Serbia Adoption

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Launching our Serbia progam is still in progress..

Serbian Adoption Agency

We are thankful to share that the Serbian Ministry of Family Care and Demography has approved our request to provide adoption services in Serbia! Though we are new to Serbia, we are not new to international adoption. We are also not new to the region, as we have over 21 years of experience in working with neighboring countries as Bulgaria and Poland. Our CEO, Lina, speaks Bulgarian fluently, has been to Serbia many times.  She understands Serbian because of how similar Serbian is to Bulgarian.

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

What Would You Like?

Is Serbian Adoption a Good Fit for Me?

Consistent with our agency’s strategy of offering few countries whom we know well because of our expertise and experience, Serbia is another Eastern European country which does not process tons of adoptions per year. In fact, according to the Department of State’s site, there are only about 3 – 7 adoptions of Serbian children to the United States per year. In our experience, we like it when a country does not process hundreds of adoptions. We believe processing few allows the country to know what is happening and provide the necessary care and attention to each child and each family participating in the process.

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What Are The Steps to a Serbian Adoption?

As we have over 21 years of experience with adoptions form Bulgaria and Poland, we can say that the steps for adopting a child from Serbia are similar to both countries we know well. Some parts of the process resemble those of the Bulgarian process and others resemble those of the Polish process. Let us explain!

Step 1

Commit to Serbia. Commit also to our agency. Trust us to guide you the rest of the way.

Step 2

Review profiles of children available for adoption. When you have decided to move forward with a particular child, we will help you present a “Letter of Intent” to the Serbian Ministry.

Step 3

If the Serbian Ministry approves your letter, we will help you prepare your dossier, home study and USCIS approval. Most people can do this in about 6 months. We will help you with each document.

Step 4

Give us your completed dossier (including your CIS "provisional approval"). We will turn it in to the Serbian Ministry. Once it is translated, you will be invited to go to Serbia to bond with your child. Usually takes a few months to schedule the trip.

Step 5

A Social Center Rep, in coordination with the Ministry, will monitor your 3 week bonding. They have to consent to the adoption. Once they do, they will issue the final adoption decree and hold an adoption ceremony. The ceremony always takes place at the place of birth of the child. The total trip is about 4 weeks.

More Detail on the Steps?

Step 1:  Commit to Serbia.

Do your research.  Conclude that Serbia is a good fit for your family.  Commit to an accredited agency  to legally guide you through the adoption process as a “Primary Provider” of adoption services.

Compare countries here to see which ones may be a good fit for you?

Step 2:  Waiting Children/Letter of Intent.

The Ministry of Family Care and Demography of the Republic of Serbia, maintains a list of children available for international adoption (Central Register of Domestic and Intercountry adoptions).  Without receiving any identifying information, you may be presented with additional info on children currently available to be adopted.

We recommend that you consult a medical doctor, in addition to your social worker in order to make sure you are comfortable with the child’s medical and/or special needs. If you make the decision to move forward with a particular child, we will help you prepare a “Letter of Intent”. We will submit this letter to the Serbian Ministry of Family Care and Demography.

Because Serbia does not process many adoptions, if no children are currently available, or if you don’t see a child you would like to adopt, you can still work on preparing your paperwork which will be necessary to adopt any Serbian child, once such child is identified.

Step 3:  Prepare Paperwork

Regardless of whether you know the child whom you would be adopting or not, you have to complete a certain amount of paperwork to be found eligible to adopt a Serbian child. This includes a home study which has to be approved by USCIS as part of Hague Adoption regulations. Alongside the home study, we will provide you with a list of documents that the Serbian Ministry wants to see. These documents are typically referred to as your “dossier“.  Your dossier will be finalized with certificates called “Apostilles”.

We will help you complete all of this. We provide attention oriented, personal services and are available to answer any questions as you go through the required paperwork.

Step 4:  Submit Paperwork to Serbian Ministry.

Once you have completed your dossier and received your CIS approval, we will submit these documents to the Serbian Ministry. The next step is to help you get your Provisional Approval through USCIS by completing CIS’ I-800.  We will help you with each of these steps. 

