Bulgarian Adoption Cost

How Much Is It To Adopt From Bulgaria?

The overall cost for a Bulgarian adoption is around $40,000.  Parents can expect to pay closer to $50,000 when you include third party fees payable to entities other than the adoption agency.  Examples of third parties, include the home study agency fees, USCIS fees, airfare, and lodging overseas. 

When Are The Fees Due?

The fees are NOT due at once, or upfront.  They only become due as you advance through the adoption process.   To understand when a fee is due, please see the “Adoption Fee Schedules” below: 

Waiting Child Fee Schedule

Traditional Adoption Fee Schedule

How Can I Afford To Adopt?

There are many tools you can take advantage of to help you afford the cost of adopting: 

1.  Find an agency with a Floating Fee Schedule.

2.  Find Affordable Adoption Financing.

3.  Apply for an Adoption Grant.

4.  Take advantage of the Adoption Tax Credit.

Waiting Child Adoption Fee Schedule

Waiting Child Fee Schedule
Agency Application Fee$500Due with application
Agency Fee$7,500Payment Plan Available (Due with signed contract -PayPal or check)
IAAME Oversight Fee$900 Per child – Payable to IAAME – Due w contract
Upon MOJ Approval $ 2,000 EuroAfter MOJ approves your application
Dossier Fee$8,0006 – 9 Months later in compliance with MOJ deadline (PayPal or check)
2,000 EuroWire to Bulgaria
Foreign Fees
Before First Trip4,000 Euro and $4,000Before first trip (Wire and PayPal)
PayPal Available
After First Trip1,000 Euro and $4,000After you’ve met your child and given consent to the adoption. (Wire and PayPal)
Second Trip2,000 Euros and $3,000After court date has approved you as parents. (Wire and PayPal)
Total$27,900 and 11,000 Euro
Minus Adoption Tax Credit ($14,400)
New Total After Tax Credit$13,500 and 11,000 Euro



Traditional Adoption Fee Schedule


Traditional Fee Schedule
Agency Application Fee$500Due with application
Agency Fee$7,500Due w contract; (financing avail; payable w a card)
IAAME Overseight Fee$900Per child – Payable to IAAME – Due w contract
Dossier Fee$8,000On your time table – when you complete your dossier (PayPal or check)
3,000 EuroWire to Bulgaria
Foreign Fees
Before First Trip4,000 Euros and $4,000After you’ve been matched and accepted your child. (Wire and PayPal)
PayPal Available
After First Trip2,000 Euros and $4,000After you’ve visited child and given consent to proceed with adoption. (Wire and PayPal)
Second Trip2,000 Euros and $3,000After court date has approved you as parents. (Wire and PayPal)
Total$27,900 and 11,000 Euro
Minus Adoption Tax Credit ($14,400)
New Total After Tax Credit$13,500 and 11,000 Euro




Cost of Adopting Siblings?

Adopting siblings does not double the cost, but it does increase it, unless the siblings are a part of a “waiting child group” whose process is allowed to be expedited by the Ministry of Justice.

In such cases, the fees for adopting siblings may not increase at all, or may increase a little bit.

If you’re adopting siblings through the “traditional route” then the cost increases by $11,900.  Most of these are due as “foreign fees” and fees payable to IAAME ($900 per child) for the their supervision.

This increased cost, if any, can be applied into a payment plan the same way it is done for a single child above.

Adoption Payment Plans


Per Month

39 Months Financing

Agencies often times offer “payment plans” around “milestone fees” such as the “dossier fee”, or the “commitment fee”.  Doing so helps you split a large sum into 2 or 3 equal payments payable with a credit card.  We offer this option and don’t charge any interest.

We Also Offer 39 Months Financing:

We’ve taken the total cost payable to our agency and its foreign representatives (not including 3rd parties) and divided it by 39 months.  So $27,900 plus 11,000 Euros (at exchange rate of 1.10) equals $40,000 even. Divided by 39 payments, including 3% interest, equals $1,056 per month.  This has been a very popular option since we started offering it.  We love doing it because we feel like it can help more people adopt a child!   For more info, please call or text us at 704 527 7673. 

Why Some Choose This Option?

