Bulgarian Adoptions

New Applicant Criteria
Age: The adoptive parents should be between the ages of 25-55 years old. The maximum age approval will be 55 years older (singles age 50) than the child.
Health Status: applicants should be in generally good health with no known conditions that would impair the adoption and raising of the child.
Income: applicants should have at least average income.


I. Adopt Abroad, Inc.- Adoption Agency's Background in Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a signee to the Hague treaty. All adoption processes must follow Hague international adoption protocol. Adopt Abroad Inc. is a Hague accredited adoption agency and our Bulgarian partner is authorized to facilitate Bulgarian adoptions under the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria. Currently there are only about 250 U.S. adoption agencies that have achieved Hague accreditation. We are proud to say that Adopt Abroad, Inc. has been a Hague accredited adoption agency since 2008.

» Click here for an application to begin your Bulgarian adoption  

Adopt Abroad has been working with the same Bulgarian partner for Bulgarian adoptions since 2005. After a brief closing, Bulgaria reopened for adoptions in April 2008. We estimate the process for an adoption from Bulgaria will take between 20-38 months, from dossier submission to completion, depending on the child you are seeking to adopt. Your wait time will likely be at the shorter end of this range if you are open to a special needs waiting child or older child.

Bulgarian Adoptions 

  1. Adopt Abroad- Adoption Agency's Background in Bulgaria
  2. Available Bulgarian children for Adoption
  3. Bulgarian Adoption and Eligible Adoptive Parent(s)
  4. The Adoption Process
  5. Travel for your Bulgarian Adoption
  6. Post Adoption Reports and Bulgarian Adoption
  7. FAQ's about Bulgaria
  8. Bulgaria: The Country

II. Available Bulgarian children for Adoption 

The orphans from Bulgaria are well cared for in state run institutions and are available for adoption after six months on the adoption registry. Bulgaria permits the adoption of more than one child and has very flexible acceptance criteria. The Bulgarian people have a mix of gypsy, Turkish and Bulgarian heritages. The children range from Caucasian to Turkish to Roma. This means their complexions will range from fair to olive, truly European.

Children are available from the ages of 1 to 16 years of age. In some cases, children with special needs may be released at a younger age.

We will provide you with as much information as we are able to obtain on a child, however, there will never be as much information on a child's background as one would like. The most valuable information will be obtained when the family travels to Bulgaria. The medical information, and usually brief history, is critical for evaluating a toddler or child for adoption. Often this is all the information that is available. As a child gets older, their character, personality, temperament, and intelligence become more important.

Agencies licensed to work in Bulgaria will have access to photos, videos and information regarding the child's medical needs and history, in accordance with the requirements set out by the Bulgarian adoption authorities.

*The Bulgarian special needs waiting children list. The Bulgarian adoption authorities maintain a list of waiting children. This list primarily consists of children who have handicaps or special needs and are available for placement in an adoptive home. *Bulgarian waiting children for adoption is only available on our password-protected web site. If you're interested in learning more about the children in Bulgaria waiting for adoption, please contact us.

The Bulgarian adoptive children's list features children that are available for adoption now. The information changes quickly and there are no guarantees that any featured waiting child will still be available.    back to listing >>

III. Bulgarian Adoption and Eligible Adoptive Parent(s)  

Bulgaria is very liberal in its views as to who may apply as an adoptive parent. The Bulgarian adoption program is open to single women and married couples. The adoptive parent applicants should be between the ages of 25 to 55 years old. Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the child they are seeking to adopt. Applicants with children already in the home are accepted into this program.   back to listing >>

IV. The Adoption Process 

Bulgarian AdoptionsAdopt Abroad will perform the home study services. If the prospective adoptive parents live outside our home study area, we will refer you to another home study agency. Adopt Abroad adoption agency partners with several adoption agencies who can provide home study services for the adoption of a child from Bulgaria. One of the family requirements to adopt a child from Bulgaria is that you take some additional coursework beyond the home study, in subjects relating to international adoption. We have several partners who offer online education courses such as Adoption Learning Partners.

