Step-by-step adoption procedure in Bulgaria:
- The Danish organization will send us the dossier with all the required registration documents.
- Once the dossier has been received and translated, our team will submit it to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice along with an initial application. Then, the candidates will be enrolled in a Register, which is effectively a waiting list for adoptive parents. This enrolment should take place within 2 months of FNA receiving the documents, provided they are in the proper form.
- The waiting period for a child proposal is counted from the enrolment in the Register and will vary in each case. The timeframe depends on the children currently available (e.g. age, gender, health condition) and the candidates on the waiting list (overall preferences, desired age, number of candidates).
- The Intercountry Adoption Council reviews the applications following the order of their registration and refers the children to the candidates who are suitable for them. Once a child is referred for adoption, a package of documents is prepared, which is referred to as “referral”. Those documents are provided to “Family National Association”, who arrange their translation and then send them on to the partnering agency, which then provides them to the candidates. The package includes a referral certificate, a certificate with a full-length photo of the child and a detailed report about the child, which is prepared in accordance with Art.16 of the Hague Convention. In case the accredited agency considers that the characteristics of the referred child fall within the respective adoptive family’s permission for adoption, they ask the candidates if they accept the child referred to them for adoption. The accredited agency has to notify the regional state administration about the candidates’ decision and also send the information about the child to the regional state administration. If the accredited agency reaches a negative conclusion about the correspondence between the child’s characteristics and the candidates’ permission for adoption, they have to inform the candidates of the possibility to apply for an amendment of their permission that would cover the child’s characteristics. If the candidates decide that they would like to apply for such an amendment, the accredited agency has to notify the regional state administration and also send on to them the information about the child. The Joint Council is the competent authority that should consider whether to grant the requested amendment of the candidates’ permission. The regional state administration performs the Home study, which is necessary for the Joint Council to make a final decision. In case the candidates do not wish to apply for an amendment of their permission, the accredited agency sends the information to the regional state administration. If while making an evaluation, the accredited agency considers that there are doubts about the correspondence between the profile of the child referred for adoption and the prospective adopters’ permission, the agency sends the documents about the child to the Joint Council, who is to decide whether the child’s characteristics are correspondent to the candidates’ permission. The regional state administration notifies the agency and the prospective adopters about the decision of the Joint Council.
- The next step is meeting the child. Usually, a registered specialist of our team will meet the referred child on behalf of the candidate-adopters and will prepare video materials and photos of him/her. They will be sent to the candidates in order to make their decision for the child’s adoption.
- If the candidate-adoptive parents refuse to adopt the child, the waiting period starts over again. However, they may keep their place in the line if they have not been informed about significant health problems of the child, if the proposed child’s characteristics clearly do not match the family’s initial wish and in case the candidates have applied for a child with a special need and have subsequently decided not to adopt them.
- If the candidate-adoptive parents agree to adopt the child, they will have to sign the relevant documents provided by FNA. To proceed further, a “Certificate of consent for proceeding with the adoption” issued by the Danish organization or by the Adoption Joint Council (the Central Adoption Authority of Denmark). Then, we will submit the documents to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice for the issuance of the Minister of Justice's final consent.
- The dossier will then be sent to Sofia City Court and an attorney-at-law from our team will represent the candidate-adoptive parents in court as well as perform all procedural actions until the court decree enters into power.
- When the adoption decree becomes effective (7 days after the judgement is enacted), FNA will help obtain a Certificate of Completion, a new birth certificate and passport of the child.
- The adoptive parents will then have to travel to Bulgaria to pick up their child and finalize the passport issuing procedure. Afterwards they will travel back home together.
- The FNA will need four post-adoption reports on the child’s development and well-being within the course of 2 years after adoption.
Current partner: DIA (Danish International Adoption)
Documents, necessary for the registration of candidate-adoptive parents:
- “Approval certificate” issued by the Adoption Joint Council at the candidates’ residential area;
- “Certificate” (stating that the candidate-adoptive parents have not been prohibited to exercise their parental rights) issued by the issued by the Danish adoption organization;
- “Report about the candidate-adoptive parents” prepared by a social worker at the regional State Administration, Adoption Office;
- In case the home study report is issued more than one year prior to submission, an updated report or a document, confirming that there are no significant changes in the circumstances, described in the report is required;
- “Health certificates” for both candidates; In the medical certificate, the doctor's signature and seal have to be notary certified (so the notary's seal, signature,etc. should practically follow the doctor's signature on the medical certificate).
- “Certificates of Criminal Record” for the candidates issued by the regional police station;
- “Marital status certificate” (for married couples);
- Authorization of Representation” by the candidate-adoptive parents to Family National Association;
- “Declaration of Information” according to Art. 20, Clause 10 of Ordinance No.2/2014;
- Declaration about the characteristics of the desired child(ren) and the adoptive parents' motivation;
- Copies of the prospective adoptive parent(s) passport(s) or ID card(s);
- Some photos of the adoptive parent(s) and their home;
All documents must be sent in original and apostilled.
Requirements to the candidates
Bulgarian legislation does not set any significant restrictions to the candidate-adoptive parents. They must be above 18 years of age, to be at least 15 years older than the adoptive child and to meet all requirements of the applicable Danish laws. This is the rule stated in the Family Code but the Intercountry Adoption Council firmly abides by the following age criterion: "There should not be more that 50 years age difference between the adoptee and the younger spouse in a married couple and there should not be more that 55 years age difference between the adoptee and the older spouse in a married couple. When a child is adopted by a single adopter, the lower age difference (of 50 years) should be considered."
Single candidates can also apply for adoption.
According to Danish legislation, the candidate-adopters must be above 25 years of age and the age difference with the child has to be no more than 40 years at the time of filing the adoption application. The prospective adoptive parents shouldn't be older than 47 years at the time they submit their petition for adoption. An exception from the rule is when one of the spouses is younger and the age difference between him/her and the child is less than 40 years. The minimal age difference between the adoptive parents and the adopted child is 14 years and the maximum is 42 years.Married couples must have been married and living together for at least 2.5 years.