The first step in learning more about adoption, Barker, and Barker’s programs is to attend a free general adoption information meeting, held monthly at Barker’s offices in Bethesda, Maryland.
You will have the opportunity to meet with staff members, learn about the different adoption programs, ask questions, and hear from a family that has adopted through Barker. Check the Barker Calendar for upcoming meetings. Registration is required.
Pre-Adoption Group Training (One-Day Training)
The Barker Adoption Foundation’s Pre-Adoption Group Training is designed to help prospective adoptive parents think about both the rewards and challenges of adoption and the lifelong adoption issues that are involved. Through the leaders’ presentations, discussions, group exercises, and readings, and in-person presentations by birth parents, adoptive parents, and adult adoptees. Through this experience we are able to look at and learn from the perspectives of various members of the adoption circle. Other topics covered include managing loss and grief, attachment, nature versus nurture, transracial adoption, and telling the adoption story in developmentally appropriate ways. Check the Barker Calendar for upcoming sessions.
This group training provides a forum for you to discuss your hopes, questions, and concerns. You will also find that the group offers a wonderful opportunity to meet others with similar interests and concerns. Our goal is to help people make informed decisions about adoption and to feel better prepared as they become parents. Pre-requirement: Attend a Barker general adoption information session.
Two online training courses also are required, which are provided through the Adoption Learning Partners:
Waiting-Parent Support Meetings
Barker holds meetings every other month for all parents who are in the process of adopting. These meetings are educational and supportive in nature and often include a presentation from either an outside professional or adoptive families as part of the meeting. Past topics include post-adoption contact, medical considerations or legal issues in adoption, among others.
In addition, these monthly meetings provide waiting parents an opportunity to learn about local and national trends that the Barker Domestic Infant team is observing and an opportunity to talk with team members and other waiting families. Check the Barker Events Calendar for upcoming meeting dates.
For Virginia families, these meetings help meet the annual requirement of four hours of ongoing parent training.
New Parent Support Group and Other Adoptive Parent Services
The Barker Annual Adoption and Foster Care Conference