In 2009, Upbring, the new Lutheran Social Services of the South, entered into discussions relating to the exciting possibility of launching an international adoption program in Bulgaria. In 2010, Upbring established a partnership with New Beginning Association – a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) accredited by the Bulgarian government – to facilitate international adoption and work together to find loving homes for Bulgaria’s orphaned children. To date, nine adoptions have been finalized, with several other families in various stages of the process of adopting waiting Bulgarian children. It truly has been both a success, and a pleasure, to collaborate with New Beginning.
A Family Completed
This past spring, one of our adoptive families brought home their 14-year-old daughter from Bulgaria. These are the thoughts they shared about their experience:
From the moment we saw her in that first tentative meeting at the Social Services Office in Razgrad, Bulgaria, we knew: This is our daughter and we have to bring her home! And in May 2015, we did just that! We love our petite, beautiful Bulgarian daughter! In her own words she is a “teenager-ski.” She is a sincere, (overly) dramatic, passionate person who loves to laugh and be silly. She has a delightful personality that everybody loves. She really enjoys all of her new activities – swimming, walking the dogs, learning to ride a bike. And we draw closer daily, in our new family unit. It hasn’t all been easy by any means, but oh, so worth it. And it just keeps getting better every day.
Bulgaria’s Orphaned Children
Did you know that more than 7,000 children reside in Bulgarian orphanages? Children available for adoption are generally older than four and many have a type of special need – ranging from mild to severe.
Additionally, sibling groups of all ages and medical status are in need of adoptive parents. In many cases, these children are simply developmentally delayed due to living in an orphanage where opportunities for growth and stimulation are limited. Most Bulgarian children available for international adoption are of Turkish or Roma descent and have olive skin with beautiful dark hair and eyes. Unfortunately, they are not likely to be adopted by Bulgarian citizens due to cultural bias against these backgrounds. The children who have found their forever families through Upbring, are thriving in their adoptive homes and are cherished members of their new families.
International Partnerships: Past & Present
Upbring has helped with international adoption since the 1940s, assisting in the placement of German war orphans. Since that time, we have collaborated with many international agencies, finding permanent families for orphaned children living in Asia, Eastern Europe, Central and South America and Africa. Upbring is the preferred Texas provider for many international agencies and continues to be an established and thriving program.
In keeping with regulations governing international adoption, Upbring achieved Hague accreditation through the Council of Accreditation in February of 2008; it was renewed in March of 2013. Hague requires that our agency meet certain standards of excellence in providing services to adoptive families.
If you are interested in learning more about adoption from Bulgaria, or any of our international adoption programs, please email Konnie Gregg ([email protected]) or Erin Patterson ([email protected]) or call 512-454-4611. We welcome the opportunity to speak with you about our services and these amazing kids!