Bulgaria is a small, yet beautiful Eastern European country nestled in the heart of the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe. Bulgaria is bordered to the north by Romania, to the west by Serbia and Macedonia, to the south by Greece and Turkey and to the east by the Black Sea. The capital city of Sofia has been compared to Paris with its broad boulevards, open-air cafes, large parks, upscale shopping and grand buildings. The language is Bulgarian (Slavic) and is written in Cyrillic, the same alphabet as the Russian use. While Russian is the second language and is still taught in schools today, many young people are learning to speak English. Even though the children adopted internationally come to the U.S. speaking their native language, they pick up English fairly quickly and are able to make their needs known and communicate at a basic level within weeks of arriving.
The orphans from Bulgaria are well cared for in state run institutions and are available for adoption after six months on the adoption registry. The children receive regular doctor visits and there are hospitals nearby for additional medical care. The children begin attending school once they are 6 years of age. Bulgaria permits the adoption of more than one child and has very flexible acceptance criteria. The Bulgarian children have a mix of gypsy, Turkish and Bulgarian heritages. Their complexions are truly European, ranging from fair to olive.
Bulgaria is a Hague Convention Country, which meaning there are safeguards in place to ensure adoptions are both ethical and in the best interests of the children. Bulgaria’s Central Authority under the Hague Convention is the Ministry of Justice, which is responsible for all the activities, related to the international adoptions, including accepting applications of adoptive parents, keeping the register of children available for adoption and the register of prospective adoptive parents, giving approvals for adoption.
EAC works with Vesta, a non-profit, licensed and accredited Bulgarian adoption organization, to assist in the placement of children from Bulgarian orphanages and institutions into U.S. adoptive homes. Vesta, with over 15 years of experience, and EAC with its 23+ years experience are working together to help Bulgarian children find their permanent homes.
Children become available for adoption through a number of circumstances: abandonment, death of birth parents, or when the birth parents relinquish their rights. Children with greatest need in international adoption are older children and children with known additional needs. A lack of prenatal care contributes to the high incidence of special needs seen in Bulgaria. Many of the special needs are often treatable or correctable in the United States. Male, female, and sibling groups are available. Children are available up to 16 years of age. Most children have mild to moderate medical conditions. Children on registry may be considered special needs even if the need is their age (4-8 years old). Special needs and older children, as well as sibling groups are also desperately in need of loving homes.
Recently Home from Bulgaria
Travel Requirements for a Bulgaria Adoption
- Bulgaria requires two short trips.
- The first trip is approximately 7 days.
- The second trip is approximately 7-10 days and occurs 4-6 months after the first trip.
- Only one parent is required to travel on the 2nd trip.
Time Frame for a Bulgaria Adoption
- Approximate time frame from dossier to referral is 36 months. Less for older children, siblings, and special needs.
- Children 9 years and older, and sibling groups of 3, 12+ months.
The Process for a Bulgaria Adoption
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Convention, adopting from Bulgaria must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order so that your adoption meets all necessary legal requirements.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt (I-800A)
- Be Matched with a Child
- Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Eligible for Immigration to the United States (I-800)
- Adopt the Child in Bulgaria
- Bring your Child Home
Post Adoptive Requirements
Post Adoptive Requirements for a Bulgaria Adoption
- All families must submit post-adoptive reports following social worker visits at 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months.