America World is pleased to partner with an accredited, non-profit Bulgarian organization for the adoptive placement of children from Bulgaria. Our partner comprises an interdisciplinary team of lawyers, psychologists, translators, and physicians with 20 years of experience facilitating intercountry adoptions and providing support to families while they travel. Their guidance will allow families to focus on their children during those critical first days together. America World’s program staff also brings decades of experience guiding families through the international adoption process and will offer ongoing support throughout their adoption journey. Learn more about how to adopt from Bulgaria below.

How To Adopt From Bulgaria

The process of adopting a child from Bulgaria is divided into three main stages.

Bulgaria Adoption: Step 1

The first stage of adoption from Bulgaria involves assembling a collection of documents called a dossier. These documents must go through several levels of authentication by U.S. government offices so that they can ultimately be used as the legal framework for your adoption process. This stage can take several months to complete and includes a finalized copy of the home study assessment. America World’s team will review dossier documents before the finished dossier is forwarded to our partner. Once our partner in Bulgaria receives your dossier, it will be translated and submitted to the Ministry of Justice, which serves as Bulgaria’s central adoption authority, along with an application for enrollment in the Ministry’s Register – the official waiting list for prospective adoptive families. Enrollment in the Register should take place within approximately two months of receipt of your dossier in Bulgaria.

Bulgaria Adoption: Step 2

After your dossier is registered with the Ministry of Justice, you begin stage two of adoption in Bulgaria – the waiting stage. The process of matching a family with a child is called the referral process. The wait time for a child referral varies, depending on the eligible and available children for adoption and the characteristics of the child each family is seeking to adopt. The Bulgarian Adoption Council will formally refer a child based on the date of registration. The referral of a child is generally comprised of several photos, a medical profile, a brief biography of the child’s life, a developmental and social report, as well as other general information, which will be translated and provided through our partner.

Bulgaria Adoption: Step 3 (First Trip)

After carefully reviewing a child's referral and deciding to accept the match, you will begin to prepare for your first of two trips to Bulgaria. The first trip to Bulgaria will last approximately 7 days and will be centered around meeting your child in person and bonding. Specialists from our partner agency will coordinate your in-country travel and schedule and serve as translators and supports during your stay, with travel focused on the area where the child currently resides. During this trip, the family can formally accept the child referral and initiate the adoption and immigration processes. Families will return to the U.S. while the next steps of the process occur, with attorneys from our partner organization representing the family locally in Bulgarian adoption proceedings.

Bulgaria Adoption: Step 4 (Second Trip)

The second trip to Bulgaria will occur approximately 4-6 months after your first visit and will center around obtaining the child’s passport and entry visa. This trip will be approximately 12 days in-country. America World’s Bulgarian partner will again provide support to your family in navigating these final steps of the process and be available to your family as you prepare to bring your child home to the United States!

Travel to Bulgaria Adoption



Many school-aged children with moderate to significant special needs are ready to be adopted internationally. Families who are open to adopting an older child or child with an identified special need will likely experience a significantly reduced adoption timeline compared to the traditional Bulgarian adoption process. The Bulgarian adoption authority maintains a list of children waiting for placement, generally comprised of older children (age 5 and above), large sibling groups, and children with significant special needs. Your family will work with your social worker and America World program staff to determine which needs your family is open and prepared for during the home study process. Families can apply specifically for a Waiting Child through our partner agency. Families not yet formally on the Bulgarian Adoption register must submit a paperwork dossier before a formal match through the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.


Bulgaria is one country/program that allows for single women ages 25 and above to adopt. See the program requirements for more eligibility details.

The staff at America World is trained to handle every detail of your international adoption process, and one of our experienced staff members will be assigned to your family as soon as your application is approved.

Be sure to visit our Financing Adoption page to learn how to reduce or eliminate your Bulgaria adoption expenses!



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Bulgaria Frequently Asked Questions