Flexibility Key to Shorter Wait for Families Adopting from Bulgaria


Bulgaria AdoptionOver the last few years, MLJ Adoptions has seen steady growth in our Bulgaria International Adoption program. Not only has the program grown, but we are thrilled that our families continue to receive referrals for young children without significantly long waiting times.

The matching process in Bulgaria is heavily dependent on the characteristics that a family is willing to accept in a child. In an effort to find families for children as quickly as possible, our partner agency in Bulgaria suggests some special needs that families might consider listing on their characteristics sheet. Many of these needs are very minor or are correctable with therapy or surgery. To give some examples, asthma, allergies, digestion problems, low birth weight, large moles, correctable vision problems, cleft lip and palate, VDRL treated at birth, and anemia are all characteristics that typically can be addressed easily once a child has joined his or her forever family. Additionally, there is a great need for families who are open to children over the age of eight and sibling groups of three or more children. When families are as open as possible with their parameters, a match is likely to be expedited, shortening the length of time that a family must wait and a child must spend outside of a family.

Waiting children can also be matched with families. Waiting children are typically single children over the age of 10, sibling groups with at least one child over the age of 10, and children with moderate to severe special needs. MLJ Adoptions receives profiles of waiting children from our partner agency once or twice a month, and information on each of these children is disseminated in several ways. Though there is no guarantee that a family will be matched with the waiting child they pursue, we have been successful in placing quite a few waiting children with families.

Following you can see examples of referrals that MLJ families have received, along with approximate timeframes from the submission of the dossier to referral. Again, please keep in mind that the shorter the wait shown, the more characteristics that particular family was likely willing to accept.

Referrals from Special Needs/Waiting Child List

  • Sibling Group, male 9 years, male 7 years, and male 6 years – 3.5 month wait
  • Female Child, 12 years – 2 month wait
  • Male Child, 6 years – 3 month wait
  • Twins, male 4 years, female 4 years – 5 month wait
  • Female Child, 13 years – 2 month wait

Referrals for Sibling Groups

  • Biological Siblings, male 3 years and female 2 years – 11 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, male 6 years, male 5 years, and female 3 years – 15 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, female 5 years, female 4 years, and female 3 years – 17 months
  • Biological Siblings, female age 9 and male age 7 – 14 month wait
  • Twin Brothers, age 2 – 14 month wait
  • Biological Siblings, male age 5, female age 3 and male age 2 – 3 month wait

Referrals for Single Children

  • Female Child, 3 years – 14 month wait
  • Female Child, 1 year – 14 month wait
  • Female Child, 3 years – 15 month wait
  • Male Child, 2 years – 8 month wait

Because Bulgaria is a Hague country, adopting from Bulgaria is a more stable and predictable process. The need in Bulgaria is great and so are the rewards of pursuing an international adoption there!

Please contact us if you would like more information on adopting from Bulgaria.

Stacy Jacobs is the MLJ Adoptions Associate Program Director for Eastern Europe and Latin America. She is the mother of four children, three biological daughters and one son adopted from Guatemala.