Some families choose to work with Barker and also with a placement agency outside the local area (Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.). Others choose to work exclusively with Barker and to be matched with in-area expectant and birth parents.
An advantage of working with Barker is that you can begin your process without knowing which specific path in domestic adoption to pursue. As you learn, reflect on, and prepare for adoption, Barker will be there to help you sort through and choose the best path or paths to fit your family’s needs.
Another hallmark of Barker is the individual support you will receive as you proceed on your adoption journey. From the start, Barker staff will help you identify some of the specific, personal characteristics of your current family composition and how those might affect your thoughts and wishes about expanding your family.
Program staff will support you throughout the process of collecting the home study documentation, completing your home study, awaiting a match, managing the post-placement period, and preparing for finalization in court.
Another core service that Barker offers is ongoing guidance from our Domestic Infant Adoption Family Specialist. Barker’s Family Specialist assists and guides families from the earliest stages through the final stages of placement. Examples include assisting prospective adoptive parents as they consider whether to work with a nonprofit placement agency outside the Washington metro area, helping to develop a family profile or scrapbook, and providing guidance when preparing to talk or meet with birth parents.
Many Barker families remain engaged with and supportive of Barker after their own adoptions and offer their support to families seeking adoption. It can be particularly helpful to talk directly with another adoptive family at various points in your adoption journey—parent to parent.
Beyond assisting in adoption placement, Barker seeks to nurture and support families to be as strong as possible. Barker’s Post-Adoption Services Department provides training to and organizes events for all members of the adoption circle, including adoptive parents, adoptees, and birth parents. These range from regular support groups to adoptive-parent workshops to social activities and one-on-one counseling.