Adopt Abroad will help advise you on the paperwork (adoption dossier) for your Bulgarian adoption. Once you have completed your adoption dossier, we will review it and upon approval, the dossier paperwork will be sent to Bulgaria. Now your Bulgarian adoption begins!

» Click here for an application to begin the adoption process  

The Bulgarian officials will review your dossier and grant your application approval. The approval process takes approximately 2 months. Upon approval, you are legally eligible to receive referrals. The wait time for a referral varies depending upon your criteria for a child, the number of families already in queue and the availability of children. However, Adopt Abroad estimates that at this point in time it takes approximately 24-36 months to receive a referral.

The referral information will consist of photos, medical information and quite often, a video clip of the Bulgarian child referred for adoption. Adopt Abroad will provide the adoptive parents a list of independent physicians and psychologists that the adoptive family may contact for independent evaluations on the child they are considering to adopt. The children are tested for HIV, TB & Hepatitis C prior to referral.

Once the adoptive parents have decided to commit to adopting the referred Bulgarian child, they will travel to Bulgaria to meet their waiting child.   back to listing >>

V. Travel for your Bulgarian Adoption 

Adoption Travel: Once you decide to commit to adopting the child and accept the referral, you will make your first trip to visit. This is a short trip of five to six days to meet your child in person and sign the intent to adopt paperwork.

On this initial trip, families will be met at the airport by our Bulgarian facilitators. You will be escorted and provided with a translator throughout the adoption process. Upon accepting the referral, the registration of your adoption will occur. Our local facilitators will register all the required paperwork with the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. The adoption will be finalized in Bulgaria. All decisions are made by the Bulgarian authorities and our Bulgarian facilitators will represent you in all adoption matters.

Approximately 3 months later you will be invited for your second trip. During your second trip you will be completing the required US Embassy medical evaluation and US Embassy Visa application interview. The child's adoption will be finalized at this point and he or she will have a passport. Only one parent needs to travel for this trip. During the second trip, you will have a mandatory visit to the US Consulate and medical clinic. The adoptive family will be escorted to all official appointments. The second trip is of approximately 1 week duration.

Adopt Abroad, Inc. does not endorse "escort" programs. We feel this is a parental obligation. Visas are not required for U.S citizens traveling to Bulgaria.   back to listing >>

VI. Post Adoption Reports and Bulgarian Adoption 

Your home study provider will prepare 4 post adoption reports and submit them to Adopt Abroad. Visits are required for Bulgarian adoptions for the first two years and these reports are due at 6, 12, 18 & 24 months. Along with several pictures, these reports, which include information on your child's progress and development, will be sent to the orphanage staff and officials in Bulgaria. This allows them to see your child's adjustment into your family and life in the United States.   back to listing >>

» Click here for an application to begin your Bulgarian adoption  

VII. FAQ's about Bulgaria 

Do I require a visa to visit Bulgaria? U.S. citizens are not required to obtain a visa when traveling to Bulgaria.

Can I adopt more than one child in a single Bulgarian adoption process? Families may petition to adopt sibling groups or two unrelated children. At this time we are only seeing referrals of related children. Referrals of Bulgarian children for adoption are based upon availability as well as the information regarding the Bulgarian child sought that adoptive parents have noted in their home study.

Who can adopt from Bulgaria? Bulgarian adoptions are open to single women and married couples. Families may have children already in the home.

Can any agency perform adoptions from Bulgaria? Bulgaria is a Hague country. Any adoption process in Bulgaria must be performed through a Hague accredited adoption agency. At present there are only approximately 250 U.S. agencies that have achieved Hague accreditation. Adopt Abroad has been Hague accreditated since the U.S.A enacted the Hague treaty in 2008. Our Bulgarian partners are accredited by the Bulgarian authorities to place children. We have been working with the same Bulgarian partner since 2005.

