In Bulgaria, Holt works alongside local partner agency Vesta — an agency that shares our mission to advocate for the rights of children living in institutions to join permanent, loving families through adoption.
Many children in Bulgaria are waiting for a loving, permanent family.
In Bulgaria, many older children, children with special needs and sibling groups are waiting to be matched with adoptive families. Most Bulgarian children eligible for international adoption have also experienced some degree of trauma, and families will need to be prepared to parent a child with complex needs. The Bulgaria program is however one of the most flexible and open programs in terms of parental eligibility. Throughout your adoption process, Holt’s U.S. staff will also work closely with you to ensure you feel informed and prepared every step of the way. We go above and beyond to provide all the resources and assistance you need, including a detailed, trauma-informed adoptive parent education uniquely tailored to your family and the specific child you hope to adopt.
Children in Bulgaria Who Need Families
Boys, girls and siblings, ages 2-15, of Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma heritage are waiting for families.
The majority of children in need of families are 5-14 years old or part of a sibling group. Children have varying degrees of special needs, from minor and correctable to more complex.
The most common special needs are related to institutionalization, abuse and neglect, and children adopted from Bulgaria will need adoptive parents who are prepared to meet the needs of children with developmental delays and/or a history of trauma.
Other common special needs include prematurity, low birth weight (and related medical issues and delays), skin conditions, issues related to malnutrition, speech delays, heart murmurs (often resolved), learning disorders, and intellectual and physical disabilities.
Meet the children waiting for a family
To preserve children’s confidentiality, you will be asked to log in or sign up before you access the waiting child photolisting.
Parents between the ages of 25 and 49 years old may adopt a child older than 12 months.
Parents who are 50-55 years old may adopt a child who is 5 years or older.
Length of Marriage
Couples must be married at least one year at the time of homestudy approval.
If there is a history of divorce, the current marriage must be more than two years.
Each spouse may have up to two divorces.
If there is a history of divorce, the current marriage must be longer than two years.
Children in Family
Bulgaria has no regulation regarding children already in the home.
Single women and men may adopt.
Single men will only be approved to adopt a boy age 8 or older with moderate to significant special needs or boys 10 and older with lesser involved needs. Please consult with Holt before applying.
Two trips are required.
Both parents must go on the first trip (approximately one week long).
If necessary, only one parent may travel on the second trip (preferably the mother, for approximately 10 to 11 days).
How Long It Takes
Timeframe for match of child from Bulgaria’s Ministry of Justice:
Timeframe for match is 1-5 years from the time of dossier submission to child match. This timeframe will vary depending on how open the family is in terms of gender, age and special needs.
Timeframe for match of waiting child:
Once a family goes through the process of being approved by the waiting child program, there is no wait time to be matched. The family’s dossier submission must occur within six months of the letter of intent to adopt being sent to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, and overall it may take 12 to18 months to complete the adoption process.
Waiting Child Program
Children on our waiting child photolisting usually have a major medical condition and/or other special needs, are older in age or are part of a sibling group.
Families who have applied to Holt may request waiting child files to review at any time, but only families who have an approved homestudy can be matched with a child.
Families interested in adopting a child must have a positive net worth and an income of at least $10,000 per family member, including the adopted child.
Applicants interested in adopting a child cannot have a history of felonies and no more than two misdemeanors in their lifetime.
Applicants who have a past or current diagnosis of a life-threatening or communicable disease or other condition that impairs their ability to parent are ineligible to adopt.
Fees for Bulgaria Adoption
We are open and transparent about our fees and want you to be aware of all potential costs involved in an adoption, including third-party costs and travel.
Holt is a Christian, private, nonprofit, licensed and accredited child welfare and family service organization. Our adoption work is entirely financed through adoption fees and donations. It is not government subsidized. We believe that children are the highest priority, and we want as many children as possible to have families. To that end, we strive to keep our fees within a reasonable range. All fees are subject to change and are charged at the rate that is current at time of billing. Holt may increase fees if adoption expenses in the foreign country increase substantially after time of application. Families will be notified in writing of any fee increase. Holt International accepts the following for adoption fees: check, cashier’s check or money order. If you would like to pay by credit card, there will be a 3% convenience fee added to your total. Fees are due upon invoice.
Due when you accept the assignment of a child. In the case of siblings, Agency Fee 3 is increased by $3,815 per child and Foreign Country Fee Pass-Through is increased by $4,447.
Agency Fee 3
Program Fee 2
Adoption Expenses in Foreign Country
Foreign Country Fee Pass-Through 2 – Vesta
Translation and Documentation Expenses
Post Adoption Reporting Fees (if Holt provides)
Post Placement/Adoption Reports
Travel for Home Visits (if Holt provides)
Additional Fees to Anticipate
$860 – $1,330
Adoption Education Classes
$150 – $500
$250 – $2,500
$100 – $1,000
Pre-Adoption Medical Review of Child Material
$250 – $1,000
Visa, Medical, Passport Pick-Up (paid in-country — breakdown given prior to travel)
Translation and Documentation Expenses
$1,500 – $2,500
Airfare, Lodging, Meals & Transportation
$6,000 – $15,000
Summary of Estimated Fees
$1,500 – $5,000
Foreign Country Program Expenses
Care of the Child
Translation and Documents Expenses
$10,394 – $11,394
Post Adoption Reporting Fees
Third Party Fees
$1,610 – $6,330
Travel Costs and Accommodations
$6,000 – $15,000
$47,075 – $66,295
Agency Fees are non-refundable.
Program Fees are non-refundable
Pass Through – 100% refundable until tendered to Vesta
Post Placement Reporting Fees are refundable if not required
Any fee refund will be processed within 60 days.
Financial Assistance for Adoption
Holt believes finances should not stop a child from having a loving family. Although many resources exist to help adoptive families offset the cost of adoption, it’s not always clear where to start looking or what opportunities are best suited for your family. To help you consider all your options, Holt provides an outline of financial assistance, as well as a list of resources categorized by type.
Families adopting through Holt receive free, professional guidance and support from a one-on-one finance coach throughout their adoption process. Even if you’re just considering adoption, email us to set up your first consultation today!
This is an often misunderstood term in adoption because it doesn’t necessarily indicate that a child has physical or developmental disabilities. Many children with special needs are either older than 5, part of a sibling group, or have moderate physical, developmental or emotional health needs. Most Bulgarian children who are waiting for adoptive families have experienced some degree of trauma, and families will need to be prepared to parent a child with complex needs.
How long does it take to adopt from Bulgaria?
The wait time to adopt a child from Bulgaria varies. Depending on the profile of child you are approved to adopt — the child’s age, gender and special needs — your wait time to be matched could be 6 months to 5 years. Families requesting a girl within the youngest age range and with minor medical conditions will typically wait the longest. Families who are more open in terms of age, gender and special needs will see shorter wait times. When a family applies to adopt a waiting child, the wait time is limited to the time it takes to assess and approve the match — making the overall process approximately 12-18 months from application to placement.
Bulgaria requires two trips. The first trip is for one week and will occur about 1-6 weeks after you’re matched with a child. The second trip is approximately 10 days and will occur 3-6 months after the first trip.
Help Protect International Adoption for Children
Your gift today will help a child be adopted, care for them while they wait, and even ensure that they receive critical post-adoption help for life!
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Around the world, so many children are growing up without families to love them and nurture their growth. And so many families are waiting with love to give. It is our mission to bring you together as you consider growing your family and providing a loving home to a child in need.
We look forward to assisting you in your adoption journey.
Holt International is a Hague-accredited agency with adoption programs in these locations: