A few years ago, Bulgaria reopened their international adoption program as a Hague Convention country. Madison Adoption Associates (MAA) works with a Bulgarian Hague accredited agency to complete adoptions of both reportedly healthy and special needs children. The two agencies work closely together to complete the adoption process.
In Bulgaria, children ages 18 months to 14 years are available for adoption. Generally speaking, MAA will only place children up to 10 years old from Bulgaria. The children reside in orphanages throughout the country, with care ranging from adequate to excellent. The children generally receive good medical care but need a family to give them the individual love and attention they deserve.
MAA works in cooperation with our foreign partner agency and the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to identify children who are legally available for adoption and to find qualified, home study ready families for these children. Through MAA’s program in Bulgaria, families may choose:
1. MOJ Match Families submit a dossier, which includes identifying preferences describing the child characteristic desired and await a referral made by the MOJ in Bulgaria (a family can match with a child with special needs at any time even if dossier is submitted first).
2. MAA List Qualifying families may identify one of MAA’s available children with special needs and write a Letter of Intent (LOI) for that child prior to submitting a dossier. MAA will continue to advocate for that child until the qualifying family has a current, valid home study.
Children available for adoption in Bulgaria are at least 18 months of age, either gender, and mainly of Roma, Bulgarian, or Turkish descent. Currently, it is taking up to 4 years from dossier registration to adopt a healthy child, especially a child under the age of 5 years, and up to 6 months to adopt a child with special needs. If you choose to adopt a child listed with MAA, the wait time may be shorter.
Common special needs available include older child (over the age of 6 years), cleft lip and/or palate, cerebral palsy, limb differences, developmental delays, chronic illnesses, or other medical conditions. Sibling groups (placed together) also fall into the category of special needs.
Adoptions are finalized in Bulgaria and children adopted from Bulgaria will enter the U.S. on an IH-3 visa. They will also become a U.S. citizen as soon as they arrive in the United States.
If you are interested in this program, we invite you to contact Lindsey Gilbert (LindseyG@MadisonAdoption.org) to discuss your individual situation or inquire about children currently available.
Once you have decided to adopt from Bulgaria
The staff at Madison Adoption Associates will guide you through every step of the process. We will answer your questions, help you prepare and complete your paperwork, provide support and encouragement, and assist you with your travel arrangements. It is important to begin your Home Study and the USCIS immigration forms as soon as possible because they can take several months to complete, and a family cannot be matched without a current, valid home study.