Exploring International Adoption? The Bulgaria Traditional Program might be the right fit for you! In a recent meeting with the Ministry of Justice and our partner organizations in Bulgaria, MOJ shared that there is a dire need for families in their traditional program, as they currently only have 222 families registered!
In the Bulgaria Traditional Program a prospective adoptive family submits a Dossier directly to the Ministry of Justice for a direct match. Included in your Dossier are the child parameters that you are open to and approved for adopting – such as age, gender, history, special needs, siblings or not. The MOJ will then review your Dossier and refer a match to you of a child(ren) meeting your parameters. Because the Dossier is submitted and reviewed and approved by the MOJ at the beginning of the process, that means the time from match to travel is much shorter! After receipt of referral, you can expect to travel for your first trip to Bulgaria within 8 weeks! And more importantly, it means a child does not have to wait longer than necessary for a family to compile a Dossier.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Bulgaria Traditional Program:
- Who are the children available? The children available range in age from 1 year through 15 years. Common special needs are developmental delay, cleft lip and palate, history of parental mental health diagnoses, congenital heart conditions, limb deformities, medically healthy sibling sets of two or three children with the older child being under 10, speech delays, seizure disorder, and more.
- Are siblings available? Yes! There is a great need for families open to adopting sibling sets of two or three siblings, of either gender, with the oldest sibling being around 10 years old. These sibling sets are either medically healthy, or have minor to moderate special medical needs. You will outline your parameters within your Dossier. Families open to sibling groups with the oldest child being 10 in the traditional program can typically expect to receive a referral within 4-7 months after Dossier submission.
- What is the wait time in the traditional program? The wait time varies based on the child parameters outlined in your Dossier. Families with more openness can expect lessened wait times, whereas families with more limited openness can expect to wait upwards of 2-3 years to receive a referral after Dossier submission.
- What are the requirements to adopt through the traditional program? Married couples and single women are eligible to adopt from Bulgaria. Generally, older parents will be referred older children. Parents must be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt. There is no specific requirement regarding length of marriage or prior divorces; however, the strength of the current marriage and relationship history is taken into account.
- What are the travel requirements? Bulgaria supports the belief that an adoptive family should be familiar with their child’s heritage. Thus, both parents should travel to the country for both trips. Bulgaria requires that adoptive parents make two trips to complete the adoption. Once a referral is received and accepted, the family will travel to Bulgaria to meet the child. This trip requires 5 days in Bulgaria, plus travel time. A final decision will then be made and if you choose to proceed, the adoption process will begin in Bulgaria while the immigration/visa process (I-800) proceeds in the US. After both countries have completed the necessary steps, final travel to Bulgaria to receive the child and complete the immigration/visa process will be scheduled. This second trip also requires 5 days in Bulgaria, plus travel time. MAA will work closely with our foreign partner to arrange all of your travel appointments in Bulgaria.
Watch this video for a brief overview of our Bulgaria program. Interested in learning more? Please complete our Prospective Adoptive Parent form and MAA’s Family Engagement Coordinator will be in touch to answer all of your questions!