The Adoption Process
- There were 75 adoptions from Bulgaria in 2011.
- Bulgaria processes adoptions through the Ministry of Justice (MOJ).
- When a child is pre-identified, adoptions can take, on average, 12-18 months to complete.
- When a family decides to wait for a referral, adoptions can take 2-5 years.
- Children reside in the care of an orphanage while awaiting adoption.
- Applicants to adopt must be at least 15 years older than the child they are seeking to adopt. There is no longer an upper age restriction.
- Applicants must be married for at least one year.
- There are no restrictions for having other children in the home.
- The Ministry of Justice is the only legal Bulgarian authority for adoptions. Children must be registered with the Ministry of Justice before they are available for adoption.
- The MOJ maintains the database of adoptable children available for both domestic and international adoptions.
- The MOJ processes the documents submitted by adopting parents and issues the official referral. Then a family may travel to Bulgaria to mete their child and receive their official written referral.
- The foundations we are partnered with work directly with them MOJ on Lifeline’s family’s behalves.
- Economic factors lead to most relinquishments of children. Parental rights may also be terminated in the case of neglect or drug and alcohol abuse.
- Bulgarian children must first be registered before domestic adoption for a period of time before being eligible for international adoption.
- Children with a wide variety (minor to severe) of special needs are available for international adoption.
- Children are available in the two-year-old range and up. Older children and sibling grounps are also available for adoption.
- Many children have Roma decent.
- Children are placed in orphanages while waiting for adoption. This plays a significant role in their delayed development.
- One parent is able to travel on both trips to Bulgaria. It is, however, highly encouraged that both parents travel to help with attachment and bonding.
- The average length of stay in Bulgaria is 6-7 days for each trip. There is approximately 3-6 months between each trip.
- While in Bulgaria, Lifeline partners will handle transportation arrangements and translation.
- Once the adopted child enters the U.S., he or she automatically becomes a U.S. citizen.