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October 4, 2022

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Intercountry Adoption

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Country Information

Bulgaria

Bulgaria
Republic of Bulgaria
Exercise normal precautions in Bulgaria.

Reissued with updates to health information.

Exercise normal precautions in Bulgaria.

Read the country information page for additional information on travel to Bulgaria.  

If you decide to travel to Bulgaria:

 

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Hague Convention Participation

Hague Adoption Convention Country?
Yes
Are Intercountry Adoptions between this country and the United States possible?
Intercountry adoptions to the United States from Bulgaria and from the United States to Bulgaria are possible.

Hague Convention Information

Bulgaria is a party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention or Convention).  Intercountry adoption processing in Convention countries must be done in accordance with the requirements of the Hague Adoption Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations; as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Bulgaria.

U.S. Immigration Requirements

To bring an adopted child to the United States from Bulgaria, you must meet certain suitability and eligibility requirements. USCIS determines who is suitable and eligible to adopt a child from another country and bring that child to live in the United States under U.S. immigration law.

Additionally, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law in order to be eligible to immigrate to the United States with an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.

Who Can Adopt

In addition to being found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS, prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a child from Bulgaria must meet the following requirements imposed by Bulgaria:

  • RESIDENCY REQUIREMENTS:  There are no residency requirements to complete an intercountry adoption in Bulgaria. However, prospective adoptive parents are expected to spend five days with their adoptive child before the orphanage director will release the child.
  • AGE REQUIREMENTS:  Prospective single adoptive parents or, in the case of couples adopting, at least one of the adoptive parents must be at least 15 years older than their adoptive children.
  • MARRIAGE REQUIREMENTS:  Under Bulgarian law, prospective adoptive parents can be a heterosexual married couple or a single person. In the case of a single person, the law does not specify orientation.
  • COVID-19 VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS: Adoptive parents who are habitually residing in the United States will be considered suitable to adopt children subject to COVID-19 vaccination only if the adoptive parents agree to have the adoptee vaccinated against COVID-19 and spend the required period for completing the vaccination in Bulgaria, if necessary. 

Who Can Be Adopted

Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Bulgaria must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for intercountry adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Bulgaria have determined that placement of the child within Bulgaria has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests.

Children are listed on the registry for domestic adoption if they are officially relinquished or abandoned by the parents. If no Bulgarian family adopts a child from the domestic registry within six months of listing, the child is entered into the registry for international adoptions, maintained by the Ministry of Justice. Biological parents may reinstate their custody even after they have officially relinquished or abandoned their child and the child has been entered into the registry for domestic or international adoptions.  However, this happens very rarely and only after careful review by the Bulgarian social services.

Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Bulgaria must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Bulgaria have determined that placement of the child within Bulgaria has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Bulgarian requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States. 

Please note that for a child to meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. immigration law, a Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, must be filed on the child’s behalf while the child is under the age of 16 (or under the age of 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another adopted child who meets the age and other requirements to immigrate based on adoption by the same adoptive parent(s)). Please see the USCIS website for special rules on filing dates for children aged 15-16 or siblings aged 17-18.

Caution:  Prospective adoptive parents should be aware that not all children in orphanages or children’s homes are eligible for adoption. In many countries, birth parents place their child(ren) temporarily in an orphanage or children’s home due to financial or other hardship, intending that the child return home when possible. In such cases, the birth parent(s) have not relinquished their parental rights or consented to the adoption of their child(ren).

How to Adopt

Warning:  Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Bulgaria before:  1) USCIS has approved your Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country, 2) the Central Authority of Bulgaria has determined the child is eligible for intercountry adoption, 3) USCIS has provisionally approved your Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative, and 4) a U.S. consular officer has issued an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case.  Read on for more information.