We’ve seen that many parents want to apply for a grant.  But all the grants are available only after you’re done with the home study. So this option lets you pay less before you’ve completed your home study.  If you pay $1,056 a month and finish your home study in say 3 months, then you’ve only spent $3,168 over 3 months (instead of paying the entire agency fee of $7,500) and fees related to the home study before being eligible to apply for a grant. For more details, call or text us at 704 527 7673.

What Is Included in 39 Months Financing?

All fees that are payable to our agency for the adoption of a single child. This does not include fees due to third parties.

Since 2001, our agency has never charged anyone any more than what these fees say – so you can count that the cost we tell you, and therefore, the monthly payment is and will be as it is stated. 

What Is Not Included?

Fees payable to third parties, not our agency, are NOT included.  Fees due for the review of third parties, such as home study review or post adoption reports, are NOT included.

Updates are not included.  Updates of paperwork, like home study update, or other doucments which may expire and have to be renewed.

What Else?

Our monthly estimate is based on an exchange rate of the Dollar to the Euro which has been pretty stable for the past few years, at least.  However, if the exchange rate was to change, it would be the adoptive parent’s responsibility to pay the difference.  The fees that are due in Euros are 11,000 in total.  To see a current exchange rate, you can see the Treasury’s site here.

Adoption Grants

Grants Can Help Your Adoption

We are happy to share some grants that can help you with the cost of international adoption.  These organizations are third parties to us, and they operate separately from our agency. To qualify for most grants, you would need to have a completed home study  (or a home study for expats) which approves you as an adoptive parent.

*New* – “The Catherine Grant”

This is a grant donated to us by one of our donors, Catherine.  She has graciously paid for the application fee ($500) for a future adoptive parent.  Appicable only through Saint Mary’s.  If you are interested in applying for this grant, please contat us. 

The Catherine Grant

Both Hands

This is a really cool ministry where the adopting family serves a widow.  The effort they put forth serving the widow is sponsored and the money goes towards the adoption expense.  

Both Hands Website

Lifesong for Orphans

Lifesong seeks to mobilize the Church to care for the orphan.  In addition to grants, they also do loans.

Lifesong For Ophans Webstie

Military Adoption Reimbursement

Federal law authorizes reimbursement for certain expenses associated with adoption to a maximum of $2000 per child and not to exceed $5000 per calendar year. In order to qualify for the reimbursement, service members must be serving on continuous active duty for at least 180 days and the adoption must be finalized while on active duty. In addition, the claim must be submitted while on active duty and within the timeframe specified in DoD Instruction 1341.09 (within two years of the date that the adoption was finalized for claims submitted on and after July 5, 2016; within one year for claims submitted prior to that date).

DFAS Webstie

Show Hope

Organized by Christian Singer, Steven Curtis Chapman.  Show Hope offers grants to Christian adoptive parents.  Most grants require you to have a finished home study.

Show Hope Website

Dave Thomas Foundation For Adoption

Each year since 2002, the Foundation has surveyed the nation’s employers and ranked the 100 Best Adoption-Friendly Workplaces. The 2018 list includes a diverse group of organizations, with six to nearly 500,000 employees, representing 22 industries.

Dave Thomas Foundation Website


Founded by Christian adoptive families to help others adopt.  They offer interest free loans as part of their program in the range of $6,000 – $8,000.  Other Options available.

Abba Fund Website

Katelyn’s Fund Orphan Ministry

Founded by believers wishing to help others and give them hope through their orphan ministry and grants that are available.  They give higher priority to families who make less than $100,000 a year.  

Katelyn’s Fund Orphan Ministry Website

A Child Awaits

They are a non-profit family foundation formed for the exclusive purpose of providing grants and low-interest loans to help families adopt children internationally.  According to their website, they awarded grants to 183 families which resulted in the adoption of 225 children from 21 different countries.

A Child Awaits Website

The Never Alone Foundation

According to their site, they have awarded over $240,000 in an effort to help bring home or provide financial assistance to 98 children.  Different grants are available that families can apply for. 

