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International Adoption:


Bulgaria (Hague Convention Country)


Bulgaria is a small country bordering the Black Sea with a population of almost 9 million. It is an independent, democratic republic. The primary religions of Bulgaria are Bulgarian Orthodox, Muslim, Jewish, and Roman Catholic. Ethnically its native people are Bulgarian, Turkish, Romani, Macedonian, Armenian and Russian. It is a beautiful, historical, cultural, country low in crime.

why choose to adopt in Bulgaria?

Bulgaria’s population and government have a good attitude about adoption and are regarded as cooperative. Bulgaria and the United States have good diplomatic relations. Compared to other countries of Eastern Europe, Bulgaria has an above average health care system, no food shortages (indicating good nutrition), and a good education  system.

who can adopt from Bulgaria?

  • Married couples (two adults, different biological sexes)

  • Single women

  • Couples must be married at least 1 year

  • Past divorces are okay

  • Adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than the child to be adopted


Click here for more information. 

A Toddler and a Baby

children available

  • The most common ages of children referred in the non-special needs program are between 2-7 years. The older the child requested, the shorter the wait. There are more boys available than girls.


  • The wait for a child up to 3 years of age is approximately 3 years. The wait for a child 3-5 years is about 2 years. The wait for a child 5-8 years is approximately 1 year.

  • The wait for a child 8 years and older is about 6 months. The wait time for a child referral depends on the family’s preference and the number of children available at that time.


  • Considering the list of children with special needs waiting to be adopted will decrease the length of waiting time.


  • Sibling groups are also available and some younger children with HIV+ diagnoses may also be available.

Overview of the Bulgaria Adoption Process

1. Contact the agency and particpate in a group or individual information session about our Bulgaria adoption program.

2. Complete and submit an application for adoption services with accompanying non-refundable plication fee to HATW

3. Complete your Home Study with Hands Across The Water or an appropriate agency in your state. Please contact HATW for assistance if you live outside Michigan. 

4. File your I-800A with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

5. Prepare your dossier for Bulgaria.  

6. Dossier is sent to country and submitted to Ministry of Justice. Dossier is enrolled in Registry. 

7. Adoption Council matches family to appropriate child. 

8. Travel to meet the child and accept or decline the referral, with a stay of 7 days.

Should you accept, the adoption process starts. 

9. After 4-6 months, travel for 2nd trip to pick up child, with a stay of 7 days.

Post Adoption Supervision

Your child’s adoption is finalized in Bulgaria, but post-adoption reports are still required. Reports are required at 6 months, 12 months, 18 months and 24 months after arrival home.

The frequency and number is subject to change.

Disclaimer: The photos of children on this page are not available for adoption. Hands Across The Water does not photo list children waiting for adoption via the internet.

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