The Barker Adoption Foundation supports families who find equal joy in parenting an infant and parenting an older child.
Barker’s Domestic Adoption Dual Program allows families to actively and simultaneously wait in both the Domestic Infant Program as well as Project Wait No Longer (older child adoption from foster care) for children at least up to the age of 8. This program allows for a broader range of visibility as families will be considered in infant cases as well as older child cases from foster care. A pre-screen is required before approval to ensure program eligibility for both programs.
tmcleran [at] barkerfoundation.org (Email Us)
Who Are The Children?
Barker’s Pregnancy Counselor provides compassionate counseling to expectant parents who are experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and who are exploring adoption as a parenting option for their baby. Families in the dual program can be considered for newborns in these cases through Barker’s In Area Program (by availability and eligibility) or Out of Area program.
Older Children Waiting in Foster Care
Barker’s Searching and Matching Specialist inquires on waiting children in the US foster care system where there are currently over 100,000 children who are legally free for adoption.
Children in foster care from all over the US, up to the age of 18, need a loving and stable home. Children placed through PWNL are on average 9-10 years old. However, children as young as 2 years old and as old as 17 have found homes through this program.
WHAT ARE THE NEEDS?
Many children have suffered abuse, neglect, and complex trauma, where the support and stability of family can aid them in their recovery and improve their trajectory.
Younger children in foster care tend to have higher levels of specialized needs that exceed the capacity of their foster parents, or they might be a part of a large sibling group. Families interested in younger children (newborn to elementary age) would need to be open to medical/behavioral needs that require specialized interventions or specialist support a few times each month.
DUAL PROGAM ADOPTIVE PARENT ELIGIBILITY
Families who are approved to adopt through Barker's Domestic Adoption Dual Program must meet eligibility criteria for both the Domestic Infant Program as well as Project Wait No Longer.
Singles and married couples are welcome to apply. If married, you must be married for a minimum of one year at the time of application. For couples who are more recently married (less than one year), you are welcome to apply if you have lived together for at least one year. Please note that unmarried couples are not eligible to adopt through this program and that any couple living together must apply for adoption together.
Age of Parents
Must be between 25 and 50 years old
Openness of Parents
Must be open to adopting a child or children with higher levels of medical/specialized needs (e.g., Cerebral palsy, neurological conditions, speech/language impairment, limited mobility, heart defects, or other conditions requiring some level of specialist or therapeutic support)
Must complete the PRIDE older child adoption training and PAG training before starting the home study
Must be financially able to incur the costs associated with infant adoption, including medical and legal expenses for birth parents
Criminal and Medical History
Must meet state and agency guidelines for criminal history, medical, and other eligibility standards
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Barker’s Domestic Adoption Dual Program seeks to equip families to meet a wide range of needs in children who are the most vulnerable and most in need of a home. Working with Barker means families receive:
Comprehensive Training and Education
- Specialized training in preparation for the considerations of infant and older child adoption
Individualized Support from Barker's Domestic Team
- Ongoing support from Barker's Domestic Infant Clinical Support Specialist and Barker's PWNL Search and Match Specialist
- A comprehensive home study for both infant and older child adoption
- Clinical support and guidance with selecting an Out of Area agency for the infant program
- Searching, Matching, and Referral of an infant, or child/children in foster care legally free for adoption
- Facilitation of visitation with birth parents for Barker Infant placements or with older child/children for PWNL placements
Lifelong Family Support
- Intensive post-placement support services during the months following placement and prior to adoption finalization
- Lifelong support and access to Barker's Family and Post-Adoption Services, which provides counseling, workshops, webinars, monthly support groups at no cost, and more
PROCESS AND TIMELINE
How long does the adoption process take?
There are many ways to become a family and enter the realm of parenting. For many, the desire would be to do so from infancy, and experience all the firsts of achieving early developmental milestones. For others, it is providing a home for an older child and helping them strengthen their sense of self and identity, and preparing them to launch into adulthood as a healed and whole person. And for some, it can be both and all of these things. Families who have joined this program have shared that when they came to the realization that they simply wanted to be a parent, be it to an infant or to an older child, it suddenly became much easier to say “yes!” They locked in to the idea of getting that phone call for a rosy-cheeked newborn or hearing from a caseworker that they’ve been matched with a 10-year-old from Kentucky. It all brought genuine joy.
Families waiting in the dual program can experience improved wait times as they are considered in two programs across a broad range of ages, needs, and circumstances.
Step 1: Home Study & Matching Process
A home study-approved family who is moderately open to common needs in the Domestic Infant program may wait 18-24 months for a match while waiting 8-12 months in the PWNL program. A dual waiting family matched in either program will then follow that individual program track from the time of their match through finalization.
Step 2: Complete Required Training
Families are required to complete the nationally recognized training certification for older child adoption from foster care (PRIDE- Parent Resource for Information, Development, and Education) and the Pre-Adoption Group training for families adopting Domestically and Internationally. Barker trainings provide families with:
- Resources and tools to navigate issues that are common for children in both populations;
- Increased awareness, competency, and adoption readiness on a variety of core modules that are critical to successful parenting;
- The opportunity to hear from adoptive families, birth parents, and adult adoptees who speak about their experiences and journeys as the attendees shift and broaden their perspectives on various topics;
- A safe space to build their adoption community as they learn with other families who are also exploring adoption.
Making the decision to adopt from either program may come with many questions and uncertainties. You always have the option to schedule a pre-adoption consultation with one of our adoption program directors as you navigate your options.
Connect with an Adoption Expert to learn more about adopting through Barker's Domestic Adoption Dual Program.
info [at] barkerfoundation.org (Email Us)
No. Families cannot be matched with more than one child where there is no biological relation. Our adoption specialists are actively involved with families to know when a match has occurred or when a family is being considered in a case. Once a family has accepted a match with an expectant/birth mother or an older child, the case file will be closed in the other program, and the family will proceed through the program track –process and fees- in which they are matched.
No. Families will have one comprehensive home study that will accommodate the full range of ages, needs, and considerations that are needed for program eligibility and assessment.
Families can decide at any time that they would like to focus on one program – Infant or PWNL. Families are encouraged to speak with their adoption social worker or specialist if they would like to consider alternate options for waiting/searching. Depending on program availability, or requirements, families can have updates made to their searching parameters in a home study update or an addendum.
Families in either Domestic program (Infant or PWNL), can join the dual program after completing a program assessment. Eligibility requirements must be met for both programs, and any necessary trainings must be completed. Families are welcomed to contact program staff to explore whether they might be a good fit for the dual program.