Bulgarian Adoption During Covid

Adoption During Covid – And Quickly?!?

Meet one of our families who is adopting their 3 year old son from Bulgaria, despite Covid delays.

In fact, their process has been faster than most adoptions we’ve helped our parents with.  Part of the reason for that is that Bulgarian authorities have been very flexible to accommodate adoptive parents during Covid.

The Bulgarian Central Authority with approval from the US Embassy in Sofia has allowed Skype visits, and taken away Quarantine requirements with proof of Negative Covid Test.

Adoptive parents meet their child on Skype because of Covid.

Adoption Timeline During Covid

This family began their adoption process with Poland, but decided to switch to Bulgaria.  They signed their contract for a Bulgarian adoption with our agency in October of 2018.

Now, less than 2 years later, with Covid delays in the middle, they are waiting to go to Bulgaria to pick up their 3 year old son!

That is an incredible timeline for any adoption, and especially for an adoption of a young child (3 year old), in the middle of Covid closures and delays.  Their story is a true blessing and should serve as inspiration to future adoptive parents!

We’ll take you through their timeline below to show you how it worked out, and educate future parents about the steps in the process.  

adoption contract

Step 1 – Oct, 2018 – Contract

In October of 2018, the family signed our agency’s contract for an adoption through Bulgaria.  This initiated their process and we set out to help them meet eligibility requirements for a Bulgarian adoption.

Application to adopt from a Hague Country.

Step 2 – Jan, 2019 – I800A

3 months after signing their contract to adopt from Bulgaria, the family submitted their  I800-A Application.  Before you get to that point you have to complete your home study.  Once your home study is approved by your Accredited Adoption Agency, you will send it to USCIS for their approval.  This is a key dossier document used in the foreign country for your eligibility as an adoptive parent.

CIS approval for adoption.

Step 3 – March, 2019 – CIS Approval

2 months later, CIS reviewed and approved the family’s I800-A Application. That approval resulted in the family getting their CIS approval.  This approval is a key document needed for your approval in Bulgaria.

Bulgarian Government approval for adoption.

Step 4 – May, 2019 – Bulgarian Registrar

2 months later, the family’s entire dossier including their CIS Approval and approved home study (or home study for expats) was sent to Bulgaria to be translated and submitted with the Bulgarian Central Authority (CA).   The CA issues an official letter confirming that their file has been “inscribed in the registrar”.  Put more simply, it means that the adoptive parents’ file has been approved and they are now “officially waiting” to be matched with a child.

Bulgarian orphan found adoptive parents.

Step 5 – March, 2020 – Referral

Not even 10 months later, the family received incredible news that a referral of a 3 Year Old boy matching the characteristics in their home study  has been found for them!  A 10 month wait to be matched with a 3 year old boy from the “traditional route” is incredibly fast!  At this time, we can’t show you his face, but we promise he is super cute!  Soon, we’ll be able to show you full pictures!

How does Corona virus impact adoption

Step 6 – March – August – Covid Delay

In March, right after they said “yes” to their child, the world closed down due to Covid.  Many people feared the delays would last forever.  However, we are very thankful to say that the Bulgarian CA and US Embassy in Sofia has been very reasonable and accommodating during this time.  They were closed for a couple months, but never stopped receiving and scheduling paperwork to be processed upon returning.  Bulgaria opened for business in mid June.  Since then, adoption proceedings have resumed and are currently going well.  By August, our family was allowed to meet their child through Skype!  A first!

Adoptive parents meet their child on Skype because of Covid.

Step 7 – August, 2020 – Skype

In August, after a couple months of waiting on business to resume, the family’s adoption process continued.  The Bulgarian CA allowed the family to meet their child through Skype, instead of requiring them to travel during this uncertain time.  The family was very appreciative of this gesture by the Bulgarian government and the US Embassy in Sofia. The family received a schedule during which time Skype sessions would take place each day, similar to the schedule they would have had if they had gone to Bulgaria to meet the child in person.   This action by Bulgaria allowed adoptions to continue moving and is consistent with the goal of the Hague Convention to pursue the best interest of the child – which is to be with a family instead of the orphanage.

adoptive family
Adoptive parents provide photos for their adoption dossier.
Adoptive Parents.
Finish Home Study 3 Months
Get CIS Approval 1.5 Months Later
Inscribed in Bulgarian Registrar 2 Months Later
Receive Referral for a 3 Year Old Boy 10 Months Later
Covid Delays 3 Months (Mid March – Mid June)
First Trip (Skype) 1.5 Months After Covid Re-Opening

Continue Your Adoption Research

We are humbled to have over 19 years of experience with Bulgarian and Polish international adoption.  Let our experience enrich your research.  The answers to these questions about the process are written through experience and know how.  Sometimes the answers may surprise you for the better.  Text us or call us with any questions.  704 527 7673.

International Adoption Agency has 19 years of experience.