Step 5:  Travel to Serbia to Finalize Adoption.

After successfully completing Step 4 above, USCIS will send your Provisional Approval directly to US Embassy in Serbia.  When that happens, you will be invited to go to Serbia to compete the rest of the necessary paperwork, bond with the child, and finalize the adoption.

The local Municipal Center in Serbia will monitor your bonding with the child in country for about 3 weeks.  The social workers from the Center are the legal guardians of the child and have to consent to the adoption in order for it to move forward.  The Center will issue the final adoption decree and hold an “adoption ceremony” once the adoption is final.

The expected stay in Serbia is about 3.5 weeks or approximately 24 days.

Serbia Adoptions FAQ

These are some of the most commonly asked questions about the process. We know it is a lot, so if you’d like to chat with someone, please call or text us at 704 527 7673.

We offer a complementary free consult. It’s always better to learn from another human who has experience, then to only scroll multiple websites. 

Serbia Adoption FAQ

Do I qualify?

Of course, upon finalization of the home study is when your eligibility will be confirmed, but here are some requirements you should know:

Age Requirement:  Parents must be at least 18 years old and no more than 45 years older than the child they intend to adopt. Adoptive parents  45 years older than child, will need to have additional permission of the Serbian Ministry, and this permission is given if it is in the best interest of the child.

Marriage:  Married families can adopt. Single women are also eligible to adopt a child in Serbia with special approval from the Central Authority.

What Else: 

  • Persons who have been convicted of serious crimes are not eligible to adopt.
  • Prospective adoptive parents with serious health conditions, potentially harmful to a child, must demonstrate their suitability to the Central Adoption Authority in Serbia.
How do I meet requirements?

To show you’re eligible, you have to complete a home study and a dossier.  Adoption is highly regulated for the protection of the kids.  In order to adopt, you have to hire an Accredited Agency approved by the US government to help you meet eligibility criteria.  These documents will be approved by the US Government at USCIS through the submission of your I-800A Form.  Your agency will then present your completed dossier to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice.

You dossier will consist of about 12 documents, which may change with changing requirements.  Some of the reoccurring docs, for example, are background clearances done during the home study, child abuse clearances, and your home study agency’s license.   Photos are also required.

Can I adopt a healthy child?

Children available for international adoption from the Republic of Serbia will have special needs.  Their needs will vary on a case by case basis, ranging from Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, to different mental and physical developmental delays and disorders. We look for parents who are willing to accept this and are looking to commit to helping a child improve or overcome their needs. Our social worker advises that even if a child is described as “clinically healthy” by the foreign country, parents should still anticipate to help the child deal with issues.

How long will my adoption take?

Though this is a very common question, it is difficult to answer because it depends on multiple factors, including your ability to provide necessary paperwork and the child you are seeking to adopt.

Some of it depends on the agency that is helping you and how responsive they are when you need them.

How easy and clear are their guidelines?  How much experience they’ve had?

With that being said, in our 21 years of experience, we can say that most adoptions take between 1.5 and 3 years from start to finish. Of course not everyone falls in that timeframe. 

Do I have to travel to Serbia?

Yes.  Serbia only requires 1 trip, when most countries require 2.  The trip is expected to be about 24 days.

I don't live in NC, can I work with you?

Yes.  Most of our clients reside all over the US.  We are also one of few agencies who is capable of serving US Expats residing outside the US.  For more info on that, please see this page.

I am interested, what is my next step?

Let’s set up a time to chat.  We think it’s always better to learn about the process by speaking with an experienced professional, than to scroll down endless sites.  Its a free, complimentary, no-obligation consult that we will do for you as a courtesy for having contacted us.  Text us at 704 527 7673 or email nick@saintmaryadoption.com to set it up.

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.

Additional Resources

It is always good to have the info of the US Embassy in Serbia available.

The Department of State has really good info and updates about Serbia and their adoption process here.

Rainbowkids.com has info about Serbia here.  You can see our agency’s profile here. 

Another agency who works with Serbia has good info about the Serbian process here.