Yes, Bulgaria IS a Hague Adoption Convention Country.
The Hague Adoption Convention governs adoption between the
United States and Bulgaria. Therefore to adopt from Bulgaria, you must first be
found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency
responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland
Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention,
children from Bulgaria must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to
be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Bulgaria
attempt to place a child with a family in country before determining that a
child is eligible for inter-country adoption. Under Bulgarian law, a child may
become eligible for inter-country adoption only if three Bulgarian families
have declined to adopt him/her. In addition to Bulgaria's requirements, a child
must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her
back to the United States.
Adoptive person requirements:
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective
adoptive parents, Bulgaria also has the following requirements for prospective
Residency Requirements: There are no
residency requirements to complete an inter-country adoption in Bulgaria.
However, prospective adoptive parents are expected to spend five days with
their adoptive child before the orphanage director will release the child.
Age Requirements: Prospective adoptive
parents must be at least 15 years older than their adoptive children.
Marriage Requirements: Prospective
adoptive parents may be married or single.
The specifics for adoption while in Bulgaria:
(This section cover the steps for adoptions while families
are in Bulgaria specifically. For general adoption steps before traveling to
the country, see the adoption guide.)
If there is a child available for intercountry adoption, it
normally takes several months to complete the adoption process in Bulgaria;
however, there are very few children on the waiting list, which means that the
adoptive parents may wait many months and even years until the Ministry of
Justice offers them a Bulgarian orphan for adoption.
The U.S. Embassy in Sofia is aware of the following
Bulgarian fees for adoption. These fees are subject to change. All fees are
given in Euros as the Bulgarian currency is linked to the Euro.
Application fee at the MOJ: € 100.00 EUR
Court fee: € 750 EUR
Transcript of the Court Decree: € 25 EUR
Passport fee for child under 14: € 7.00 EUR
Passport fee for child over 14: € 14.00 EUR
Birth Certificate fee: € 3.00 EUR
In addition to the above, U.S. adoption agencies may charge
fees for the services they provide. The U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria discourages
the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted, "donations,"
or "expediting" fees, that may be requested from prospective adoptive
parents. Such fees have the appearance of "buying" a baby and put all
future adoptions in Bulgaria at risk.
In the adoption services contract that
you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the
fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
· Application, including personal data, family
history, financial information. The application is a letter prepared by the
accredited adoption agency.
· Document certifying that the adoptive parent(s)
has/have not been deprived of custody rights. An FBI fingerprint clearance
shows whether there were prior arrests or criminal convictions, which would
render them ineligible to adopt a child in Bulgaria.
- Home Study
- Medical Certificate (signed by a general
- Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
- Approval by the USCIS (I-171H)
All documents should be submitted should be originals. They
must be translated and apostilled.
Bring Your Child Home:
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained
legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can
head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child
before he or she can travel to the United States:
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child,
so that you can later apply for a passport. Your name will be added to the new
Note: The process of obtaining a birth certificate and
passport takes 3-4 weeks. The parents are not required to do anything in order
to apply for these two documents. Their accredited adoption agency authorizes
an attorney to represent them at court and deposit documents at various
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or
Passport from Bulgaria.
After the new birth certificate has been issued, the
representative has to apply for a passport of the child. The process of
obtaining a birth certificate and a passport takes 3-4 weeks.
U.S. Immigrant Visa:
you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need
to apply for an U.S. visa from the United States Embassy for your child. After
the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S
Embassy for final review and approval of the child's I-800 petition and to
obtain a visa for the child. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel
home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided
the "Panel Physician's" medical report on the child if it was not provided
during the provisional approval stage. Learn more.
The visa interview may be scheduled by the adoptive parents or by their
Bulgarian representative over the telephone as soon as the child obtains a
Bulgarian passport. They must first make sure that their fingerprint clearances
have not expired. The visa interview may be scheduled a few days before the
intended interview date.
Immigrant visa interview appointments should be
arranged a few days in advance. Interviews can be scheduled by calling (359-2)
937-5444 each working day from to 2:00 to 4:00 p.m. This is the direct line to
the Immigrant Visa Unit. In case of emergency or if the line is busy, adoptive
parents may reach the Immigrant Visa Unit through the Embassy's switchboard:
(359-2) 937-5100. Embassy conducts immigrant visa interviews Monday through
CHILD CITIZENSHIP ACT
For adoptions finalized abroad:
The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American
citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child
Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American
citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge
your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a
citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the
steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to
obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life
including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and
After Adoption Requirements:
Bulgaria requires adoptive
parents to submit post adoption reports. We strongly urge you to comply with
the wish of Bulgaria and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely
manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your
cooperation will contribute to Bulgaria's history of positive experiences with
Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs / U.S. Department of