Naturally families who are considering adoption have many questions! Adoption from Bulgaria has grown in popularity over the years, and continues to be an excellent program. Below are some of the frequently asked questions of prospective adoptive families interested in our Bulgaria program.
Is it possible to adopt a baby from Bulgaria?
Children who are under the age of twelve months old are not legally eligible for international adoption from Bulgaria. Once a child has been abandoned, a process begins to register the child, first for domestic, and then for international adoption. This process takes twelve months. While MLJ Adoptions has had families be matched with children under 18 months old, children are more often in the two to three year-old age range. As an agency, we do ask all families entering our Bulgaria program to be open to adopting a child up to the age of three at time of match.
Who can adopt from Bulgaria?
Bulgaria has flexible eligibility requirements for families. Single women and married couples may adopt from Bulgaria. There is no marriage length requirement. There are no set age requirements for families, though Bulgaria is said to prefer 15-45 years age difference between the child and the prospective parent. The country often shows even greater flexibility when families are seeking to adopt children with additional medical needs, sibling groups of three or more, and older children.
What are the travel requirements for adoption from Bulgaria?
Families travel to Bulgaria twice during the adoption process; one trip once they’ve been matched with a child, and a second trip about four to six months later to bring the child home. Each trip is between seven and ten days long. While families are in Bulgaria, they will be accompanied by our in-country staff to their appointments and responsibilities. Travel accommodations are also made in tandem between MLJ Adoptions, our in-country staff, and the family.
Are the children healthy?
Children in need of families from Bulgaria are rarely clinically healthy, and often have known needs. The range of needs can vary based on what a family is open to. Families adopting from Bulgaria are able to indicate what specific needs they are open to by filling out a Characteristics Sheet, which is submitted with the family’s dossier. The Characteristics Sheet acts as a guide while the family is considered by the Ministry of Justice to be matched with a child.
How long can a family expect to wait to be matched with a child?
Once a family completes their home study and dossier, their dossier is submitted to the Ministry of Justice, or the central authority responsible for matching children with families. The wait time is dependent on what aged child the family is hoping to adopt, what known medical conditions the family is open to, the other families who are waiting on matches (both MLJ families and families adopting from through other agencies) and the children in need of families at any given time. Most MLJ Adoptions families wait between 12 and 24 months from dossier submission to referral. Families hoping to adopt younger and healthier children will likely wait close to 24 months or longer. If a family is open to a sibling group of three, a child over the age of eight, or a child with significant known medical needs, they may wait less than twelve months to be matched with a child(ren).
I see you have a Waiting Child Photolisting; what children can I expect to see on there?
MLJ Adoptions works in partnership with our in-country staff in Bulgaria to maintain our Waiting Child Photolisting. Families can view children who are currently eligible for adoption and waiting to be matched with a family from several of our country programs. Children in Bulgaria are listed on our Waiting Child Photolisting if they can’t be matched with a family currently awaiting a referral. These children, all worthy of families, are usually over the age of eight, have known medical needs or may be part of a large sibling group.
How do I get started on an adoption from Bulgaria?
Submitting an Adoption Application is the first step is beginning your adoption journey. That can be done online or via email. Once your application is approved, reading, signing and submitting our Adoption Services Agreement, signed fee sheet and first payment will officially get you started as an MLJ Client Family.
For more questions about adoption from Bulgaria, contact us.