Bulgarian Adoption During Covid

Adopting 3 YO Son in 25 Months

Meet one of our families who complted their adoption in about 25 months. They came home in Dec, 2020 with their handsome 3 year old son from Bulgaria, despite Covid delays.

Walking Out of the Orphanage!

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
Second Trip  4 Months Later
Total:  25 Months

See Other Parents' Timelines

We have a few other families who are happy to share their stories and their timelines.  To see how long it took them to adopt, please see:

Jessica and Jeremy's story

Sam and Stacie's story

Monica and Manuel's

Ana's story

Christian and Cassandra's

Daniel and Alexandra's

Megan and Mike's

Paul and April's


Bonding in Bulgaria – Dec 2020!

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, around 2 years later, despite the world being closed due to Covid delays, they are home with 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.

Adopted child and his father

How Were They Able To Do It So Quickly?

In short, compliments to Bulgaria and the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.

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.

None of our clients were delayed as they were given the option to meet their children online.  And when they traveled, as long as they showed necessary negative tests, none of them were asked to quarantine.

Bulgaria is back to its normal procedures at this time, and our clients are making 2 physical trips.

Adoptive parents with child in foster care in Bulgaria.
Adoptive parents bonding with son in Bulgaria.
Adoptive parents and their son in Bulgaria.

See This Family’s Steps

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. This family’s home study was done by Adoptions from the Heart and they did an excellent job!

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 waiting child photolisting.

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!
Bulgarian adoption information.

Step 6 – March to August 2020 – 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!
family adopting a child from Bulgaria.

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 dad and his son.

Step 8 – December 2020 – Back Home!

Per God’s grace, this family was able to finalize their adoption in the middle of Covid.  They came back home with their 4 year old son in December, 2020. 

Their entire Bulgarian adoption for their 4 year old son, therefore, took only 25 months, with the world being closed for about 6 months in the middle of it because of Covid.  

How Can I Afford to Adopt?

With our agency, which we believe is unique, the cost of the adoption becomes due on your own timetable, not ours.  We call this a floating fee structure”

We also offer 37 month financing which lets you make a fixed monthly payment for 37 months.  Some of our parents love this option because it lets them spend less money before they can qualify for grants.

Getting the adoption tax credit also helps parents with the cost of international adoption.

What Are Orphanages Like?

See this blog with 3 separate adoptive parents share their thoughts on what the orphanage is like?

See Lori’s Interview from 2017.

See Jessica’s Interview from 2019. 

See Christian and Cassie’s Interview from 2021.

Update: 6 Months After Coming Home!

Mom and her adopted son 6 months after adoption.
Dad and his adopted son 6 months after adoption.

Post Adoption Report:

The adoption process requires a lot of training for parents to understand how children may be impacted by trauma because of their rough beginning.  Our parents are well prepared and supported each step of the process which includes “post adoption” visits.

Though we firmly believe that preparation and support are key to success, as believers we are able to witness time and time again how Christ Jesus puts together families in an absolutely perfect way the same way were adopted into His family!

Post adoption report for a child that was adopted 6 months ago.

Quotes from the Post Adoption Report:

It is a joy to share a few quotes with future adoptive parents from the “Post Adoption Report”.

Dr. “A” describes his overall health as good and that the family providing appropriate care currently”

“His parents describe him as being very energetic, loving, and passionate child who is resilient and gets over disappointments quickly”

“A” eats well and is continuing to try new foods.  He eats a wide variety of foods”

“His favorite programs are Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.  His favorite movies are Madagascar and Despicable Me.”

“His gross motor skills seem to be within normal limits, and he can ride a scooter, drive an electric car, and play on the swings.  His fine motor skills also seem to be developmentally appropriate as he can stack blocks, put together puzzles and uses a fork to feed himself”.

“”A” has bonded with his mother and father.  He seeks out his parents when sad, hurt, or uncomfortable.  He is affectionate and sits in his parents’ laps.  He gives kisses and gives hugs easily to his parents”.

“Currently, one of his favorite activities is to play soccer and kick a ball with his father”.

Succes Stories

Learning about the process by seeing how different families went through each step can be a good learning experience for future adoptive parents.  We've shared several stories, each with real timelines, and steps, as they happened in real life to real families.

Christian and Sandra's Story

Finished adoption in 27 months.

Monica and Manny's Story

Finished adoption in 25 months

Jeremy and Jessica's Story

Finished adoption in 20 months

Stacy and Sam's Story

Finished adoption in 18.5 months

Lori's Story

Finished adoption in 18 Months

Ana' Story

Finished adoption in 20 months.

Paul and April's Story

Finished adoption in 28 months

Mike and Megan's Story

Finished adoption in 30 months

Daniel and Alexandra's Story

Finished adoption in 36 months

Continue Your Research

We are humbled to have over 21 years of experience with BulgarianPolish and Serbian international adoption. We also help parents adopt children with special needs such as Down Syndrome.  Continue to learn about the process and your options by checking the links below.  If you have any questions, we offer a FREE, No-Obligation Consult.  The consult is a great place to start your research.

Text us or call us with any questions.  704 527 7673.

Saint Mary International Adoptions has over 21 years of experience helping people adopt.