Adopting from Bulgaria – A 2016 Program Update!


This was the year of sibling groups for our families adopting from Bulgaria, with five sibling groups matched in MLJ families in 2016! These sibling groups ranged in ages, from both children being under three years old, up to a brother and sister who are thirteen and nine years old, respectively. Two of the five sibling sets were sets of three children! Our in-country partner agency, Vesta, continually shares with us that if families are open to a sibling set of three children, they can expect to wait a shorter period of time than families hoping to adopt one or two children. More details on the sibling set referrals this year, including how long each family waited from dossier submission to referral can be found below.

  • in-2016-bulgariaBiological Siblings, female age 3 and male age 2 – 31 month wait
  • Biological Brothers, ages 8, 6 and 4 – 11 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, male age 6, male age 4, female age 4 – 6 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, male age 7, female age 4 – 13 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, male age 12, female age 9 – 16 month wait

Five families received referrals for single children this year, and all the children were under three years old at time of match! The average time that families waited to be matched with a single child this year was 20.2 months, just inside the 12-24 month range that we estimate that families will wait from dossier submission to referral. The wait time for families adopting from Bulgaria is dependent on how open a family is to a child’s characteristics, the openness of other families who are waiting to be matched, and the children in need of families at any given time. Below you can see how long each of the four families matched with a single child waited from dossier submission to referral.

  • Female Child, 2.5 years – 23 month wait
  • Female Child, 14 months – 26 month wait
  • Male Child, 2 years – 10 month wait
  • Female Child, 1.5 years – 27 month wait
  • Female Child, 1.5 years — 15 month wait

Additionally, we had one family matched with a child who they found on MLJ Adoptions’ Waiting Child Photolisting. He is fourteen years old, and the family was officially matched with him within two months of submitting their dossier. The Waiting Child Photolisting contains photos and brief information about children from Eastern Europe and around the world who aren’t able to be matched with families currently waiting on referrals from that country. Many of the children are older, have significant special needs, or are part of large sibling groups.

In 2016, 13 children from Bulgaria will have joined their forever families this year! We are hopeful that 2017 will bring even more vulnerable children from Bulgaria the opportunity to know the love and care of a family.

If you’re interested in learning more about adopting from Bulgaria, please contact us.

Caitlin Snyder works as the Director of Marketing and Outreach for MLJ Adoptions. Working in international adoption has given Caitlin the unique opportunity to pursue both a passion to advocate on behalf of vulnerable people and a profession at the same time.