Bulgaria Adoption Program

Our Bulgarian representative in country have been working diligently for years to attract the public’s attention to the problem in Bulgaria of the delay in registration of the children for intercountry adoption. A group has been formed to develop clear and precise rules for the social services within the Ministries in Bulgaria to allow the children to become registered for adoption quicker. This video tells an amazing story of a 16-year-old girl who recently traveled home with her forever family to the United States! You can watch the video here.

  • View Children Available for Adoption
  • Both boys and girls are available for adoption
  • Children as young as 2 years and as old as fifteen are available for adoption. (wait time for a referral of a child under 8 years old can be up to 5 years)
  • Most of the children are of Roma descend and have olive skin and dark hair
  • Children over age 7, Sibling groups of older children, and children with special needs are readily available.
  • Adoptive parents should be at least 15 years older than the child they are adopting and no older than 50 years, although Nightlight in general considers it best that there be no more than 50 years between you, the parents, and your child. This requirement can be more flexible with families adopting school-age children and children with special needs. Bulgaria also has no restrictions on family size, making it a great option for larger families. Married heterosexual couples and single women are accepted into the program.
  1. Make application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
  2. Complete the home study and File I-800A with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
  3. Prepare dossier while completing home study
  4. Accept a referral of a waiting child once home study is nearly complete and awaiting Immigration approval (I-800A Adoption Approval)
  5. Complete commitment documents to “hold” a child for a pre-approval before Immigration Approval and dossier are complete
  6. If waiting for a referral of a child instead of selecting a waiting child, complete dossier and include I-800A Adoption Approval from Immigration
  7. Dossier sent to Bulgaria, where it is translated and legalized and then submitted the Ministry of Justice.
  8.  Once matched, must commit to the child within 1 month from official referral
  9. Once committed to a child, both parents (if married) travel within 2 months to visit child
  10. Visit child for 5 business days
  11. At the end of the visit, while in Bulgaria, both parents (if married) sign a commitment letter to adopt the child and Power of Attorney to file adoption case with the court
  12. Travel home
  13. File the I-800 form that includes the child’s information with Immigration here in the United States. Immigration will forward the approval to the Consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Sophia, Bulgaria.
  14. The attorney will pick up Article 5 from the U.S. Embassy and take it to the Ministry of Justice in Sophia.
  15. The attorney sets up a court hearing, which the attorney will attend on behalf of the family.
  16.  The court will issue an adoption decree.
  17.  Once the court hearing takes place, the attorney will electronically submit the DS-260 with Immigration.
  18.  The family travels to Bulgaria for 7-10 days to receive their child, get the official medical exam, and obtain the child’s U.S. visa at the Consular section of the U.S. Embassy. (Only one parent needs to go to Bulgaria for the second trip.)

You receive a referral of a child from Nightlight Christian Adoptions through the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. The referral will include a brief social history of the child, and the current health and development of the child. We highly recommend that you have this information reviewed by a doctor who specializes in international adoption before you make a decision. Once you decide to accept a referral, you will be considered “matched” with the child. You coordinate travel dates with Nightlight and will travel to Bulgaria within two months of accepting your referral. Both parents are required to travel in this initial trip. During your trip, you will visit your child for 5 business days getting to know your child and begin bonding with him or her. During these daily bonding visits, a social worker will observe your interactions with the child and prepare a recommendation for the court. At the end of your bonding trip, you will meet with our attorney sign the official referral acceptance and the power of attorney to be represented at the court hearing. The court hearing is usually scheduled 6-8 weeks after your 1st trip, depending on how quickly the necessary document on the child are obtained and how quickly you complete and file your I-800 form with USCIS. After the court hearing, the adoption becomes final and the adoption decree is issued 7 days later. Once you receive the court decree, the attorney will obtain a new birth certificate and schedule appointment for your child’s passport, medical exam, and visa. Once the appointments are set, you will be provided travel dates to come and pick up your child and. Only one parent may travel on the second trip, which will take 10 days. While in Bulgaria, you will take your child to apply for a passport, take your child to get evaluated at the medical clinic approved by the Embassy, and visit the US Embassy in Sofia to obtain your child’s visa.

Nightlight Christian Adoptions is committed to preparing families for the adoption of a child with special needs. We provide pre- and post-adoption education and information regarding medical resources.

Please contact Gracie Trujillo, at gracie@nightlight.org,  (502) 423-5780 with any questions.

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To learn more about our Bulgaria Adoption Program, you may contact us, call our office at (502) 423-5780, or email inquiries to Gracie Trujillo, at gracie@nightlight.org

Bulgaria Adoption Program Details:

  • Children will be 2 years of age or older
  • Adoptive parent age requirements will be determined by the agency
  • Referral time will be an estimated 1 to 5 years depending on the family’s openness to age, gender, and special needs.

Bulgaria is an excellent program for families open to adopting older children.  Learn more about adopting an older child HERE.

More Information on Bulgaria Adoptions

Families that have adopted through the Bulgaria Adoption Program.
Peter, Age 11. Arrived home on 12/23/2015
Ava, Age 7. Arrived home on 12/16/2015.
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