A. Christian Commitment
As a ministry, Lifeline works with Christian families desiring to adopt as part of a calling and commitment we have been led to. As a part of this, we also ask that you complete two forms (Doctrinal Statement & Christian Questionnaire) that you can access online. We ask that parents have a firm commitment to live according to God’s Word and teach their child the truth about who Jesus Christ is as their Lord and Savior. We would love to talk to you more about this if you would like to know more about what it means to be a Christian. Check out more information about it here.
B. Parenting Ability
The adoptive applicants must give evidence of a mutual desire and love for children. The applicants must be able to provide the physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual needs of the child being adopted. Adoptive applicants should meet the requirements for adoption in their home state.
For prospective adoptive parents who are seeking to adopt from Bulgaria they must be at least 15 years older than the child. Typically, the MOJ (if not already defined define here) requests that prospective adoptive parents be not more than 50 years older than the child or at least one parent who is not more than 50 years older with the other not more than 55 years older. The MOJ does allow for special requests to be made if family does not meet the age requirements and are handled on an individual basis.
The applicants must be in good physical and mental health as determined by a medical examination and evaluation to enable them to undertake the responsibility of parenthood. Family Health insurance is required and life insurance coverage is encouraged.
As long as the applicants meet U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) poverty guidelines, Bulgaria does not require a minimum household income.
The applicants’ home must provide adequate space and living conditions necessary to promote health and well being. The home should have at least two bedrooms. Ownership is not required.
If both parents work outside the home, one of the parents should be able to remain at home with the child for at least 4-6 weeks following the return home. This assists with bonding and fosters emotional security in the child. Whether one is able to take time off from work will be considered. The exact length of time can be discussed in more detail with our staff. If the parent returns to work, there must be a plan for reasonable child cared which will provide security for the child.
H. Prior History of Felony Conviction
Criminal background checks will be conducted for each adult member of the family. Any criminal history in your past should be addressed with an agency representative prior to making an application. All prior legal convictions should be disclosed with the agency representative before starting your home study.
Couples and singles may adopt. Applicants must be married for at least 1 year. No divorce(s) restriction(s) for either of the applicants.
Families with children already in the home (biological or adopted) may adopt. There are no restrictions for the number of children in the family; however, each family will have to prove in their home study they have sufficient resources to care for an additional child. Pregnancy is handled on a case by case basis.
Please discuss possible exceptions with a Lifeline representative.
In the general process, referrals are given after your dossier has been translated and registered with the MOJ. In the Waiting Child process, the referral is officially given for the child that you initially located on the special needs waiting child list and place on hold at that time.
Within two to four months of the referral and official match, one or both parents must travel to spend at least five days with the child referred. Both parents are strongly recommended to travel to Bulgaria for the first trip in order to get acquainted with the child’s culture and for bonding purposes. It is very important for the parents to get to know who their new member of the family is going to be. If only one parent travels, additional paperwork must be filed to explain why the other parent could not travel (due to an illness, financial difficulties, urgent business commitments, or difficulties with arranging of the travel, including having to take care of the other children in the family). Parent(s) don’t need to attend court, issuance of new birth certificate of the child or his/her international passport. The Bulgarian attorneys will accomplish all these actions. The families will travel to pick up the child 3-6 months after the first trip, when the attorneys in Bulgaria will have completed the child’s paperwork. The second trip is typically 6-7 days.
If you feel that you meet these qualifications please complete and send us the Doctrinal Statement/Christian Questionnaire, Adoption Application, and application fee of $250. We will contact you within 5 business days of receiving your completed initial paperwork. Please contact us at 205.967.0811 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
Please see the Fee Schedule here for a breakdown of estimated expenses. Additional fees and their due date are outlined in the fee schedule. Please note: The application fee is not refundable once the home study portion of the adoption process has begun.
Following the receipt of your completed application by our office, you will be contacted by us. We will direct you to the next steps. It is at this time that you will be given our Bulgaria Adoption Manual, along with other miscellaneous adoption paperwork.