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At The Barker Adoption Foundation, we believe in the value of education for our families throughout the adoption process.

This includes the pre-adoption training, on-line courses, workshops, conferences, waiting parents’ meetings, and literature, all designed to increase your knowledge of adoption-related issues. Our role in your adoption process is to help you prepare to become an adoptive parent.

Required Training for International fFamilies Adopting Children Younger Than Age Four

Pre-Adoption Group (One-Day Training held on Saturdays)

This 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 the voices of “real people” in the adoption circle, we look at the perspectives of adopted children, birth parents, and adoptive parents. Other topics covered include loss and grief, attachment, transracial adoption, and the telling of the adoption story. This group training provides a forum for you to discuss your hopes, questions, and concerns. The group also 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. Find an upcoming session, please visit the Barker Events Calendar.

International Training (One-Day Training held on Sunday of the same weekend as the Pre-Adoption Group)

This training discusses the specific issues that are often seen in children adopted internationally.  Such topics include: attachment, grief and loss, discipline, integrating culture and heritage and navigating your child’s needs.  This group training builds on the topics introduced in the Pre-Adoption Group but focuses more on the particular needs of children coming from institutional care or foster care in foreign countries.  This group training also provides a wonderful opportunity for our international families to meet others and increase their adoption support system. Find an upcoming session; please visit the Barker Events Calendar.

For Out of Area Clients or Additional Online Courses

Courses offered through the Adoption Learning Partners website:

Families Adopting a Child With Special Needs

We strongly recommend these online courses for families adopting children with minor to severe special needs.

Course offered through Heart of the Matter Education website:

Waiting-Parents Support Meetings

As part of Barker’s support to families while they are waiting, we offer bimonthly waiting-parents meetings. These meetings provide families the opportunity to meet other prospective parents planning to adopt internationally and talk to the international program staff for updates on the country programs. Barker also invites guest speakers to present specialized information to families at these meetings on a variety of topics, including the developmental stages of toddlers, early intervention services, advocacy for your child in school, issues for a transracial/transcultural family, the legal aspects of international adoption, adoption of a child with special needs, and medical issues in international adoption.

Other Services and Workshops

In addition to the waiting-parents meetings and the monthly program updates we provide to families, we also encourage families to take advantage of the many workshops Barker has throughout the year and to attend our one-day annual Barker Adoption and Foster Care Conference.

Also, many parents find it helpful to read books about adoption, not only for greater insights into the process but also to further prepare for what’s to come. Barker offers a long list of adoption-related book recommendations, but you can also work with staff to direct you toward readings on specific topics.

To find out more, or register for upcoming training, please see the Barker Events Calendar.