Barker's 30th Annual Conference


When: Saturday, March 16, 2024

Time: 8:15am-4:30pm

Where: The Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center - Rockville, Maryland

Join us for Barker's 30th Annual Conference, a milestone event dedicated to exploring the world of adoption and providing invaluable insights and strategies for success. This year, we are thrilled to present a remarkable lineup of speakers and sessions that promise to inspire, educate, and connect individuals and families navigating the adoption journey. We are honored to have Alec Ingold, a successful NFL player and adoptee as our keynote speaker. Alec will share his personal journey of triumph and resilience, highlighting how adoption shaped his life and career. His unique perspective will inspire and motivate all attendees.

Social workers and professionals will receive 5.5 CEU CAT 1

Meet Keynote Speaker, Alec Ingold

Alec was adopted at birth into a supportive and tight knit family. This support system is the reason he has been able to chase his dreams. Alec has partnered with AdoptUSKids to bring awareness to adoption across the US. The one on one mentorship is Alec’s favorite aspect of the partnership. Alec has always kept education as a top priority. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Personal Finance degree, he has learned how deficient financial literacy is in underprivileged communities. Alec is spearheading “Money Minicamp” to enhance financial literacy in schools. In his new book, 'The Seven Crucibles: An Inspirational Game Plan for Overcoming Adversity in Your Life,' Alec Ingold delivers a hands-on playbook for conquering every obstacle that stands between you and success, on the playing field and in life.

AF landing page (2)-1

About the conference

Barker's Annual Conference is an inclusive space that brings together a diverse community of individuals connected to adoption and child welfare. Whether you are an adoptive parent, a prospective adoptive parent, a professional in the field, or an adult adoptee, our conference is designed to provide you with a supportive and enriching experience. At Barker's conference, our primary goal is to inspire, educate, and empower attendees by offering a space where they can:

  • Learn from experts and unique experiences
  • Become inspired and foster connections
  • Gain tools, strategies, and resources to better navigate the complexities of adoption
  • Build empowerment through community

Panel Discussion Topics

Our panel discussions provide a variety of adoption topics for attendees to explore. Attendees will have the unique opportunity to:

  • Hear from professionals on how to effectively create a loving and supportive family environment, the importance of older child adoption, and more. 
  • Hear from Adoptive parents on their transracial adoption experience.
  • Hear from Adult Adoptees on their search and reunion experiences.
  • Hear from Adopted youth from the LGBTQ+ community discuss the importance of creating inclusivity within the family.

    Click below to learn more about Barker's panel topics and descriptions.

Hotel and Travel Information

This year's conference is held at The Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center in Rockville, Maryland. 

This year, we have created a Hotel and Travel Guide for attendees traveling from out of town. In this guide, you will find: 

  • Recommended nearby hotels in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.
  • Recommended airports and travel accommodations for Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.
  • Things to do in Maryland, D.C., and Virginia.

These recommendations are here to help you enjoy your stay before and/or after Barker's conference. 


Meet Our Speakers

View our Panel Discussion and Presentation Topics

Learn more about what our amazing presenters will discuss!

Your teen is invited to join us for a day of connection, storytelling, and resiliency building.

Teen Connections 1
Ever wonder how some people can “bounce back” from difficult life experiences and struggles? Your teen is invited to join us for a day of connection, storytelling, and resiliency building. Alec Ingold, Adoptee and NFL Player, will be engaging with participants, and several of the clinicians for the day are adult adoptees. During this program, teens will explore ways to develop self-respect and self-compassion. Resiliency is the heart of our Teen Connections conference. This theme is a celebration of the strength, adaptability and determination. Teen Connections welcomes teens aged 13-18 as of March 16, 2024.

Ticket Pricing

Early bird ticket sales ends on February 16th for the Conference and Teen Connections!

General Admission

General admission ticket for all attendees. Join us today!

  • Hear from Alec Ingold as he discusses his personal journey
  • Access to panel discussions
  • Professionals can earn 5.5 CEU | CAT 1
  • Networking opportunity


Teen Connections

Is your teen interested in a day of building resiliency? Join Teen Connections!

  • Special guest, Alec Ingold, will be engaging with participants
  • Build connections with other teen adoptees
  • Engage in a day of storytelling and creating an art project
  • Discover ways to conquer obstacles and build resiliency


View Previous Sponsors!