The Barker Adoption Foundation has a distinguished history dating to 1945.
That year, Ruth and Richard Barker, themselves adoptive parents, founded the agency in response to a request by the U.S. Navy Department post-World War II to support pregnant women who had participated in the Navy’s Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service (WAVES) program, an all-women division of the Navy.
Much has changed since that time. But what has remained constant is Barker’s commitment to building and supporting families in the most ethical, professional, and compassionate ways possible. The adoption process is deeply personal, complex, and full of emotion, but Barker staff will be there for you, guiding and supporting you through the journey.
Barker offers three primary domestic infant adoption plans. Regardless of the path you select, the domestic staff provides prospective adoptive parents with guidance, training, and clinical and administrative support throughout the entire process.
Domestic Infant Adoption Adoptive Parent Eligibility
To adopt a child through Barker’s Domestic Infant Adoption Program, you must meet the following basic criteria:
- The minimum age of adoptive parents participating in the Domestic Infant Adoption Program is 25 years old.
- Singles and married couples are welcome to apply. If married, you must be married for a minimum of one year at the time of application. Please note that more recently married couples (married less than one year) are also welcome to apply in cases where they have lived together for at least one year.
- If you are seeking to adopt a baby younger than 12 months, the younger spouse or partner must be 45 years old or younger at the time of your application. The older spouse or partner should be 50 or younger at the time of application.
- If you are a single parent interested in adopting a baby younger than 12 months, you must be 45 years old or younger at the time of your application.
- Adoptive parents interested in adopting an infant should be healthy, both physically and psychologically/emotionally, so that you are able to care for a child.
- Adoptive parents must be financially able to incur the costs of infant adoption, in addition to providing for the needs of the child. These costs include the adoption fee and the medical and legal expenses of the birth parents.
- Must meet state and agency guidelines for criminal history, medical, and other eligibility standards
Domestic Infant Adoption Services, Process & Timeline
We encourage anyone interested in adopting a child to attend a general adoption information session. After that session, if you have further questions, you may contact a member of the Domestic Infant team by phone or email, or set up an in-person meeting.
If you decide that The Barker Adoption Foundation is a good fit for your adoption plans, the next step is to submit an application. You can find a form here, along with detailed, downloadable information about Domestic Infant Adoption at Barker. Our clinical team meets weekly to review all applications received. After that meeting, the Domestic Program Director will contact you within a few days to explore additional questions or to arrange for an initial meeting.
The general steps in the Domestic Infant Adoption process are shown below:
Barker families -- all located in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C. -- choose from three infant adoption service plans:
- In-Area Domestic Adoption: Prospective adoptive parents work with Barker to complete training, home study, placement, and post-placement services and to be matched with local expectant parents to whom Barker has provided support and counseling.
- Out-of-Area Domestic Adoption: Prospective adoptive parents work with Barker to complete training, home study, placement, and post-placement services and also work with an out-of-area adoption placement agency or adoption law firm that serves expectant parents living in another part of the country.
- Private/Independent Adoption: Prospective adoptive parents work with Barker to complete training, home study, placement, and post-placement services and also work independently with an attorney for a private adoption (one not arranged through an agency).
Click for detailed a overview of all domestic infant adoption-related information and associated fees, listed by plan under Domestic Infant Adoption Program heading.
To read about one Barker Family's adoption journey, please visit, A Family From the Start, on the Barker Blog.