Waiting Child - Danica

Serbian Adoption
Dad and his adopted daughter sharing a laugh.
Adoptive mom and her Serbian daughter.
Danica and her adoptive mom.

Serbia Adoption

We’d like to share the story of one of our families who recently completed their Serbian adoption in July, 2023!

This family actually started with their adoption for Bulgaria, but once they saw the profile for a waiting child in Serbia, they fell in love and decided to apply.  Though we received multiple applications for sweet Danica, the Serbian authorities chose this family!  We got a front roll seat to watch God in action!  A beautiful and perfect match of a sweet girl to an awesome family!

To Christ the glory for one less Serbian Orphan!

Let’s take a look at this family’s story and timeline as we hope to inspire future parents to pursue adoption! 


Became Clients of Saint Mary’sJuly 2021
Finish Dossier and Home Study for BulgariaMarch 2022
Saw “Danica” – Serbian Waiting Child  August 2022
Letter of Intent to Adopt Danica to Serbia CAAugust 2022
Serbia Approves Letter of IntentAugust 2022
Sign Contract for Serbia with Saint Mary’sAugust 2022
Home Study Update for Serbia CompleteSeptember 2022
Received CIS Approval for SerbiaOctober 2022
Submit Dossier to SerbiaNovember 2022
Travel to Serbia to complete adoptionJuly 2023
Back HomeJuly 2023
Total24 Months

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, or Lori’s story, or Monica and Manuel’s, or Ana’s story, or  Christian and Cassandra’s.

24 Months From Start to Finish

Our family adopted their 5 year old daughter from Serbia in 24 months, from start to finish. She was 6 when she arrived home. 

Adoptive mom and her Serbian daughter.
adoption contract

Step 1 – Contract

In July 0f 2021, 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.

Bulgarian Government approval for adoption.

Step 2 – Prepare Papewrok

As with any “traditional adoption” from one of our programs, whether it is Bulgaria or Serbia, the parents have to complete their home study and dossier and obtain their CIS approval before they would meet the eligibility requirements to be allowed to adopt a child.  The family began working on the Bulgarian requirements, before switching to Serbia after they say the child they wanted to adopt. 

Serbian orphan in need of adoptive parents.

Step 3 – Saw Waiting Child

Though this wasn’t a part of the original plan, the family saw “Danica” a waiting child from Serbia and decided to apply.  Since there were multiple applications, we waited to make sure theirs was approved before we moved on to the next steps.  We think that since the family was almost paperwork ready, this was viewed favorably by the Serbian adoption commission. 

Serbian flag

Step 4 – Update Home Study for Serbia

Once the Serbian Ministry selected their application, things happened fast.  The family had already completed a home study for Bulgaria, so updating it didn’t take nearly as long as starting from scratch.  The home study for Serbia was updated in about a month.  They then submitted their I800-A Application to CIS to apply to adopt from Serbia.

Traveling to Serbia to

Step 5 – Dossier To Serbia

So the family saw Danica in August.  They were approved in August.  In September, we updated their home study, switching it from Bulgaria to Serbia.  In October, they received their CIS approval.  In November, they turned in their dossier to Serbia.  Again, being paperwork ready made a huge difference for this family. Learn more about the Serbian application process here.

Family brought together thru Serbian adoption.

Step 6 – Fly to Serbia To Complete Adoption

Serbia is a one trip country, so the family was invited to go in July, 2023.  They spent about 25 days in Serbia and they told us they loved every minute of it.  They only had the best things to say about our representatives in Serbia who took great care of them.

The family was back at the end of July with their daughter from Serbia! 

To Christ the glory for one less orphan!  

Learn More

When we share these stories, we hope to encourage future parents, and also take the opportunity to educate about the process.  If you are interested in learning more about the application process with Serbia, this section will address it. 

Dad and his adopted daughter sharing a laugh.
What happens when there are multiple applications?

With International adoption, and based on the Hague Convention, the adoption commission from the foreign country reviews the applications and selects one that they believe is in the child’s best interest.

How does the commission pick?

Well, that is really at the discretion of the adoption commission.  All we can do is come up with educated guesses as to what they did and why.  This family had a special “know how” when it came to education and we think this may have been perceived favorably.  They were almost paperwork ready which we think is huge.  Our advice to future parents is to select your country, select your agency, and do the paperwork that is required anyways.  Therefore, if you see a waiting child before you are matched, you are ready to go – like this family was! 


Do I have to be "paperwork" ready?

Being paperwork ready is important.  Your application may look dashing on paper, but when you have experience in international adoption, you know that sometimes, people don’t complete the paperwork.  Why?  Multiple reasons.  As we’ve been around for 22+ years, sometimes personal things may come in the way.  Pregnancy.  A new job.  Move to a different country.  You name it, it can happen. So having finished your home study and having your CIS approval, along with your other dossier documents has a certain amount of value that cannot be compared to anything else that may look good in an application. 

From our perspective, and forgive us if we are being too honest, but we’ve seen first hand how often people who call us want to see their child “now” before they’ll start on the paperwork or spend any money.  However, once the child they like to adopt becomes available, and they still haven’t started, the commission usually picks someone who is “this close” to bring that orphan home.  It is a much safer bet when the family has the paperwork they need.

Is having children perceived favorably?

In our 22+ years of experience, we’ve seen this one go both ways.  In this case, we think the commission perceived the fact that the family had no other children favorably becuase they thought the family could dedicate their resources and attention fully to Danica and help her catch up.

We have seen other cases where the commission is looking for someone who has parental experience alrady and that gives them confidence that they can handle whatever situation the child is dealing with.

As we said, this one could go either way.

So should I start on the home study?

Well, yes and no. 

Why “no”?  Didn’t you just say we should be paperwork ready to give ourselves the best chance? 

Yes, we did just say that.  However, international adoption is pretty complex.  Not all home studies are created equal.  In order for your home study to work for you, it has to say what country you are adopting from. 

So why is that so hard?  Good question.  Though the home study can be written by any licesned adoption agency, it needs to be approved by a Hague Accredited adoption agency before USCIS will approve it for a SPECIFIC country.  This means that your best bet is to find an adoption agency that works in the country you want to adopt from and let them advise you on how to complete a home study for that country that not only meets US standards, but also the standars of the foreing country.  

So, just starting on the home study with any home study agency who doesn’t know the foreing country might not be best.  

See our article here that talks about when to start on the home study

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

Gabe and Jessica's

Adopted 2 Year Old

Continue Your Research

We are humbled to have over 23 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.

NC licensed adoption agency with 24 years of international adoption experience.


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