Is Bulgaria a member of the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption?
Who is the Central Authority in Bulgaria?
Who is eligible to adopt from Bulgaria?
Is FTIA licensed in Bulgaria?
How long has FTIA worked in Bulgaria?
Why are children available for adoption in Bulgaria?
Where are the children who are available for adoption in Bulgaria?
What is the youngest age of a referral for Bulgaria? Are infants available for adoption?
Are both boys and girls available for adoption?
Are siblings available for adoptions with Bulgaria?
May we/I choose the age and gender of the child we/I adopt?
Who matches children with adoptive families?
What information will we/I receive with our/my referral?
What happens if we/I decline the referral?
If we're/I'm not satisfied and feel the referral does not have adequate medical information, can we/I request additional information and/or testing?
What are the timeframes for adopting from Bulgaria?
How many dossiers will I need to prepare?
How many trips do we/I have to make to Bulgaria?
Will you arrange our/my travel to Bulgaria? If not, who does?
Where will we stay in Bulgaria?
Will our/my child be with me the whole time during our/my first trip?
Do we/I have to travel to bring our/my child home?
Who will help us/me when we/I travel to Bulgaria to bring our/my child home?
Will the adoption be finalized in Bulgaria?
Does Bulgaria have post-placement requirements?
Bulgaria ratified the Hague Treaty on February 27, 2001 and the treaty took effect in Bulgaria on September 1, 2002. When the Hague Treaty entered into effect for the United States on April 1, 2008, adoptions between the two countries began to be governed by the Hague Convention.
The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice is the Central Authority.
Under Bulgarian law, FTIA is not required to be licensed or accredited in Bulgaria but rather must sign a collaborative agreement with an accredited Bulgarian adoption agency. FTIA has signed an agreement with the ANIDO Association which is officially accredited by the Bulgarian authorities.
This is a new pilot program for FTIA; however our Bulgarian partner agencies have been working in international adoptions for nearly 20 years.
Generally children are available due to poverty in the family. Sometimes they may be the child of a single mother. In other cases there may have been a death in the family leaving a parent unable to care for the children. In some cases, children have been removed from the home due to neglect or abuse. Every child’s story is unique.
The children will be in government run child care centers or orphanages throughout Bulgaria.
Bulgarian law stipulates that children are not eligible for international adoption until they are at least 1 year old. More children 3 - 4 years and older are available for adoption at this time. The waiting time for a child under 3 years old is expected to be longer at this time.
Yes, boys and girls are both available for adoption from Bulgaria.
Yes, sibling referrals may be available.
Yes, you may request a specific age range and gender however keep in mind that the more specific your request, the more likely it is to extend your wait for a child proposal. Please note that at this time, most of the children available are going to be at least 3 years of age.
The Ministry of Justice proposes the match of a specific child with an adoptive family. The Ministry will provide the information to our partner agency in Bulgaria who will then translate and forward the information to FTIA & we will send the information to the adoptive family.
When a child is proposed (referred) to you, you will receive his/her picture and all available health information including a child study which will explain the child’s social history as available. FTIA will give you all the information and pictures received from Bulgaria regarding your child.
If a family declines a referral because of the health of a child or the child does not fall in the gender or age they are approved to adopt then the family will remain on the waiting list and the Ministry of Justice will look for another child proposal for them. However if the Ministry of Justice does not accept the reasons for the family declining the referral, the family will be moved to the bottom of the waiting list.
You can request additional information and/or testing but we cannot guarantee the information requested will be available or the tests will be performed. We will make every effort to obtain the information requested; however, this ultimately depends on the cooperation of the orphanage. Our partner agency in Bulgaria also work closely with an experienced pediatric neurologist who will assist us in obtaining additional information and tests or clarifying the information in reports when agreed to by the orphanage.
There are several different time frames during the adoption process:
A Dossier is the collection of original legal documents which have to be prepared, notarized and apostilled for legal proceedings in the foreign country. This is the one time frame that is at least partially within the adoptive family’s control. Families generally average three to five (3-5) months to complete a dossier.
The wait for your referral is the next time frame. We expect that it will be approximately 18 to 24 months after your dossier is registered in Bulgaria that you will receive a child proposal, up to 36 months if requesting a child younger than 3 years old.
After accepting a proposed child, the final time frame is how long it takes to process the adoption. We expect this last time frame from accepting a child to traveling to bring the child home to range from 3-5 months.
As with any other international adoption process, please remember that time frames are estimates and are subject to change at any time.
There are three sets of documents that families will use in Bulgaria. You will complete Dossier 1 first and it will be translated and submitted to the Ministry of Justice by our partner agency. After receiving a child referral you will travel to Bulgaria for your 1st trip, and after your 5 day stay with the child, the attorney will prepare several documents for the family to sign. Samples of these documents are available in the Bulgaria Dossier guide. Between the 1st and 2nd trips, families will need to update a number of documents. Families will prepare an updated dossier 2 which will include a HS and CIS approval update if needed, new FBI clearances, and updated medical certificate for each parent.
Families will make 2 trips to Bulgaria; each trip is expected to be between 7 - 10 days long. The first trip will be to meet your child and complete the mandatory 5 day bonding period. After the 5 days you will sign acceptance documents and then return home. On the second trip you will obtain your child’s Bulgarian passport, other adoption finalization paperwork, and child's entry visa to come to the United States.
FTIA will provide dates of travel and families will be responsible to purchase their own international tickets. FTIA does request a copy of your itinerary.
All of your required travel in Bulgaria will be coordinated by our partner agency in Bulgaria. Since Bulgaria is a relatively small country, most of the travel within Bulgaria will be by car.
This depends on where your child is located. Most families will arrive in Bulgaria and spend the night in a hotel on the outskirts of Sofia. If your child is in a center in the Sofia region then you will stay at the same hotel the entire time. If you child is from another city/region then the next day you would travel to that region and stay at a hotel in that area.
This will depend largely on the preference of the orphanage director. Bulgarian law simply states that you must have contact with the child over a 5 day period. Some directors will allow and expect you to have the child with you the entire time. Others will interpret this to mean that you can have daily visits with the child in the orphanage. Some will allow a transition from visits at the beginning to having the child with you the last few days. We will have detailed information about this before you travel so you know what to expect.
Yes, Bulgaria requires both parents to travel to Bulgaria to bring their child home. In very rare circumstance only one parent may be able to travel to Bulgaria to finalize the adoption.
Our partner agency's representatives in Bulgaria will be available to answer questions and help you during your stay in Bulgaria. They will arrange all in-country travel and take you to all of your appointments as well as provide a translator for these appointments. They will recommend resources in Bulgaria who will be able to help you with non-legal aspects of your stay in Bulgaria such as sight-seeing etc.
Yes. The adoption is finalized in Bulgaria before you make your second trip.
Bulgaria requires a total of 4 post-placement reports. The reports are due at 6,12,18 and 24 months after you return to the United States.