Bulgaria Adoption Program
The Bulgarian adoption process is very stable and predictable after a few years of reorganization of their adoption program several years ago. In addition, things have improved considerably in both the adoption process as well as the care of the children. Bulgaria participates in the Hague Convention and has a very transparent adoption process. The majority of children available for adoption in Bulgaria have an olive complexion, brown eyes, brown hair and are of Roma ethnicity or Turkish descent. Children available for international adoption from Bulgaria were abandoned at birth, relinquished by birth family, or their birth family’s parental rights were terminated and they are now in the care of the government.
Children of Roma descent are the children most commonly available for adoption in Bulgaria. Roma are commonly referred to as a “gypsy” children which in Europe is an extremely derogatory term, and they are treated with disdain and disrespect. These children are not typically adopted by Bulgarian families due to the perceived “stigma” of being Roma.
Children Available from Bulgaria:
• Boys and girls from age one to 14 years old at time of referral. Referrals take longer for younger healthier children under three.
• The children will be in government run child care centers or orphanages throughout Bulgaria, in some cases in foster care.
• Children are primarily of Roma ethnicity or decent.
• Children’s ethnicity cannot be requested by adopting parents.
• Children with special needs are available for adoption Bulgaria.
• Special needs can include older children over age six, children with varying degrees of pre-identified medical needs or a combination of both. Examples of minor special needs include anemia, a cross eye, or a skin condition.
• Many sibling groups are also available.
Adoptive Parent Requirements in Bulgaria:
• Adopting parents may be married or single heterosexual men and women.
• There is no minimum length of marriage for married couples.
• There is no upper age limit for adopting parents.
• Prospective adoptive parents should not currently be diagnosed with any life-threatening illnesses or contagious diseases.
Estimated Timeline for Bulgaria:
• The average adoption in Bulgaria can take between one to four years.
• Approximate wait time for a referral of a child is between six months and four years.
• Families typically receive a referral for a child with no pre-identified special needs two - three years old in approximately 3-4 years.
• For a child four - five years old, with no pre-identified special needs, the wait is approximately 2-3 years.
• For a child five - six years old, with no pre-identified special needs, the wait is approximately 2 years.
• For a child seven - nine years old and up, with no pre-identified special needs, the wait is up to 12 months.
• For a child age 10+ and/or a sibling group where at least one child is nine or older, the wait is approximately 2 to 6 months.
• For the request of children with minor special needs, the above estimated wait times may be reduced.
• For the request of children with moderate to severe special needs, the estimated wait may be up to six months or less.
• All wait times are from the time the dossier is accepted by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
Adoption Process for Bulgaria:
• A Program Application and Contract for Adoption Services must be received and approved by A Love Beyond Borders in order for the adoption process to begin.
• Adopting families must have an approved Home Study or be in the process of completing a Home Study. A Love Beyond Borders is happy to assist in the Home Study process if you live in Colorado.
• Families will make two trips to Bulgaria; one to meet and bond with the child the other to finalize the court process and take the child home.
• A Love Beyond Borders will provide guidance during each step of the adoption process.
• A Love Beyond Borders will guide adopting families with travel preparations and ensure that the partner staff in Bulgaria provides a smooth process in the country.
Post Adoption for Bulgaria:
The Bulgarian MOJ requires a total of 4 post-placement reports. The reports are due at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after the adoption finalization date. ALBB requires one additional report at one month after the child arrives home as we feel this is an essential time of need for children and families. These reports must be written by a social worker based on a visit with your family. A Love Beyond Borders can assist with this process.
To learn more about adopting from Bulgaria and speak to the Bulgarian Program Manager click firstname.lastname@example.org.