Bulgaria’s Central Adoption Authority

Department of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions
Ministry of Justice

The Process
Because Bulgaria is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adoptions from Bulgaria must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is provided below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements. Adoptions completed out of order may cause significant delays or result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider To Act as Your Primary Provider

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt (Form I-800A)

3.  Apply to Bulgaria’s Authorities to Adopt, and Be Matched with a Child

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee (Form I-800) and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption (Art. 5/17 letter)

5.  Adopt the Child in Bulgaria or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

1. Choose a U.S. Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Provider to Act as Your Primary Provider

The first step in adopting a child from Bulgaria is to select an adoption service provider in the United States that has been accredited or approved to provide intercountry adoption services to U.S. citizens. A primary provider must be identified in each Convention case and only accredited or approved adoption service providers may act as the primary provider in your case. Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, a primary provider is required in every intercountry adoption case. Your primary provider is responsible for:

  • Ensuring that all six adoption services defined at 22 CFR 96.2 are provided consistent with applicable laws and regulations;
  • Supervising and being responsible for any supervised providers, and otherwise complying with the requirements regarding the provision of adoption services using other providers (see 22 CFR 96.14); and
  • Developing and implementing a service plan in accordance with 22 CFR 96.44.

The U.S. adoption service provider must work with a Bulgarian adoption agency that has been accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice. The U.S. ASP may not work directly with the Ministry of Justice. For a complete list of Bulgarian adoption agencies accredited by the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, please visit the web site of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, Bulgaria.

To search for an accredited Adoption Service Provider, please visit the adoption service provider directory.

2.  Apply to USCIS to be Found Suitable and Eligible to Adopt

In order to adopt a child from Bulgaria, you will need to meet the requirements of the Government of Bulgaria and U.S. immigration law.

After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must be found suitable and eligible to adopt by USCIS by submitting Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country. You will need to submit a home study, provide biometrics, and cooperate in a background check as part of this application.  Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements. Unless an exception applies, the home study must be prepared by a person who is authorized under 22 CFR 96 to prepare home studies and must comply with the requirements in 8 CFR 204.311.

3.  Apply to Bulgaria’s Authorities to Adopt, and be Matched with a Child Submit Your Dossier to the Central Authority

After USCIS determines that you are suitable and eligible to adopt and approves the Form I-800A application, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the adoption authority in Bulgaria as part of your adoption application.  Bulgaria’s adoption authority will review your application to determine whether you are also suitable and eligible to adopt under Bulgaria’s law.

Receive a Referral for a Child from the Central Authority

If both the United States and Bulgaria determine that you are suitable and eligible to adopt, and Bulgaria’s Central Authority for Convention adoptions has determined that a child is eligible for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the Central Authority for Convention adoptions in Bulgaria may provide you with a referral. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of the child. The adoption authority in Bulgaria will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral. We encourage families to consider consulting with a medical professional and their adoption service provider to understand the needs of the specific child but you must decide for yourself whether you will be able to meet the needs of, and provide a permanent home for a specific child. You must also adhere to the recommendations in the home study submitted to USCIS with respect to the number of children and capacity to deal with any special needs of an adoptive child. Learn more about Health Considerations. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that to the Central Authority in Bulgaria. Learn more about this critical decision.

Due to the priority given to children with special needs, the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice processes referrals of prospective adoptive parents willing to adopt a child with special needs before other referrals. A child with special needs is defined as a child with significant health issues or a child over seven years of age. 

The Adoption Council within the Ministry of Justice reviews the registries of prospective parents and available children, including all relevant documentation, and proposes a match. The MOJ provides the adoptive parents through their Bulgarian accredited agency photographs of the child and information about the child, including his/her medical condition. If the family declines to adopt the child, the agency must inform the Council within two months of the referral, and the Council will suggest a match with a different child. There is no limitation as to the number of times prospective adoptive parents may decline a proposed match.

4.  Apply to USCIS for the Child to be Found Provisionally Eligible for Immigration to the United States as a Convention Adoptee and Receive U.S. Agreement to Proceed with the Adoption

Submit a Petition for a Determination on the Child’s Immigration Eligibility

After you accept being matched with a particular child, you will apply to USCIS for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States by filing the Form I-800, Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child appears to meet the definition of a Convention adoptee and will likely be eligible to be admitted to the United States.

Submit an Immigrant Visa Application

After provisional approval of Form I-800 petition, you or your adoption service provider will submit a visa application to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Sofia responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Bulgaria.

You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assigning a case number and an invoice ID number. Use this information to log into the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) to file the Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) for your child. An adoptive parent should fill out these forms in your child's name. Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Please review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact the NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form. A consular officer will review the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and the visa application and, if applicable, advises you of options for the waiver of any ineligibilities related to the visa application.

The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5/17 Letter”) to Bulgaria’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Bulgaria if all Convention requirements are met and the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform Bulgaria’s Central Authority that the parents are suitable and eligible to adopt, that the child appears eligible to enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.

