No Longer & China Waiting Child programs.

She is responsible for heading up our adoptive parent recruitment initiatives – including managing our contributing to blog postings and newsletters and presenting at general informational meetings.   Ms. Williams is the first point of contact for families who are interested in learning more about the adoption process and is a wonderful advocate for waiting children within our community. Ms. Williams works tirelessly with caseworkers from around the country to help support The Barker Adoption Foundation’s belief that “every child deserves a family.” Prior to Barker, she conducted outreach with communities and organizations across the nation to further affordable housing and also worked in community programming with children and youth. Ms. Williams brings a passion for child welfare to this position and is excited to reach families in the community who are looking to provide a “forever home” for children in need.


Rebecca-York-International-Program-AssistantRebecca York

International  Case Manager & Family Support Specialist 
BSW, Christopher Newport University 

Ms. York obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and serves as Barker’s International Program Assistant. She previously worked for a non-profit, therapeutic foster care and adoption agency in Newport News, Virginia. While working in the Tidewater region, she gained experience in the foster care and adoption system and uses that knowledge and experience to ensure that all individuals have a positive experience with the adoption process. She is extremely passionate about this field of work and continues to love supporting non-profit organizations. She is excited to help find forever families for the children she serves through Barker.