COUNTRY INFO
Bulgaria



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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

adoptive parents:





·     

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.) 





TIME FRAME:





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.





 





ADOPTION FEES:





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.





o  

Application fee at the MOJ: € 100.00 EUR





o  

Court fee: € 750 EUR





o  

Transcript of the Court Decree: € 25 EUR





o  

Passport fee for child under 14: € 7.00 EUR





o  

Passport fee for child over 14: € 14.00 EUR





o  

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.          





DOCUMENTS REQUIRED:





·         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.





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:





Birth Certificate:

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

birth certificate. 

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

Government entities.





Bulgarian Passport:


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: After

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

Thursday.





 





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

residents. 

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

possible. 

*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

voting.





 





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

American parents.





  





Source: Bureau of Consular Affairs / U.S. Department of

State





http://adoption.state.gov/country_information/country_specific_info.php?country-select=bulgaria