Warning:  Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Bulgaria before you receive provisional approval of your Form I-800 petition AND a U.S. consular officer issues the “Article 5/17 Letter” for your adoption case.

Remember:  The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.

5.  Adopt the Child In Bulgaria or Obtain Legal Custody of the Child for Purposes of Emigration and Adoption

Remember:  Before you adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Bulgaria, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps can you proceed to finalize the adoption or a grant of legal custody by Bulgaria for the purposes of emigration and adoption.

The process for finalizing the adoption or obtaining legal custody for purposes of emigration and adoption in Bulgaria generally includes the following:

  • Role of Adoption Authority:  The Ministry of Justice is the Central Authority for Hague adoptions in Bulgaria. It is responsible for the accreditation of Bulgarian ASPs. It also maintains a registry of children available for inter-country adoption and matches children to prospective adoptive parents. Once the prospective adoptive parent(s) accept the match of a child, who was referred to the family by the Council, the case is forwarded to the Minister of Justice for final approval. When the Minister approves the parents’ application, the Ministry of Justice transfers the paperwork directly to Sofia City Court.

  • Role of the Court:  After the parents have met and spent five days with the child with whom they are matched, the Ministry of Justice approves their application and sends the case to the Sofia City Court. The Court sets a date for a hearing and reviews the documentation related to the adoption process, including the Ministry of Justice’s referral. The Court may postpone the hearing date if it requires additional documents. After hearing the case, the Court decides whether to grant a final adoption decree to the adoptive parents.  Once the court issues a full adoption decree, the adoptive parent’s Bulgarian representatives obtain a new birth certificate and passport for the child.

  • Role of Accredited or Approved Adoption Service Providers:  The U.S. ASP prepares the home-study and assists the adoptive parents in filing the I-800A. The U.S. ASP works with a Bulgarian ASP who registers the adoptive parents with the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice and serves as liaison to the Bulgarian Central Authority. It should be noted that under U.S. accreditation standards, the Bulgarian ASP must be a supervised provider. The Bulgarian ASP might also file a visa application with the American Embassy in Sofia.

Unless a public domestic authority is providing all adoption services in your case, there must be a U.S. accredited or approved adoption service provider acting as the primary provider in every case. Also, any agency or person providing an adoption service on behalf of prospective adoptive parents in any Convention or non-Convention intercountry adoption case must be accredited or approved, or be a supervised or exempted provider. Adoption service means any one of the following six services:

  • Identifying a child for adoption and arranging an adoption;
  • Securing the necessary consent to termination of parental rights and to adoption;
  • Performing a background study on a child or a home study on a prospective adoptive parent(s), and reporting on such a study;
  • Making non-judicial determinations of the best interests of a child and the appropriateness of an adoptive placement for the child;
  • Monitoring a case after a child has been placed with prospective adoptive parent(s) until final adoption; or
  • When necessary because of a disruption before final adoption, assuming custody and providing (including facilitating the provision of) child care or any other social service pending an alternative placement. 22 CFR 96.2 Definitions.

  • Adoption Application:  The application is a letter prepared by the accredited adoption agency. It is deposited at the Ministry of Justice by the parents’ Bulgarian legal representative.

  • Time Frame:  Intercountry adoptions in Bulgaria may take approximately several months to a few years to complete, depending on the children eligible for adoption.

  • Adoption Fees: We encourage prospective adoptive parents to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by them directly or through your U.S. adoption service provider, and to raise any concerns regarding any payment that you believe may be contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of Bulgaria, with your adoption service provider, and, when appropriate, through the Complaint Registry. Improper payments violate applicable law or create the appearance of buying a child, and could put all future adoptions in Bulgaria at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to make payments to foreign government officials to assist in obtaining or retaining business. Further, the IAA makes certain actions relating to intercountry adoptions unlawful, and subject to civil and criminal penalties. These include offering, giving, soliciting, or accepting inducement by way of compensation intended to influence or affect the relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing functions as a competent central authority, or to engage another person as an agent to take any such action.

In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your adoption service provider will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.

Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Bulgaria include:

  • Application fee at the MOJ:  100 leva (€ 50.00 EUR) 
  • Court fee: 25 leva (€ 12,50 EUR)
  • Minister’s approval for adoption – 50 leva (€ 25.00 EUR) 
  • Transcript of the Court Decree:  the fee varies according to the number of pages. The first page costs 2 leva (€ 1 EUR) and each following page costs 1 lev (€ 0,50 EUR)
  • Passport fee for child under 14: 10 leva (€ 5.00 EUR) for a regular service for up to 30 days; 20 leva (€ 10.00 EUR) for an expedited service – up to 3 days; 50 leva (€ 25.00 EUR) for an emergency service – up to 8 hours
  • Passport fee for child over 14: 40 leva (€ 20.00 EUR) for a regular service for up to 30 days; 80 leva (€ 40.00 EUR) for an expedited service – up to 3 days; 200 leva (€ 100.00 EUR) for an emergency service – up to 8 hours
  • Birth Certificate fee: 5 leva (€ 2,50.00 EUR) for a regular service – up to 7 days; 7,50 leva (€ 3,75.00 EUR) for an expedited service – up to 3 days; 10 leva (€ 5.00 EUR) for an emergency service – up to 2 days. The legalization of the document costs 5 leva (€ 2,50.00 EUR)

  • Documents Required:
    • Application, including personal data, family history, financial information. The application is a letter prepared by the accredited adoption agency.
    • A document certifying that the adoptive parent(s) has/have not been deprived of custody rights. 
    • An FBI fingerprint clearance shows whether there were prior arrests or criminal convictions which would render them ineligible to adopt a child in Bulgaria.
    • Home Study
    • Medical Certificate (signed by a general practitioner)
    • A court certificate of the adoptive parent
    • Approval by the USCIS (I-171H)
    • Receipt for the application fee of 100 leva (€ 50.00 EUR) 
    • All documents submitted should be originals. They must be translated and apostilled.

 

Note:  Additional documents may be requested.

  • Authentication of Documents:  You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. The U.S Department of State’s Authentications Office has information on the subject.

6.  Apply for a U.S. Immigrant Visa for Your Child and Bring Your Child Home

Once your adoption is complete or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, there are a few more steps to take before your child can head home.  Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:

Birth Certificate
You will need to obtain a birth certificate for your child.

If you have finalized the adoption in Bulgaria, you will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child. Your name will be added to the new birth certificate.

If you have been granted legal custody for the purposes of emigration and adoption of the child in the United States, the birth certificate you obtain will, in most cases, not yet include your name.

Note: The process of obtaining a birth certificate and passport takes 3 - 4 weeks. The parents are not required to do anything in order to apply for these two documents. Their accredited adoption agency authorizes an attorney to represent them at court and deposit documents at various Government entities.

Bulgarian Passport
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he/she will need a travel document or passport from Bulgaria.

After the new birth certificate has been issued, the representative has to apply for a passport of the child. The process of obtaining a birth certificate and a passport takes 3-4 weeks.

U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child you need to apply for a U.S. immigrant visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Sofia.  After the adoption or custody for purposes of emigration and adoption is granted, visit the U.S. Embassy for a final review of the case, and if applicable, the issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, the final approval of the Form I-800 petition, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you and be admitted to the United States as your child.  Please contact the U.S. Embassy in Sofia by email at iv_sofia@state.gov to schedule your child’s immigrant visa appointment.  As part of this process, you must provide the consular officer with the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if you did not provide it during the Form I-800 provisional approval stage. Read more about the Medical Examination.

Before coming for your child’s immigrant visa interview, please complete an Electronic Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) online at the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). You should receive a letter from the National Visa Center (NVC) confirming receipt of the provisionally approved Form I-800 petition and assignment of a case number and an invoice ID number. You will need this information to log into CEAC to file the DS-260 for your child. You should fill out these forms in your child's name.  Answer every item on the form. If information is not applicable, please write “N/A” in the block. Print and bring the DS-260 confirmation page to the visa interview. Review the DS-260 FAQs, our Online Immigrant Visa Forms page, or contact NVC at NVCAdoptions@state.gov or +1-603-334-0700 if you have questions about completing the online DS-260 form.

Upon receipt of the case at post, the Consular Section generally notifies the petitioner. Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes 24 hours.  It is not usually possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the same day as the immigrant visa interview. You should verify current processing times with the U.S. Embassy in Sofia before making final travel arrangements. Additional information on immigrant visa processing can be found on our website.

