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In recent years, it has become increasingly common for local families to broaden their prospects for adoption by working with an agency or attorney located in an area of the United States outside the Washington metropolitan area(Maryland, Virginia, Washington, D.C.).

A primary reason for this shift is that in many other parts of the country, there are fewer families seeking to adopt than there are children in need of loving families. Other reasons why a family may decide to expand their adoption efforts to another part of the country include family composition, age of adoptive parents, race of adoptive parents, ability to travel, faith orientation, extended family who live in another state, and state laws regarding adoption.

The Process

The key difference in an Out-of-Area Domestic Adoption, as  compared with an In-Area Domestic Adoption, is that families identify an agency or attorney who works with expectant parents residing elsewhere, outside of Washington, D.C., Virginia or Maryland. This agency or attorney becomes the family’s placement agency and works in partnership with the adoptive family and with Barker. When a match between an expectant parent and an adoptive parent occurs, often the adoptive family travels to meet the expectant parent. When the baby is born, the adoptive family travels again to take custody and returns home with the baby after any local waiting-period requirements are met.

If your family decides that the Out-of-Area service approach is the best path, Barker’s Domestic Infant Adoption Family Specialist will help you identify agencies or attorneys to consider. Families can also identify an attorney or an agency themselves, as long as the agency is a licensed child-placing nonprofit agency.

Because many steps in the adoption process must take place in the adoptive parents’ home state (Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C.), Out-of-Area families follow most of the same procedures as other Barker adoptive families, including participating in a general information session, a clinical intake or application interview meeting, and all required parent trainings. They also receive the support of Barker staff from application to adoption finalization.  And as with all Barker families, they have a designated social worker during the home study and the post-placement supervision periods.

At the end of the post-placement period, adoptive parents can begin the legal process of  adoption finalization. Barker can refer parents to one of several local attorneys who specialize in adoption.