The Never Alone Foundation Website


The CMomA Gifting Program Objective is to give up to ten $5,000 CMomA Grants per year to eligible new parents adopting older children in need (age 2-17) or special needs children of all ages, both domestically and internationally

CMomA Website

Gift of Adoption Fund

According to their website, Gift of Adoption is the largest provider of adoption assistance grants awarded without regard to race, religion, age, marital status, or sexual orientation. Grants of up to $10,000 are awarded monthly to qualified applicants to remove prohibitive financial barriers and make possible the adoptions of some of the most vulnerable children in the U.S. and around the world. 

Gift of Adoption Website

Dream 4 Adoption

Under this program Dream4Adoption will be accepting applications for grants for the home study phase of adopting families. This program seeks to fund up $1,500.00 directly to the service provider involved in your adoption. There is also a bonus of $500.00 for the family when they complete the post adoption process.

Dream4Adoption Website

Open Hearts for Orphans

They have given grants to over 90 deserving families in the U.S.! Their primary goal is for children with special needs to be adopted into traditional, two-parent Christian families.  

Open Hearts for Orphans

Inspirational Story – Grant

This is not something you can apply for, but we wanted to share one of our adopted kids wanting to make a difference for orphans.  Meet Victoria who raised $150 by selling pecans to donate to another adoptive family currently in process. 

What Is The Adoption Tax Credit?

The adoption tax credit for 2023 is $14,400 per child adopted.  Adopting siblings would therefore double it.  According to the Tax Policy Center, the credit is available with no restrictions to anyone who makes less than $214,520.  A “Tax credit” is the best kind of tax break you can get because the credit amount simply gets subtracted from taxes owed to the government.  Here is a tax credit definition by Investopedia.  Also it can be carried forward for up to 5 years.

Great resources we used to bring you this information are The Tax Policy Center and Investopedia.  Check out their sites to learn even more!

What is a “Floating Fee Schedule”

This means that your agency only charges you when you have completed a step. One example is completing your home study and your dossier.  When you’ve done this, you would be considered “paperwork ready”.  Your dossier is submitted to the foreign country.  There is a fee due with this step.  A “floating fee schedule” charges you this fee whenever you, and you alone, are done with the dossier.  If it takes you 3 months, then the “dossier fee” is due then.  If it takes you 6 months, then it is due then.  Most agencies have predetermined timetables for when fees are due based on averages or other criteria.  Picking an agency with a “floating fee schedule” – like ours – helps you to better be able to manage your process and its fees.  If you’d like to learn more about this, or would like another example, please call or text us at 704 527 7673. 

What are “Third Party Fees”

These are fees that are not payable to our agency or its representatives.  We estimate our adoptive parents will likely spend another $8,000 – $12,000 in addition to the fees listed by our agency above.  These additional expenses aren’t included in our fee schedules listed above nor any of the financing options we provide – because again, they’re simply not due to us.

They include, but not are not limited to:

Home Study – payable to home study agency – usually about $3,000 – $5,000.   See our Home Study Fees.  See Home Study Fees for Expats.

Airplane Tickets – due to airlines – cost varies – but usually around $900 – $1,600 round trip.

Cost of hotels while overseas – due to hotels – different cities will provide different options also based on the length of your duration.  $50 – $150 per night.

CIS Fees – Due to USCIS – $945.

Embassy Fees – Due to embassy – $325.

Mailing expense.

Other miscelleneous third party fees.

Other Financing Options?

In Addition to what we can offer you at the agency level, we could also help you find third party financing through local banks in Charlotte.  After all Charlotte is the second largest banking center in America.  Our agency’s Operations Manager went to Business School in Charlotte and is aware of the banking industry and its options.  One financial institution which offers 60 months and 5.99% interest is this one.  If you’d like to learn more, you can reach out to Nick directly at nick@saintmaryadoption.com

Our Promise About Cost

In our 18 years of experience, we’ve never lead our client through the adoption process and ended up charging more than what we say. 

None of our clients had ever had to pay any additional or unforseen fees. 

Therefore, we are comfortable to promise that our fees will not change.  What we list here is what you can expect.  100%.

Additional Resources

Another good resource about the cost of a Bulgarian adoption are listed here by Holt and here by Considering Adoption.

A good source to learn more about adoption grants is this article by Adoption.com and this article by American Adoptions.

Some articles which we’ve written include: 

What is the Cheapest Way to Adopt?

Why is Adoption So Expensive?