Child Citizenship Act

For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s admission into the United States:  An adopted child residing in the United States in the legal and physical custody of the U.S. citizen parent pursuant to a lawful admission for permanent residence generally will acquire U.S. citizenship automatically if the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000, including that the child is under the age of eighteen.

For adoptions finalized after the child’s admission into the United States:  You will need to complete an adoption following your child’s admission into the United States and before the child turns eighteen for the child (if he or she otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000) to automatically acquire U.S. citizenship.

Read more about the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.

TRAVELING ABROAD

Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport.  Once your child acquires U.S. citizenship, s/he will need a U.S. passport for international travel.  Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports.

Getting or renewing a passport is easy.  The Department of State’s Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining a Visa to Travel to Bulgaria
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may also need to obtain a visa.  Where required, visas are affixed to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.  To find information about obtaining a visa for Bulgaria, see the Department of State’s country page.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country.  The Department of State provides country information for every country in the world about various issues, including health conditions, crime, currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.

Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling abroad during the adoption process, we encourage you to enroll with the Department of State through our Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country.  Enrollment makes it possible for the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Bulgaria, to contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.  Whether there is a family emergency in the United States or a crisis in Bulgaria, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.

Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).

Traveling Abroad

Applying for Your U.S. Passport 
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.

Obtaining Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.

To find information about obtaining a visa for Bulgaria, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information.

Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department webpage is a good place to start. The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.  

Staying in Touch on Your Trip

When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Bulgaria, registration assists the U.S. embassy or consulate in reaching you. Registration is free and can be done online.

After Adoption

Bulgaria requires adoptive parents to submit post-adoption reports. The Ministry of Justice requires four post-placement reports – one every six months after the adoption for the first two years.

We urge you to comply with Bulgaria’s post-adoption/post-placement requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to Bulgaria’s positive experiences with U.S. citizen adoptive parents.

Post-Adoption Resources

Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption.  There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. You may wish to take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services. Your primary provider can provide or point you to post- placement/post-adoption services to help your adopted child and your family transition smoothly and deal effectively with the many adjustments required in an intercountry adoption.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services maintains a website, the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which can be a useful resource to get you started on your support group search.

COMPLAINTS

If you have concerns about your intercountry adoption process, we ask that you share this information with the U.S. Embassy in Sofia, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of State takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously.  Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact for adoptive families to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-800/A petition process.

The Complaint Registry is an internet-based registry for filing complaints about the compliance of U.S. accredited or approved adoption service providers with U.S. accreditation standards. If you think your provider's conduct may not have been in compliance with accreditation standards, first submit your complaint in writing directly to your provider. If the complaint is not resolved through the provider's complaint process, you may file the complaint through the Complaint Registry.

Contact Information

U.S. Embassy in Bulgaria
16, Kozyak Street
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria
Tel: +(359) (2) 937-5100
Fax:  +(359) (2) 937-5209
Email: iv_sofia@state.gov
Internet:  https://bg.usembassy.gov/

 

Bulgaria’s Adoption Authority
Ministry of Justice
Department of International Legal Child Protection and Intercountry Adoptions
Address: No 1, Slavyanska Str.
1040 Sofia, Bulgaria
Tel:  +359 (2) 923 7334
Tel:  +359 (2) 923 7469
Email:  M_Parvanova@justice.government.bg; Petya.Todorova@mjeli.government.bg
Internet: https://mjs.bg/

Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
CA/OCS/CI
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, D.C.  20522-1709
Tel:  1-888-407-4747
Email:  Adoption@state.gov
Internet:  adoption.state.gov

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about filing a Form I-800A application or a Form I-800 petition:
USCIS National Benefits Center (NBC):
Tel:  1-877-424-8374 (toll free); 1-913-275-5480 (local); Fax: 1-913-214-5808
Email:  NBC.Adoptions@uscis.dhs.gov

For general questions about immigration procedures:
USCIS National Customer Service Center (NCSC)
Tel:  1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833)
Internet:  uscis.gov

Last Updated: August 24, 2022

Assistance for U.S. Citizens

U.S. Embassy Sofia
16, Kozyak Street
Sofia 1408, Bulgaria
Telephone
+(359) (2) 937-5100
Emergency
+(359) (2) 937-5101
Fax
+(359) (2) 937-5209

Bulgaria Map