Bulgaria adoption is a great option for families hoping to adopt from Eastern Europe! In our Bulgaria program, families may consider the non-special needs track or Waiting Child adoption. Sign up for our Waiting Child Photolisting to view waiting children in Bulgaria.
Bulgaria Adoption Overview
Program Coordinator: Tania Griasnow
Children Available: Available children are 18 months and older at the time of referral. Waiting Children are 7 years and older who are considered healthy, and children of all ages with special needs.
Parent Requirements: Parents must be 25 or older. The age difference between an adoptive parent and child can be no more than 50 years for the younger parent or single parent in an adoptive family. The older parent can be no more than 55 years older than the child in the adoptive family. Single women may adopt. Single men may also be considered on a case-by-case basis.
Travel Requirements: Two trips to Bulgaria: the first 7 to 8 days; the second 10 to 12 days
a. 1 to 2 months from submitting a dossier to registering with the Bulgaria Ministry of Justice
b. From registration to match to a child: 12-18 months (Waiting Child-includes dossier preparation) and 3-4 years (Non-special needs)
More Details: Bulgaria Adoption with Carolina Adoption Services
About the Children
Bulgaria is a small country in Eastern Europe, and its cultural makeup is influenced by its neighbors. Children of Roma, Turkish and Bulgarian heritage are available for adoption in Bulgaria. Numerous orphanages in Bulgaria work to arrange international adoptions for children 18 months and older. Children live in orphanages, Centers of familial type for small numbers of children (up to 15), and in foster families.
The Ministry of Justice is the central adoption authority in Bulgaria. Carolina Adoption Services regularly receives files of waiting children from our in-country partners. We advocate for these children through our Waiting Child Photolisting.
About Bulgaria Adoption with Carolina Adoption Services
Carolina Adoption Services offers two adoption tracks for families adopting from Bulgaria:
Waiting Child: Every month, the Bulgarian accredited agency CAS partners with sends files of older children and children with special needs, including sibling groups, that we represent through the Photolisting. Once families request a match with a child on the Photolisting, they have 9 months to prepare and submit their home study and immigration approval to the Ministry of Justice to receive their official match.
Referral: Families do not have to identify an available child on the Photolisting to adopt from Bulgaria. Families awaiting a referral will complete their home study and dossier and get registered with the Ministry of Justice. The timeline for receiving a referral will vary depending on the family’s preferences for their child’s age and range of special needs. Every family who is awaiting a referral can at any point identify a child from the Waiting Child Photolisting with whom they wish to be matched.
Our Bulgaria Adoption Program and Process
Carolina Adoption Services partners with an accredited Bulgarian adoption agency, Happy Child Association, to assist families with Bulgarian adoptions. This agency represents families before the Ministry of Justice, Bulgaria’s adoption authority. CAS and Happy Child will assist each family with their dossier. Once submitted, the dossier is translated, legalized, and presented to the Ministry of Justice. The family is then eligible for a referral. The official referral consists of a detailed report about the child or siblings- including physical and emotional development, known background information, pictures, and sometimes videos.
Bulgaria Adoption Travel: What to Expect
Parents are met at the airport by an experienced staff member of our in-country partner agency and are escorted throughout their time in Bulgaria.
Adoptive parents must travel to Bulgaria for the first trip within two months of receiving the child’s information. If married, both parents are expected to travel. On the first trip, parents will meet the child for daily bonding visits over a 5-day period. At the conclusion of the trip, acceptance paperwork is signed and the parents return to the United States.
Immediately after the first trip, families will apply to USCIS for adoption approval. Meanwhile, attorneys in Bulgaria present paperwork on the family and child to the court in the family’s absence to finalize the adoption.
Once the legal proceedings for the adoption are final, the parents will make their second trip to Bulgaria. Typically, the second trip is 4 to 6 months after the first trip. The second visit lasts 10 to 12 days. Families will visit the U.S. Consulate in Sofia for the child’s immigrant visa interview. A medical exam of the child is required before the visa is granted. Only one parent is required to travel on the second trip, though both are encouraged to go on the trip.
Bulgaria Adoption: The Country
Bulgaria is a small, picturesque country in Eastern Europe that is approximately the size of the state of Tennessee. Bulgaria borders the Black Sea, as well as the countries Turkey, Greece, Romania and Serbia. Most of the country’s 7.7 million residents are concentrated in its urban centers, particularly the capital city of Sophia. Bulgaria offers universal healthcare and education through grade 12, and is a member of the European Union. It has been a democracy since 1990, as well as has a market-based economy driven by power engineering, heavy industry and agriculture.