PWNL post (3).pngWhat is Pre-Adoption Training?

If you are exploring adopting an older child from foster care or from an international program through Barker, Pre-Adoption training is your first step. Barker uses the National Training and Development Curriculumn (NTDC), which is a nationally recognized training model used to prepare families to adopt.

Pre-Adoption Training is intended to educate, support, and prepare families who will be adopting a child through the US foster care system, international or private domestic process. Families will enhance core competencies and gain skills to effectively parent children from a variety of different backgrounds, who have experienced trauma, separation and loss. Through shared learning with others and with the facilitation of an experienced professional and parent team, we believe that families can provide the healing environment that children need.


Get to Know Barker

The Barker Adoption Foundation is a Hague-accredited non-profit adoption agency licensed in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Our Project Wait No Longer (P.W.N.L.) program partners with public child welfare agencies across the country to find loving, safe, and permanent families.

Barker provides free information meetings- our monthly general information meeting and an older child adoption information meeting for anyone exploring adoption to expand their family. Attending an information meeting is an excellent opportunity to learn about the agency, our programs, and services and meet the staff. You may also schedule a Virtual Pre-Adoption Consultation if you prefer a 1:1 conversation with the Domestic Adoption Program Director.


Barker's P.W.N.L. program has placed over 170 wonderful children with adoptive families in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C. with loving adoptive families like yours!


How Long Does Pre-Adoption Training Take?


Pre-Adoption Training curriculum is a total of 24 hours, which Barker offers as sessions over a period of four Saturdays from 10 AM to 4 PM. You and your spouse/partner (if applying together) must attend each session to complete your certification. We understand life happens, and make-up sessions can be arranged for those special circumstances. 

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What to Expect from Foster Care Adoption Training

The Pre-Adoption Training, N.T.D.C., will cover issues such as cultural sensitivity, the impact of adoption on child development, ongoing birth family and sibling contact, and provide tools and resources on topics such as:

  • Attachment & Bonding
  • The impact of abuse & neglect
  • Transitioning the child into your home
  • Educational Advocacy
  • Grief & Loss
  • Behavioral Challenges
  • Transcultural/transracial adoption. 


Benefits of Completing Pre-Adoption Training with Barker

Many families use the training experience to confirm their commitment to adopting an older child with a history of trauma. Since this is required training to adopt from our foster care adoption program, the information provided is to strengthen your parent toolbox, not just resources and tools to become a foster parent. Prospective parents receive information on Barker's lifelong support available to you through our Post-Adoption Services that can help continue to strengthen your family. It also provides the opportunity to build relationships with other families adopting from the foster care system and build relationships with P.W.N.L. staff. 

Two highlights from the training include hearing from a family who has adopted through P.W.N.L. and a presentation from P.W.N.L.'s Placement Coordinator on the matching process. 


Please do not hesitate to contact our staff for more information.


Email the Barker Adoption Foundation

kfischer [at] (Email Us)



Find a session that works best with your schedule here. If you have further questions, please do not hesitate to kfischer [at] (contact our staff) for support.



Yes. Training is a requirement for all families pursuing adoption through any of our programs, including the foster care system, but it is also a learning experience so you can have a better understanding of what your new child has been through and how to best meet their needs. 


Families who have taken PRIDE or Pre-Adoption Training within the past three years should contact PWNL to discuss a reduction in the training requirement.  If PRIDE or Pre-Adoption Training was taken more than three years ago, families are required to complete the training in its entirety again.


Common Adoption Questions