Program and Process
Carolina Adoption Services partners with accredited Bulgarian adoption agencies to assist families with Bulgarian adoptions. CAS and the Bulgarian NGO that represents the child you are matched with will assist with your dossier. Once submitted, the dossier is translated, legalized, and presented to the Ministry of Justice. The official referral consists of a detailed report about the child – including physical and emotional development, known background information, pictures, and sometimes videos.
Children’s Adoption Services offers two adoption tracks for families adopting from Bulgaria:
Waiting Child: Every month, the Bulgarian accredited agencies send files of older children and children with special needs, including sibling groups, to be represented on our Photolisting. Before a family can receive detailed information on a waiting child, they must first provide a current approved home study. Once families request a match with a child on the Photolisting, they have 9 months to prepare and submit their home study and immigration approval to the Ministry of Justice to receive their official match.
Referral: Families do not have to identify an available child on the Photolisting to adopt from Bulgaria. Families awaiting a referral will complete their home study and dossier, which will be registered with the Ministry of Justice. The timeline for receiving a referral will vary depending on the family’s preferences for their child’s age and range of special needs. Every family who is awaiting a referral can at any point identify a child from the Waiting Child Photolisting with whom they wish to be matched.
More About the Children
Numerous orphanages in Bulgaria work to arrange international adoptions for children 18 months and older. Children live in orphanages, centers of familial type for small numbers of children (up to 15), and in foster families.
The Ministry of Justice is the central adoption authority in Bulgaria. Carolina Adoption Services regularly receives files of waiting children from our in-country partners. We advocate for these children through our Waiting Child Photolisting.
About the Country
Bulgaria is a small, picturesque country in Eastern Europe that is approximately the size of the state of Tennessee. Bulgaria borders the Black Sea, as well as the countries Turkey, Greece, Romania, and Serbia. Most of the country’s 7.7 million residents are concentrated in its urban centers, particularly the capital city of Sophia. Bulgaria offers universal healthcare and education through grade 12 and is a member of the European Union. It has been a democracy since 1990, as well as has a market-based economy driven by power engineering, heavy industry, and agriculture.
What to Expect when Traveling
Parents are escorted by an experienced staff member of our in-country partner agencies throughout their time in Bulgaria.
Adoptive parents must travel to Bulgaria for the first trip within two months of receiving the child’s information. If married, both parents are expected to travel. On the first trip, parents will meet the child for daily bonding visits over a 5-day period. At the conclusion of the trip, acceptance paperwork is signed and the parents return to home.
Immediately after the first trip, families will apply to USCIS for adoption approval. Meanwhile, attorneys in Bulgaria present paperwork on the family and child to the court in the family’s absence to finalize the adoption.
Once the legal proceedings for the adoption are final, the parents will make their second trip to Bulgaria. Typically, the second trip is 4 to 6 months after the first trip. The second visit lasts 10 to 12 days. Families will visit the U.S. Consulate in Sofia for the child’s immigrant visa interview. A medical exam of the child is required before the visa is granted. Only one parent is required to travel on the second trip, though both are encouraged to go on the trip.