homestudy_intl family.pngWhat is a Home Study?

An adoption home study is one of the first and most important steps a family takes in the adoption process. Barker is licensed to provide home studies to families who reside in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.  

The home study is an evaluative and preparatory process required by state regulation an individual or couple must complete before they can adopt a child. The result is a document written by a Barker social worker that includes information drawn from interviews with the prospective parent(s) and supporting information provided by third parties. This step can feel like the most overwhelming step in the process, but with the support and guidance of Barker's adoption experts, families can complete this step feeling excited and ready to continue their adoption journey. 

Get to Know Barker

The Barker Adoption Foundation is a Hague-accredited adoption agency licensed in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. Barker provides free information meetings- our monthly general information meeting and an international 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 International Program Director.

Barker has supported DC, Maryland, and Virginia families in adopting from over 25 different countries over the years!
Including- Bulgaria, Burundi, Colombia, Costa Rica, Granada, Ghana, Haiti
Iran, Peru, Philippines, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam, and South Africa

Home Study & Post-Placement Services Only

For Families in Virginia, Maryland, and Washington, D.C.

As a Hague accredited agency, Barker offers specific local home study and post-placement services to families living in Maryland, Virginia, and Washington, D.C., who hope to adopt from a country where Barker does NOT have a direct program (Barker’s direct programs currently include China, India and South Korea).

Prospective adoptive families requesting only local services from Barker will identify a licensed, Hague-accredited agency that has a direct program in the specific country they wish to adopt from as their child-placing agency.

Please Note: Barker does not provide local services for international adoptions that do not have a placement agency involved (for example, independent or private adoptions). If you need support identifying a child-placing agency, kfischer [at] (please reach out to Barker staff) who will be happy to support you in connecting with one of our many partner agencies all around the U.S.

Key Home Study Post Placement Services Barker Provides Include:

  • Adoption Education and training

  • Completion of the home study (and all associated paperwork)

  • Post-placement supervision services that occur after a family brings their child home

  • Support and guidance from Barker staff throughout the process

  • A variety of educational and support services are available both during the adoption process and post-adoption

Barker believes in the importance of providing support and guidance to our families throughout their adoption journey, whether you are adopting through our direct programs or working with another agency for placement. As your local agency, we will ensure that you have the assistance you need with your adoption plans, provided by our knowledgeable, well-trained staff.


How Long Does a Home Study Take?

The home study process typically takes a few months to complete and is designed to get to know the prospective parent or parents and assist them in preparing to become parents through adoption. Depending on the specifics of the situation and the family’s directive, the home study results are provided to public child welfare departments, courts, attorneys, licensed partnering adoption agencies, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and/or an overseas social welfare agency.

What to Expect in an Home Study

Generally, a home study includes information on the following:

  • Family background and references

  • Education and employment

  • Relationships and social life, including strength of marriage, if applicable

  • Finances, including net worth and discretionary income

  • Results of criminal and child-protection clearances

  • Assessment of physical and mental health, as determined by your physician

  • Interviews with your adult children, if applicable

  • Interviews with any household member

  • Parenting experiences

  • Details about your home and neighborhood

  • Readiness for adopting and your reasons for wanting to adopt

  • Approval and recommendation of children whom your family can best parent

What is the Process To Complete a Home Study?

Below is a guide that will assist your family in working with Barker for home study and post-placement services:

Identify a Hague-accredited agency that has a direct program in the chosen country, and learn about the program and the application, referral, and placement processes. For support in choosing a child-placing agency, please do not hesitate to contact Barker staff (301-664-9664), or schedule a consultation with our International Program Director.

Contact the international program staff at Barker to discuss the local services that Barker provides and how we can meet your needs. Staff can be reached by phone at 301-664-9664 or kfischer [at] (via email).

Submit an adoption application to Barker. Your application is reviewed, and then an application interview is scheduled with Barker clinical staff. At this meeting, you will review all the paperwork needed to complete the home study.

Provide contact information for the adoption agency you have chosen as your child-placing agency so that Barker staff may coordinate with them on requirements for the country and the agency.

Complete the home study paperwork and pre-adoption training requirements, as determined by Barker and your child-placing agency. 

Once your home study paperwork and training have been completed, complete home study interviews and assessment with an experienced Barker Home Study Social Worker.  Once the home study is complete, we send your home study to you and to your placing agency.

Barker completes home study updates as needed during the waiting period based on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), country, and state requirements.

Once your child is home, we complete the required post-placement / post-adoption supervisory visits. These visits enable us to assist you and your child as you settle into becoming a family. The number of visits required depends on the country’s requirements as well as your placing agency and Barker’s criteria.


Barker provides lifelong post-adoption services to you and your child.  We are available to you for counseling or guidance. Barker also offers a wide array of workshops and events and an annual conference to help keep you connected to other adoptive families and give you the most up-to-date information on adoption.

Please do not hesitate to contact our staff for support in selecting the right country and child-placing agency for your family.

Email the Barker Adoption Foundation

kfischer [at] (Email Us)


Start your adoption home study by attending a free information meeting and reviewing the home study information. If you're not sure what country program you would like to explore or have further questions, please do not hesitate to kfischer [at] (contact our staff) for support in selecting the best country and child-placing agency for your family. 

No. A home study is required to determine if you are suitable and eligible to adopt a child abroad and bring the child to the United States and must be completed before an individual or couple can adopt a child.

Families can expect the following key services in their home study:

  • Adoption education and training
  • Completion of the home study (and all associated paperwork)
  • Post-placement supervision services that occur after a family brings their child home
  • Support and guidance from Barker staff throughout the process
  • A variety of educational and support services available both during the adoption process and post-adoption
Common Adoption Questions