Adopting a child from Bulgaria
Who can adopt?
|Who can adopt?||Who can’t adopt?|
|Married couples||Same sex couples|
|Single people||De facto* couples|
Please note: the number of adoptions from Bulgaria is very low.
Children you can adopt from Bulgaria
Bulgaria has 2 programs:
- special needs
The general program includes children up to 10 years of age. Some children are healthy and some have mild/correctable special needs and/or developmental delays.
This special needs program includes:
- children with more severe special needs and/or developmental delays
- healthy children aged over 10 years
- sibling groups of 2 or more children
All children begin in the general program and then move to the special needs program when there is a lack of suitable registered prospective parents.
More boys than girls need intercountry adoption in Bulgaria.
Specific eligibility criteria to adopt from Bulgaria
If you’re interested in adopting a child from Bulgaria, you need to meet the eligibility criteria of your state or territory central authority. You will also need to meet the following Bulgarian criteria:
- you can be married or single
- you can’t be a same-sex couple
- *you can’t be a de facto couple unless one of you applies as a single applicant
- you must be at least 15 years older than the child
- you can’t have an age gap of more than 50 years between the child and the younger spouse (or single applicant) and 55 years age gap between the child and older spouse
- you need to provide a doctor’s assessment of your physical and mental health within one year of the date of application
The waiting time to adopt a healthy child under the age of 5 is around 6 years from when Bulgaria receives your application.
Applications for an older child or a child with special needs are prioritised, so the waiting time is usually less than a year.
Cost of adopting a child from Bulgaria
The fees for each program are:
- general program – 8,000 EUR
- special needs program – 6,600 EUR
On top of state and territory central authority fees, there are other expenses such as:
- translation fees
- travel and accommodation costs
Travel to Bulgaria
You will need to travel to Bulgaria twice during the adoption process.
You make the first trip to meet your child, which usually lasts 6 days. Then you make the second trip to bring your child to Australia, which usually takes 6 to 7 days.
A specialist member of the Bulgarian Family National Association will support you throughout the adoption process.
After the adoption
As this program evolves, more information will become available regarding finalisation, post adoption, immigration and citizenship.
Hague Convention information
Bulgaria will attempt to place a child within a family in Bulgaria before deciding if a child can be placed through intercountry adoption.
The central authority in Bulgaria is the Ministry of Justice.
We work with the accredited adoption agency Family National Association.
- Learn more about the citizenship requirements for the adoption of children from outside Australia
- You can access local and community adoption support, as well as the Intercountry Adoptee and Family Support Service
- You can learn more about Bulgaria at Department of Foreign Affairs – Bulgaria