Bulgarian Waiting Child Adoption During Covid

Adopting a Waiting Child During Covid 

Meet one of our families who is adopting their 3 year old son as a Waiting Child from Bulgaria,

Their process is moving along nicely despite Covid delays.

Part of the reason why their process is moving pretty fast is because Bulgaria’s Central Authority has been very flexible to help adoption proceedings to go forward during Covid.

With approval from the US Embassy in Sofia, they have allowed SKYPE visits, and taken away quarantine requirements with proof of a negative Covid test.

Our family’s SKYPE visit took place in mid November, and it lasted 4 days.

Adoptive Parents Skype with Their Child.
orphan meeting his parents

Our Family’s Timeline

adoption contract

March 2019 – Contract

In March of 2019, our 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.

Bulgarian Ministry of Justice Adoption Application.

Nov, 2019 – Waiting Child Application 

Our family was working on their home study when they saw a waiting child they decided to adopt.  They completed the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice’s Application to apply to be matched with the child. The result of this application would not become fully valid until the family obtains their CIS approval.

USCIS Approval to adopt a child.

May 2020 – Apply for CIS Approval

When you are done with your home study, you would submit it to CIS along with an I800-A Application.  Once CIS reviews your application and approves it, they will issue your CIS approval  which is one of the key documents needed for your approval regardless of whether you are adopting a “waiting child” or a child from the “traditional route” from Bulgaria.

CIS approval for adoption.

August 2020 – Got CIS Approval 

CIS usually process I-800A Applications for about 6 weeks.  However, we think that due to Covid delays, they responded to our family’s application in August, which was 10 weeks later.  This makes the delay only about 3 to 4 weeks.

Bulgarian Government approval for adoption.

October 2020 – Accepted in Bulgarian Registrar

Our 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’ application to adopt the waiting child has officially been approved, and they have officially been matched with their child.  They received the official referral from the Ministry on Nov 4, 2020.  

Usking Skype to talk to adoptive child during Covid.

Nov, 2020 – Skype With Child 

A few days after receiving their official referral, the family was allowed to Skype with their child.  Being given this opportunity is a pretty big gift on the side of Bulgarian authorites.  We applaud them for this becuase they are allowing the adoption process to move forward so that the orphans can find loving homes more quickly, rather than being stuck in limbo because of Covid.  Well done, Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, in cooperation with US Embassy in Sofia! Thank you! 

How does Corona virus impact adoption

Covid Delays Analyzed

We area all aware that in mid March, the world closed down due to Covid.  Many people feared the delays would last forever.  Though our family’s process was delayed by a couple months or so because of the delays associated with Covid, they weren’t forced to place their adoption on hold. We are very thankful to the Bulgarian CA and US Embassy in Sofia who have been very efficient and helpful 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 they have adjusted well and allowed Skype to keep the adoptions moving foward!  Despite recent increase in cases this fall, families are still allowed to travel and pick up their children as they have legal custody at this state in the process. 

Parents and their 3 year old adopted son.
child waiting to be adopted.

Understanding Your Options

Our family began their process as a “traditional adoption”, not knowing ahead of time who their child would be.  However, once they saw their son’s picture on the waiting list, they decided to switch!

Often times people don’t understand that the “traditional route” and the “waiting child” are not mutually exclusive.  The paperwork you would have to complete is the same, so starting on the “traditional route” makes you a better candidate for a “waiting child” if you decide to switch.  You would be considered a better candidate because you would have made progress on the home study and your dossier, and so a child could be placed out of the orphanage and into a loving home more quickly.

Waiting Child ApplicationSubmitted Nov, 2019
Apply for CIS Approval 6 Months Later
Get CIS Approval3 Months Later
Submitt Paperwork to Bulgaria to Support Application 2 Months Later
Approved Waiting Child Application by MOJ1 Months Later
First Trip (Skype)2 Weeks Later
(Follow this article for updates)

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.