24/7 Crisis Pregnancy ONLY Hotline for Maryland/Virginia/DC:

CALL: 1-888-731-6601 or TEXT: 240-600-1106

PWNL (Older Child) after hours counselor: 1-888-955-3339

 

Videos

Some of your questions may be answered by fellow birth parents. You can see videos from a birth mother here:  Aaren's videos

Questions

Can you help me if I don't live in Maryland, Virginia or Washington, D.C.?

Why consider adoption?

What types of families are available for my child?

Can I choose the adoptive family?

What is an open adoption? 

What is a closed adoption?

How much do pregnancy services at Barker cost?

What if I work with a counselor and don’t choose adoption? Do I owe your agency anything?

I am early in my pregnancy. How long should I wait to contact your agency?

When do I sign adoption consents?

Who has to sign consents?

What is the revocation period?

What are the rights of the biological father? 

What if I don’t know who the father is?

What is “Cradle Care?”

AnchorDo I have to come to your offices?

Can you help me if I don’t live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C.?

 


Can you help me if I don’t live in Maryland, Virginia, or Washington, D.C.?

Barker is licensed to counsel and support birth parents in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Why consider adoption?

Not every expectant parent is at a point where they are ready to parent a child. Providing a stable and loving family for your child may be the most courageous and responsible decision you can make. 

The following are the primary reasons that expectant parents choose adoption:

  • Some feel they are not currently financially or emotionally stable enough to parent.
  • Some are parenting other children and believe that adding another child will be more than they can effectively manage.
  • Some have educational and career goals that prevent them from parenting at this time in their lives.
  • Some lack family support or hold religious beliefs/values that influence their decision.
  • Some envision that parenting will mean doing so alone and do not feel that they have adequate resources as a single parent

What types of families are available for my child?

The families ready to adopt include individuals and couples who have stable and loving homes and are of all religious, ethnic, and racial backgrounds. They each prepare a scrapbook, with photos and information about 

themselves, their family, their home, and their hobbies, to help you understand what is truly important to them and what kind of life they envision and can provide for a child they adopt. Some of these families also choose to appear on our website.

Can I choose the adoptive family?

The Barker Adoption Foundation always allows birth parents to make this choice if they wish. When you are ready, our pregnancy counselor will provide you scrapbooks about our waiting families and tell you more about them.

 What is open adoption?

An open adoption occurs when adoptive parents and birth parents decide to remain in contact as the child grows up. The degree of openness is determined by both the adoptive parents and the birth parents and can include regular visits or only periodic updates and photos. Barker counselors will help guide birth parents and adoptive parents toward the level of openness that works best for all parties and, as needed, help to facilitate the ongoing contact.

Check out this blog post about benefits of open adoption.  

What is a closed adoption?

A closed adoption occurs when the adoptive family and birth mother and/or birth father choose not to have contact prior to or after the placement of the child.

How much do pregnancy services at Barker cost?

There are no costs. Our counseling services are free and ongoing for as long as you need support.

What if I work with a counselor and don’t choose adoption? Do I owe your agency anything?

Absolutely not. We offer counseling to you with no strings attached. We are here to help you decide what is best for you, and if that is parenting, then that is great. Barker will connect you with resources to help you parent successfully, even when adoption is not the plan that you select.

I am early in my pregnancy. How long should I wait to contact your agency?

Contact us at any time. Our counselors can give you information you may find helpful now and will continue to support you as long as you need it. It is never too early or too late to contact us.

When do I sign adoption consents?

Consents for adoption are signed after the baby’s birth, typically a day after delivery. We will never ask you to sign a consent before the baby is born.

Who has to sign consents?

The birth mother and birth father are required to sign consents for adoption. If the birth father is unknown, we can assist in identifying and informing him, or work with the courts to terminate parental rights.

What is the revocation period?

In an agency adoption, each state and jurisdiction has a specified period after birth parents sign consents. During this period, birth parents may reflect upon their decision and, if they so choose, revoke their consents for adoption. This is known as the revocation period. The following periods are in effect in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area:

  • Maryland: 30 days after signing
  • Washington, D.C.: 14 days after signing
  • Virginia: 7 days after signing consents and after baby is 10 days old

What are the rights of the biological father? 

Adoption requires the consent of the birth father. Our counselors can work with you individually or with you and your partner to explain all of the options to each of you.

What if I don’t know who the father is?

The law requires us to show that we have done our best to identify and involve the baby’s father. Our counselors can guide you through the process in a supportive way.

What is “Cradle Care?”

After a baby is born there is a period of time that birth parents have to reflect on their decision before it becomes final.  The length of this period is determined by each state.  In most cases we will place the baby in the care of one of our loving Cradle Care Families during this period.  Our Cradle Care Families are licensed as foster care providers in their respective state and meet regularly with Barker pregnancy services staff for continuing training.  They provide the first home for a baby that lasts from a week to 30 days depending upon the state.  In many ways these families are the heart and soul of Barker in that they unconditionally open the home and love to each baby that comes into care, providing him or her love and nurture in an anxiety free environment until the next chapter begins with his or her forever family.  To learn more about "Cradle Care," contact our Family Specialist, Kate Simpsonksimpson@barkerfoundation.org.

Do I have to come to your offices?

No. Barker counselors are flexible and can meet you where you feel most comfortable. This might mean at your home, at a confidential place of your choosing, or at our office.

For additional common adoption questions asked by birth parents, see this blog post.