Bulgaria

mlj adoptions bulgariaWhy Adopt From Bulgaria?

The Great Need for Adoption in Bulgaria. The children in Bulgaria in need of families are typically of Romani descent; in Eastern Europe, the Romani people, who are widely known as “gypsies,” are highly discriminated against.

While the word “gypsy” to some may drum up images of romantic and colorful fortunetelling characters traveling in caravans, it is an extremely derogatory term due to its stereotypical and negative associations. The Romani are often viewed as uneducated, thieves, and even social parasites. Sadly, Romani children in need of families in Bulgaria are often casualties of these pervasive negative stereotypes and are not typically adopted domestically by Bulgarian families.

In reality, these beautiful children with dark soulful eyes are born to families that may be uneducated, poor, and have little opportunity as a result of discrimination. Poverty causes approximately 90% of child abandonment in Bulgaria, where parents may receive very limited access to basic public services, such as health care, public transportation, or sanitation. Children with greatest need of 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. 

The Benefits of Adopting From a Hague Convention Country. Bulgaria is a Hague Convention Country, meaning there are additional safeguards by which Bulgaria operates to ensure adoptions are both ethical and in the best interests of the children. Hague Convention Countries tend to be more stable and predictable in processing adoptions and are less likely to be reactionary and make quick decisions that negatively impact the adoption process. Furthermore, Hague Convention Countries are more likely to have a process and procedure in place in the event the country elects to make any changes to its adoption process.

Who Are the Children in Need of Families?

  • Children range in ages from twelve months to school-aged
  • Both boys and girls are in need of families; gender preferences may be specified
  • Children are primarily of Romani descent (and may include those of Turkish heritage)
  • Occasionally children are of “true” Bulgarian descent, but much less frequently
  • No children of Bulgaria are considered Caucasian and children of fair appearance cannot be specified
  • Sibling groups and children with special needs are waiting for families
  • Children from Bulgaria may need to be placed in families through international adoption due to economic hardship, lack of acceptance of unwed mothers and medical reasons where parents lack the financial resources to meet the needs of their biological children

Who Can Adopt From Bulgaria?

  • Married couples and single people may adopt from Bulgaria
  • There is no length of marriage or age requirement
  • Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the adopted child
  • Upon consideration, Bulgaria often shows a great flexibility (in age of parents and family size) for children with special needs, sibling groups, and older children
  • Additional stipulations to apply for an orphan visa may be determined by a family’s government if the family lives outside of the United States

How Long Does It Take to Complete the Adoption Process?

The Bulgaria adoption process does not officially begin until 45 days after the family’s dossier arrives in Bulgaria, with dossier preparation taking upwards to six months. The time frame to receive a referral is approximately 12-24 months, depending upon the age and gender of child the family has indicated. The process may be expedited if a family is open to an older child, sibling group of three or more, or a child with special needs.

Referrals are given based on the date of dossier submission and balanced by several variables; characteristics of child the family has indicated (age, gender, health status) and the children in need of families at any given time. Once the referral is accepted in Bulgaria, the adoption will take approximately four to six months to complete. When the adoption is complete, parents can return to Bulgaria to bring the child home.

Please note that time frames may vary on a case-by-case basis and are subject to change.

What Travel Is Required?

Two trips (approximately one week each) to Bulgaria are required:

  1. One to visit, with a duration of approximately five to seven days; and
  2. One to bring the child home, with a duration of approximately five to ten days.

Why Choose MLJ Adoptions to Adopt From Bulgaria?

Experienced and Compassionate Team. Our MLJ Adoptions’ foreign and domestic teams are composed of a diverse group of professionals who are committed to supporting families before, during and after adoption. Families wishing to adopt from Bulgaria will primarily work with Lydia Tarr, MLJ Adoptions’ Eastern European Program Director and Stacy Jacobs, Associate Program Director. Not only are our families working with adoption advocates, but also adoptive parents. Lydia is a mother of seven children, four of whom were adopted from Eastern Europe. Stacy is also a mother of four, one of whom was adopted from Guatemala.

Furthermore, MLJ Adoptions retains full-time licensed attorneys domestically and works with Bulgarian attorneys through a non-governmental non-profit organization in Bulgaria that is licensed in Bulgaria to provide adoption services. It is beneficial to families to have attorneys in both the United States and Bulgaria reviewing and assisting with the legal processes of adoption.

Request more information about adopting from Bulgaria by clicking here.

Country information is to be considered general information and subject to change. The information is based upon state, federal, foreign, and international law, as well as our own business policies.