Bulgaria Adoption Overview
Program Coordinator: Lianna Mills
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. 4 to 6 months between trips.
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: 2-4 months (Waiting Children) 5+ years (Non-special needs)
Bulgaria Program Highlights
- Bulgarian agencies and the Ministry of Justice provide updated, comprehensive information about each child to prospective adoptive families and to families matched with a child. The reports are prepared by qualified professionals including medical specialists, child psychologists, the care-workers, or in some cases, the foster parents.
- Children have access to a wide range of programs to help their development; commonly, school resource teachers, speech or physical therapy lessons, and local sports and drama clubs.
- Once matched, our partners are happy to work with families to maintain contact with their children and facilitate bonding during trips.
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 agencies with whom CAS partners with send files of older children and children with special needs, including sibling groups, to be represented on our Photolisting. Before a family can receive detailed information on a waiting child, they must first provide a current approved home study. 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, which will be 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 accredited Bulgarian adoption agencies to assist families with Bulgarian adoptions. CAS and the Bulgarian NGO that represents the child you are matched with will assist with your dossier. Once submitted, the dossier is translated, legalized, and presented to the Ministry of Justice. The official referral consists of a detailed report about the child – including physical and emotional development, known background information, pictures, and sometimes videos.
Bulgaria Adoption Travel: What to Expect
Parents are escorted by an experienced staff member of our in-country partner agencies 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 home.
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.
My adoption story is a long one, but I have to say I understand the true meaning of “everything comes to those who wait”. I grew up in a big family. My Dad had two jobs, so Mom stayed home and raised us. Now, our family is even bigger with lots of nieces and nephews as all my siblings got married and had children. When I passed the child bearing years, I was intrigued by the adoption process. This process is a long and hard one! You must have A LOT of patience, and the right agency. I started with Carolina Adoption Services, and finally completed my adoption this year from Bulgaria. I have to say everyone at Carolina Adoption Services was a pleasure to work with. They are patient, supportive, kind and knowledgeable. I now have a BEAUTIFUL little 3 1/2 year old daughter which was LOVE at first sight! I can’t imagine my life without her now! Mom always said God has a plan for you! Thanks to the great work at Carolina Adoption Services, my dream of being a Mother has come true!!! Thank you Carolina Adoption Services!
“Through the miracle of adoption we chose to add to our family. We are so very grateful for the wonderful staff of CAS for their attention to detail and help they provided during this journey. We have been blessed with the addition of two wonderful daughters from Bulgaria. We could not have asked for a smoother process to bring them home. The journey is long but so worth it in the end.”
-Brian & Trish