Learn more about adopting from Bulgaria
Upbring has partnered as a primary provider with the New Beginning Association, an NGO (non-governmental organization) accredited by the Bulgarian government to provide international adoption services to adoptive families.
Bulgaria is a small country in Eastern Europe. It is a pretty, mountainous country inhabited by friendly, helpful people. Bulgaria has been a democratic republic since 1989, a change that took place with the fall of communism. A new, progressive generation has now emerged and is advancing Bulgaria on many fronts. For example, several years ago, Bulgaria closed its international adoption program, enabling the government to institute a child welfare system that is more protective of its children. The new adoption system is compliant with the Hague Convention, and the Ministry of Justice is committed to finding families for the children in their orphanages.
International adoption through Upbring can take one of two paths:
*Families in Texas: As a licensed home study agency, Upbring works with accredited adoption agencies to assist in the international adoption process. Upbring provides direct services to Texas families that are required by the international adoption process. These include home study services, pre-adoption training, liaison work with partner agencies and United States Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS), and post placement services, as required by the overseas governments. In this role, Upbring has helped to facilitate adoption from more than 15 countries.
*Families across the U.S.: Upbring also acts as a primary provider, facilitating adoptions from Bulgaria. We have partnered with a non-governmental organization in Bulgaria called New Beginning Association that is accredited by the Bulgarian government through the Ministry of Justice to assist in intercountry adoption. Together, we have worked to build an international adoption program that is stable, transparent and focused on the well-being of these children and their forever families.
Learn more about the types of children available in Bulgaria
The quality of care provided in Bulgarian orphanages and foster homes can range from adequate to outstanding. The children in the program have typically received good medical care, possibly even receiving support services, such as physical and occupational therapy or English tutoring.
Demographics of the typical Bulgarian child needing a forever home:
- Over the age of 2
- Boy or girl
- Often of Roma descent, but we receive a variety of referrals
- May have a wide range of special needs
- Has been on the Ministry of Justice’s national child registry for at least 6 months and have been declined for adoption by three Bulgarian adoptive families
Although children of all ages and physical conditions are available for adoption, the Bulgarian government’s first priority is to place older children, children with special needs, and sibling groups – often known as “Waiting Children”. These adoptions are typically expedited, ensuring that they will receive the attention they need as soon as possible.
Overview of the eligibility requirements to adopt from Bulgaria
The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice has set the following eligibility criteria to adopt from their country.
- There must be at least 15 years difference between the age of the adoptive parents and the child.
- There should be no more than a 45-year age difference between the parents and the child (exceptions can be made for children with special needs).
- Both parents must be in good physical and emotional health.
- You must be either a married couple or a single woman.
- You must clear a criminal history and child abuse background check.
- If married, at least one parent must be a U.S. citizen and currently live in the United States.
Timeline to adopt a child from Bulgaria
Currently, it takes approximately four years, from the beginning of the process until the end, to adopt a healthy child. That time frame can be shortened to about one year if you adopt a Waiting Child.
Traditional vs. Waiting Children Adoptions
The Bulgarian Ministry of Justice typically prioritizes the adoptions of older children, children with special needs and sibling groups. Children who meet these qualifications are called “Waiting Children” and their profiles and photo are shared so adoptive parents can begin the process of getting to know them. The Bulgarian Government expedites the process for placing these children in loving homes so they can receive the care they need.
The matching or referral process when adopting from Bulgaria
When pursuing a traditional adoption, Upbring and the New Beginning Association will work together to register your dossier (a collection of documents required by Bulgaria) with the Ministry of Justice (MOJ). One of the dossier documents is the home study, which is a report that is an assessment of prospective adoptive parents and their ability to parent an orphaned child. You will collaborate with your social worker to identify characteristics of a child that would best fit your family, such as age and medical condition. When the Ministry identifies a child who appears to be a good match for your family, a ‘referral’ will be issued, which is the term used for matching. You will then have time to consult with international adoption specialists, family and friends before deciding to either pursue the adoption or decline the referral. If you decide to proceed with the referral, you will travel to Bulgaria to meet the child and make a final decision.
Waiting Children Adoption
If you are interested in adopting a Waiting Child, you will review the individual profiles we receive, translate and post monthly. After reviewing these profiles, you can contact us should you like to learn more about a particular child. We recommend that you take time to consult with international adoption specialists, family and friends before making your decision. If you do choose to pursue this adoption, Upbring staff will work with you to gather preliminary dossier documents that are submitted to the MOJ. Upon approval from the MOJ, you will be given six months to gather the remainder of your dossier documents, submit them to the Ministry and prepare to travel to meet the child before making a final decision.
Cost of adopting a child from Bulgaria with Upbring International Adoption
Upbring Bulgaria Adoption Program Costs
|Texas Family||Out-of-State Family|
|Healthy Child Adoption – $25,300||Healthy Child Adoption – $21,100|
|Waiting Child Adoption – $20,340||Waiting Child Adoption – $16,980|
In addition, you will pay governmental and miscellaneous fees of approximately $4,000, travel costs, in-country lodging and meals, for an estimated total of $9,000 for two trips. The quoted fees are for Texas families only; fees will vary for out-of-state clients.