Bulgaria Adoption Overview

The adoption process in Bulgaria offers the opportunity to receive a referral prior to traveling to the country. Younger children may be adopted with longer waits or older children and siblings are also available with shorter wait times. Travel to the country is two trips of seven and ten days respectively. The first trip is to meet the child and the second to complete the adoption.

We will be happy to assist you in this search for your child. If you feel led to adopt internationally, you can be assured that the Lord will lead you to the right child for your family. Thank you for your interest and for contacting An Open Door Adoption Agency.


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  • No more than 50 years age difference between the child and the younger spouse and no more than 55 years between the child and the older spouse
  • Couples must be married 2 1/2 years
  • Previous divorce is acceptable
  • Be a single female or married couple
  • You may select the age and gender of the child.
  • You may have other children
  • The Agency seeks Christian adoptive parents

Waiting Children

For healthier children

  • Up to 3 years  – around 4 years
  • Up to 5 years – around 3-4 years
  • Up to 5-8 years – around 2-3 years
  • Up to 8-10 years – around 1-2 years
  • Above 10 years – around 2-6 months the same

If minor correctable problems in the above-written groups of children are accepted by the adoptive parents, the period is supposed to be reduced by half. If more serious correctable problems are accepted by the adoptive parents referrals can be expected within several months. Each additional requirement as gender, color of the skin and origin prolongs the waiting period.

The Process

  • Application
  • Service Agreement
  • Home Study
  • USCIS Approval
  • Dossier sent to Bulgaria
  • Adoptable children are over 1 year of age
  • Waiting time varies with child’s age
  • Two trips: the first is for 7 days and the second for 10 days.

As a child becomes available for the prospective adoptive parent/s, the Ministry of Justice will offer a referral of a child, including: personal information about the child: name and ID, health, ethnic, religious and cultural background, special needs, adoptability, family background and information about the birth parents and other family members including and reasons for abandonment and a photo. Bulgaria indicates that all adoptable children have some special need, although they may be mild or correctable. Families may specify a list of special needs they are willing to consider.

After a referral is selected, and the match is approved, an invitation to travel will be issued to the adoptive parent/s. A brief trip of seven days will then be made to meet the selected child, and after that another trip for 10 days is required to complete the adoption process. Our Bulgarian representative, an indigenous Bulgarian agency which is Hague Accredited by Bulgaria, will escort the adoptive parent/s throughout the adoption process. Communication with our representative is excellent and the Bulgarian process is very well defined as a politically stable and Hague country. Adoptions are expected to proceed smoothly.

Jennifer And Aaron Adopt Andrew From Bulgaria

We are so impressed with An Open Door and especially our social worker Cathy Sawyer. Things went so smoothly and if they had not told us we were their first family adopting from Bulgaria, we would not have had any idea.

When we first started the process with An Open Door some of their staff were on vacation, so Walter Gilbert, the CEO, actually worked with us and answered many questions. We called many times a day for those first few days and he was quick to call back and respond to all our questions.

An Open Door and their Bulgarian counterpart were so thorough and efficient. They moved as fast as we were able and would have slowed down if we needed them to. We didn’t realize that not all agencies help you put together all documents neccessary every step of the way. We were given lists of documents needed for each step. After we completed them, we scanned them in so that the staff at An Open Door could proofread and edit if need be. Once they approved we would then mail in the original documents. At times it may have added a day more to our process, but it sure was worth it when there were no glitches or hangups with our I800 or court in Bulgaria.

We read many blogs along the way and were more thankful than ever to An Open Door for their thoroughness and the lack of bumps along the way because of it.

“The staff in Georgia along with the staff in Bulgaria were so kind and worked so hard to help bring our son, Andrew, home.”

The staff in Georgia along with the staff in Bulgaria were so kind and worked so hard to help bring our son, Andrew home. We are now friends with Cathy Sawyer because of the time we spent with her on the phone. She went above and beyond for us so many times. She even made a special trip to the airport to meet us in person for the first time for our son’s homecoming.

We are now friends with our translator/facilitator,Maria, in Bulgaria as well. She also went above and beyond. She was wise and knew the simple things that would make a difference in our adoption experience like making sure we were the first ones our son saw each of our visits with him and not her.

We cannot express how thankful we are to An Open Door and all their staff for helping us bring our son home. This was not just a job to them and it was obvious. They were excited when we were and worked harder to get paperwork put through when there were deadlines. They were prompt in responding to our many questions. If they did not have an answer they told us and found one as quickly as possible. If we were to ever adopt again, unless God told us otherwise, we would use An Open Door and base all other decisions like country on what they had to offer.

We would highly recommend An Open Door for any of their adoption services.

Jennifer and Aaron


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