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Bulgaria Adoption Program
Adoption STAR’s Pilot Program in Bulgaria is a wonderful program geared to find homes for older children and children with special needs. We estimate that the process can take 12-36 months from application to completion.
How long does it take to adopt?
Depending on how open a family is to the age and special needs of a child, the process to identify a child can be immediate or much longer. The Bulgarian adoption program is really tailored for those families who are open to adopting a child with special needs.
How is a child assigned to me?
The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice (MOJ) maintains a list of children who are available for adoption. Based on your interest in a waiting child in Bulgaria, Adoption STAR will share information on such children with you. It is recommended that you remain open to more than one child on the MOJ list.
What are the advantages of adopting from Bulgaria?
Bulgaria is a small picturesque country. The need to find homes for older children with special needs is high. It is an affordable international adoption option. Adoption STAR has partnered with an approved and Hague Accredited adoption agency in Bulgaria with many years of successful adoption experience. Because the process involves two agencies, one in the U.S. and one in Bulgaria, families will have support in both countries throughout the adoption process.
Is Bulgaria a HAGUE Adoption Convention Country?
What is the process?
- Complete home study and USCIS form I-800A.
- Gather documents for your dossier and submit them to Adoption STAR for certification. (This step can be completed simultaneously with the home study.)
- Receive petition approval which marks the beginning of the adoption process.
- To initiate the procedure of international adoption, an Application to the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) with the dossier enclosed. The Application will be processed by the MOJ within 30 days. If lapses and inconformity are found, the MOJ will give directions for their corrections and they should be dealt with within 14 days. The application will then be processed by the MOJ within another 30 days.
- It is very important that all diagnoses and medical conditions that would be accepted in a child are listed in details in the Application. The MOJ publishes on a regular basis a list of diagnoses and conditions of special needs children on their website.
- Once the Application is received, the adoptive parent(s) shall be entered in the register of prospective foreign adoptive parents willing to adopt a child under the conditions of full adoption. This entry does not in any way approve the Application or guarantee future referral of a child. It is merely a registration of the adoptive family as eligible to adopt from Bulgaria.
- In order to be referred a child, the adoptive family ought to be determined by the International Adoptions Committee (the Committee) as suitable to adopt the specific child from the registry of children who may be adopted by foreigners under the conditions of full adoption. The Committee reviews the dossiers of the children who may be adopted in the order of their entry in the register and compares them to the data of the prospective adoptive parents and to the conditions contained in their permissions to adopt a child. The Hague Convention, which is in force for Bulgaria, lays as fundamental and leading the principle of the child’s highest interest solely and only.
- Determination for suitability of the prospective adoptive parents for the adoption of the specific child from the register depends on a complex of factors:
- on the characteristics stated in the Home Study and I-171H – age, sex, health condition, number of children, etc.;
- on the expectations stated by the adoptive parents – age, sex, number of children, health condition, etc.;
- on the assessment of the Committee regarding the abilities of the prospective adoptive parents to meet the needs of the child to the highest degree and to provide him/her with physical, psychical and social well-being. Criteria like social status and educational qualification of the adoptive parents would be applied also.
- On the grounds of the assessment, the Committee makes a decision for the referral and proposes to the MOJ that the respective adoptive parent(s) are determined to adopt the specific child. The Minister shall rule his decision within 14 days and, in case of approval, the referral shall be officially sent. The referral would contain a photo and written report about the identity of the child, his/her social environment, social status, personal and family development, health condition, history of his/her diseases, his/her social needs and the consents for the adoption given. The agency will forward the referral to you.
- In a two month term of receiving the referral, three requirements have to be met:
- the adoptive parents should personally meet the child referred and the contact needs to be established for at least 5 days;
- the adoptive parents shall file with the MOJ their consent or denial to adopt the child referred;
- consents for proceeding with the adoption from the agency need to be filed with the MOJ.
- The procedure before the MOJ is finalized with explicit written consent for the adoption issued by the MOJ in a 14 day period as well as filing additional paperwork. Within three days of the Minister’s consent, the agency shall file with the MOJ the application for adoption to the court. The MOJ shall transfer the dossier to the Sofia City Court within another 7 days.
- The Court shall hear the case within 14 days after the dossier is filed. The court shall grant an order immediately (during the court hearing) and after 7 days it will become final.
- Documents for issuance of the new birth certificate of the child will be filed. You will be registered as parents of the child and the new names of the child shall be recorded. The new birth certificate shall be issued within 10-15 days.
- An application will be filed for the international passport of the child.
- You are now ready to travel to Bulgaria to pick up your child.
- You will be assisted in the process of obtaining the immigrant visa for your child in order for him/her to be admitted to the territory of the USA.
- Return home with your child!
- *Bulgaria requires post placement reports completed at 6, 12, 18 and 24 months after the adoption finalization date.
Looking for more information?
For more details about adoptions from Bulgaria please contact Adoption STAR. You can also find updated information at the U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria website. Also check out the U.S. Department of State Intercountry Bulgaria adoption page.
The Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Travelers’ Health Website is another good website to check out as it contains a wealth of information on health issues pertaining to international travel, including information on destination countries, recommendations regarding immunizations, and travel notices.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is an important aspect of an international adoption. For more information on the agency, you can visit their website here.
In order to complete an international adoption there are several government forms that you will need to complete. These forms can be downloaded online:
For questions about adoptions from Hague Convention countries, please call 1(877)424-8374 or send an email to NBC.Hague@dhs.gov. For questions about non-Hague adoption cases, please email NBC.Adoptions@dhs.gov.
Adoption STAR has put together a glossary of adoption terms that will help you along your adoption journey.
Are the children pictured on this page available for adoption?
No children whose photos appear on this website or on any Adoption STAR printed literature are available for adoption.