Adopting from Bulgaria
There are currently no adoption alerts for Bulgaria.
The Bulgars, a Central Asian Turkic tribe, merged with the local Slavic inhabitants in the late 7th century to form the first Bulgarian state. In succeeding centuries, Bulgaria struggled with the Byzantine Empire to assert its place in the Balkans, but by the end of the 14th century the country was overrun by the Ottoman Turks. To learn more, read About Bulgaria (The Country).
Bulgarian National Anthem
To learn more, read about the Bulgarian National Anthem.
Hague Convention Information
WARNING: Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Bulgaria before a U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5 Letter.” See the “How to Adopt” section for more information. To learn more, read about Bulgaria and the Hague Convention.
Bulgaria Travel Facts
Bulgarian Adoption Background
The majority of children available for adoption in Bulgaria are of Roma ethnicity or Turkish decent. Most of the children available for international adoption were relinquished or abandoned at birth and have not been removed from the home due to abuse and neglect. Once relinquished, children are placed in the care of the government. To learn more, read about Bulgarian Adoption Background.
Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Bulgaria is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Bulgaria, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. government. The U.S. government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). To learn more, read about Who Can Adopt from Bulgaria.
Who Can Be Adopted
Children are listed on the registry for domestic adoption if they are officially relinquished or abandoned by the parents. If no Bulgarian family adopts a child from the domestic registry within six months of listing, the child is entered into the registry for international adoptions, maintained by the Ministry of Justice. To learn more, read about Who Can Be Adopted from Bulgaria.
Biological parents may reinstate their custody even after they have officially relinquished or abandoned their child and the child has been entered into the registry for domestic or international adoptions. However, this happens very rarely and only after careful review by the Bulgarian social services.
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Bulgaria must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Bulgaria have determined that placement of the child within Bulgaria has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Bulgarian requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
How to Adopt
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department webpage is a good place to start. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Bulgaria, registration assists the U.S. embassy or consulate in reaching you. Registration is free and can be done online.
We strongly urge you to comply with all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Bulgaria’s history of positive experiences with U.S. parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search:
NOTE: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of content.
U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria
Bulgarian Adoption Authority
Embassy of Bulgaria
Embassy of Bulgaria 1621 22nd Street, N.W. Washington, D.C. 20008 Tel: 202-387-0174 (main), 202-387-7969 (consular section) Fax: 202-234-7973 Email: office@Bulgaria-Embassy.org, Consulate@Bulgaria-Embassy.org Internet: Embassy of Bulgaria
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures: National Customer Service Center (NCSC) Tel: 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833) Internet: USCIS
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or I-800 petition: National Benefits Center Tel: 1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-816-251-2770 (local) Email: NBC.Adoptions@DHS.gov