Does Adopt Abroad perform home study services for Bulgarian adoptions as well as child placement services? Adopt Abroad will provide home study services for families in our catchment area who are seeking to adopt a child from Bulgaria. If you are living outside this area we will refer you to an agency that we can work with in a partnership to help you with your Bulgarian adoption. It is important that you discuss the home study agency with Adopt Abroad prior to starting the home study process. This will be a Hague adoption and the partnering agency must enter into a contractual relationship with Adopt Abroad. We look forward to helping you make your dream of adopting a child from Bulgaria a reality.

What city would I fly into for my Bulgarian adoption? Most families will fly into the capital Sofia, Bulgaria to begin their adoption process.

Will I need to make hotel reservations for my Bulgarian adoption? Adopt Abroad's Bulgarian facilitators will make recommendations for hotels in Bulgaria. The family will have several hotels to choose from. All the Bulgarian hotels recommended for the Bulgarian adoption process are selected based upon safety, quality and convenience to the appointments necessary for the Bulgarian adoption process.

I already have children in my home. Can I adopt from Bulgaria? Yes, Bulgaria will accept families with children into their adoption program.

Will the Bulgarian children speak English? How will I communicate with my Bulgarian child? The Bulgarian children will speak their native language, Bulgarian. Our experience with placing children over the past several years has shown us that parents need not fear having a language barrier with their child. Most internationally adopted children learn English fairly quickly. Our adoptive parents have reported that their internationally adopted children were able to make their needs known and communicate at a basic level within a few weeks. Some adoptive parents have learned basic sign language as a means of communication. Other adoptive parents have told us they learned a few basic, necessary words in the child's native language and then use this word along with its English correlation to help build language skills.

I'm ready to begin my Bulgarian adoption. How do I get started? Please click here and fill in our online contact formula. A representative from Adopt Abroad will contact you shortly.   back to listing >>

VIII. Bulgaria: The Country 

Bulgaria is the crossroad of South-Eastern Europe. It is bordered by Romania, Greece, the Balkans and Turkey, and shares a coastline with the Black Sea. Bulgaria is a beautiful country well worth visiting. The capital and oldest city is Sofia.

Bulgaria is a Hague adoption country. If you are considering adoption from Bulgaria, please read the following information as required by the Hague Convention on International Adoptions.

From 1954 to 1989, Bulgaria became one of the more prosperous countries in Eastern Europe under the leadership of Todor Zhivokov. When communism collapsed in 1989 Bulgaria suffered greatly, as did most of the Eastern Bloc nations. The area's comeback since then has not been without problems; high unemployment, the lack of a social safety net, and rapid inflation, has caused difficulty and widespread disillusionment. Bulgaria is presently seeking to qualify for membership in NATO and the European Union. Progress has been slow but steady under President Georgi Paranov.

The language is Slavic and is written in Cyrillic. This is the same alphabet as the Russians use. Russian is the second language and is still taught in schools today. The young people are more likely to speak English.

Bulgaria has a temperate climate with cold damp winters and hot dry summers. Visitors coming to Bulgaria will see a country striving to adapt and the people who remain gracious and hospitable despite the difficulties encountered in their daily lives. The Bulgarian people, generally described as warm and friendly, are known for their love of music. Traditional Bulgarian music includes folk songs. The chief native musical instruments are the gaida (bagpipe) and the kaval (a wooden shepherd's flute). The Bulgarian folk dancers are variations of the hora, a round chain dance and the ruchenitsa, a lively dance of two couples.   back to listing >>

Website for links on Bulgaria and its history:

Bulgarian news

History of Bulgaria

Bulgarian Traditions

Information on the country of Bulgaria on the U.S. Department of State web site


Adopt Abroad, Inc., 1424 North 2nd St., Harrisburg, PA - a federal 501(c)3 non-profit