Adopting from Bulgaria

DCL ProfileThe Bulgaria Adoption Program is an excellent option for many parents who wish to adopt a child or sibling group. Bordered by Romania on the north and Greece and Turkey on the south, Bulgaria is party to the Hague Convention and has a very transparent adoption process.  The Bulgarian government requires that prospective adoptive parents use a Hague-accredited agency in the United States as well as a Bulgarian adoption agency accredited by the Ministry of Justice.  In 2013, Hand In Hand has partnered with Vesta Adoption, a non-profit, licensed and accredited Bulgarian adoption organization, to assist in the placement of children from Bulgarian orphanages and institutions into U.S. adoptive homes.  Vesta has over 15 years of experience in helping children find permanent home and families and actively advocate for the protection of the rights on children in Bulgarian institutions.  Vesta, like Hand In Hand, believes that every child has a right to a loving, forever family.

Hand In Hand is Hague accredited and we have worked for children since 1974.  Our experience plus our partnership with Vesta make us confident and excited about the opportunity to find forever homes for the children of Bulgaria.  Vesta will provide care and assistance to the adoptive families while they are in Bulgaria.  As a full-service agency, Hand In Hand will assist the families on this side of the globe to complete their home study, receive the necessary training, secure their I-800A approval, match a child with them, send their documents to Bulgaria, prepare for travel, and complete the necessary post-placement reports.

For Bulgaria adoption program information please email Vickie Truelove:

Types of Children Available

  • Children are of a rich, ethnic background: Bulgarian, Turkish and Roma.
  • Children ages 1-15 years old, with the majority being over three years old; there is a great need for families open to children between four and eight years old, as well as for families open to children with special needs.
  • Male and female children and sibling groups are available
  • Most children have mild to moderate medical conditions; the wait for the referral of a healthy child is currently very long

Waiting Children

See Hand In Hand’s KidsWait Blog for profiles of children currently waiting.

Applicants seeking to adopt a special needs child will be assessed on a case-to-case basis.  Children on the waiting child list are considered special needs, even if the need is their age.

Types of Families Accepted

  • There is no age requirement, but at least one parent must be a minimum of 15 years older than the child to be adopted
  • Married or single applicants are accepted; there is no requirement regarding length of marriage
  • Applicants may not have a criminal record, a history of deprivation of parental rights, STD, TB, HIV/AIDS, or chronic infectious disease.

Travel Requirements

  • Both adoptive parents must travel for a total of two trips.
  • The first trip, in which the prospective adoptive parents receive the official referral and meet the child, is approximately 7 days.
  • The second trip, which will take place 3-4 months after the first trip, is also approximately 7 days.

Time Frames

    • Generally 12-18 months for the adoption of child over the age of three or a child with special needs
    • The wait for a referral of a healthy, younger child is up to three years


About Bulgaria

BulgariaThe Republic of Bulgaria is a diverse country of 7.3 million people, bordered by Romania, Serbia, Macedonia, Greece and Turkey, and the Black Sea. It’s location toward the southeast of Europe puts it at the meeting point of cultures.  The majority of the people are of Bulgarian ancestry, but there are many minority groups represented, most notably the Turkish and Roma population.  The official language is Bulgarian, the oldest written Slavic language.  Currently Bulgaria has a decreasing population, with many young people emigrating.

Bulgaria has an archeological heritage left from it’s many ancient civilizations that makes it fascinating to visit, and has beautiful geographical attractions in the Balkan Mountains and the coast of the Black Sea.