Madison Adoption Associates
1009 Woodstream Drive
Wilmington, DE 19810
P: 302-475-8977   F: 302-529-1976
There are no unwanted children...just unfound families
A few years ago, Bulgaria reopened their international adoption program as a Hague Convention country. In 2012, Madison Adoption Associates (MAA) signed a collaborative agreement with Our Family, an accredited non-profit organization that facilitates the international adoptions of both healthy and special needs children. The two agencies work closely together to complete the adoption process. Currently, this is a pilot program for our agency.

The Country

The Republic of Bulgaria is a small country located in Southeastern Europe. Bulgaria shares a border with Turkey and Greece to the south, Macedonia and Serbia to the west, Romania to the north, and the Black Sea to the east. The capital city, Sofia, lies in the western part of the country. Today Bulgaria has a population of approximately 7.4 million people.

Bulgaria has a rich and tumultuous history. Founded in 681 AD, it was an independent and prosperous kingdom for several centuries. It was part of both the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. In September 1944, the country was occupied by Soviet troops and became part of the Communist Block. However, in 1989, democratic change began. The first multi-party elections since World War II were held in 1990. Today, Bulgaria is a democratic state.

The Program

In Bulgaria, children ages 18 months to 14 years are available for adoption. Generally speaking, MAA will only place children up to 10 years old from Bulgaria. The children reside in orphanages throughout the country, with care ranging from adequate to excellent. The children generally receive good medical care but need a family to give them the individual love and attention they deserve.

MAA works in cooperation with Our Family and the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to identify children who are legally available for adoption and to find appropriate families for these children. Through MAA’s program in Bulgaria, families may choose:
  1. MOJ Match – Families submit a dossier, which includes identifying preferences describing the child characteristic desired and await a referral made by the MOJ in Bulgaria (a family can match with a child with special needs at any time even if dossier is submitted first).
  2. MAA List – Families may identify one of MAA’s available children with special needs and write a letter of intent (LOI) for that child prior to submitting a dossier.
Children available for adoption in Bulgaria are at least 18 months of age, either gender, and mainly of Roma, Bulgarian, or Turkish descent. Currently it is taking up to 2 years from dossier registration to adopt a healthy child, and up to 6 months to adopt a child with special needs. If you choose to adopt a child listed with MAA, the wait time may be shorter.

Common "special needs" available include older child (over the age of 6 years), cleft lip and/or palate, cerebral palsy, limb differences, developmental delays, chronic illnesses, or other medical conditions. Sibling groups (placed together) also fall into the category of special needs.

Adoptions are finalized in Bulgaria and children adopted from Bulgaria will enter the U.S. on an IH-3 visa. They will also become a U.S. citizen as soon as they arrive in the United States.


Adoption Requirements

Married couples and single women are eligible to adopt from Bulgaria. Generally, older parents will be referred older children. Parents must be at least 15 years older than the child they wish to adopt. There is no specific requirement regarding length of marriage or prior divorces; however, the strength of the current marriage and relationship history is taken into account.



Bulgaria supports the belief that an adoptive family should be familiar with their child's heritage. Thus, both parents should travel to the country. If only one parent is able to travel, there are additional paperwork requirements that must be done to complete the adoption process. Bulgaria requires that adoptive parents make two trips to complete the adoption. Once a referral is received and accepted (MOJ Match) or LOI submitted (MAA List), the family will travel to Bulgaria to meet the child. This trip requires 5 days in Bulgaria, plus travel time. A final decision will then be made and if you choose to proceed, the adoption process will begin in Bulgaria while the immigration/visa process (I-800) proceeds in the US. After both countries have completed the necessary steps, final travel to Bulgaria to receive the child and complete the immigration/visa process will be scheduled. This second trip also requires 5 days in Bulgaria, plus travel time. Madison will work closely with Our Family to arrange all of your travel appointments in Bulgaria.



The total cost of an adoption from Bulgaria is approximately $29,000–$31,000 for special needs and $35,000-$37,000 for a healthy child. This is a complete price, including USCIS fees, home study, documentation & courier fees, visa and Embassy fees, agency fees, MOJ fees, and an estimate of hotel and airline fees for two people for two trips. Please see our attached fee schedule and explanations. The fees for adopting a child with special needs are significantly lower than those for a healthy child adoption. In addition, Madison provides an agency grant of $1000 for the adoption of a child with special needs (agency fee is reduced from $6500 to $5500). For a sibling group, MAA will charge half of our agency fee ($2750) to process the adoption of the second child.

To view a list and short introduction of our current waiting children, you are encouraged to join our on-line community, Madison Adoption Associates Waiting Children (MAAWC) Yahoo Group ( The names and locations of the children are confidential. Pictures and detailed information will be sent only to families who are seriously considering the adoption of a waiting child with special needs.

Please contact Madison Adoption Associates to discuss your individual situation or help guide you through this process.

Adoption between the United States and Bulgaria is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Bulgaria is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption. Therefore all adoptions between Bulgaria and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.


Bulgaria Dossier Requirements

  • Application Letter to the MOJ
  • Agreement for International Adoption
  • Declaration
  • Power of Attorney (for legal representative and accredited agency)
  • Parental Rights Letter (issued by MAA)
  • Home Study Assessment Report
  • Medical Evaluation Report for each parent
  • Local Police Clearance Letter for each parent
  • FBI Clearances for each parent
  • Marriage license and/or Divorce decree
  • Certified birth certificates for each parent
  • Employment verification letters
  • Financial statements
  • USCIS Immigration Approval (I-800A)

All of the documents above must be notarized and apostilled. In addition, MAA requires with dossier submisson:
  • Copies of passport and passport photo (head shot) of each parent
  • Recent pictures of the parents, family members and home/community
  • Post-Adoption Reporting Agreement


If Madison Adoption Associates is not your Home Study Agency...

Please contact us for a list of supervised home study providers in your state. If you already have a current home study, please let us know as soon as possible so that we may contact the agency regarding your paperwork and process. If your home study is not Hague accredited, Madison Adoption Associates will need to approve that provider. All home study reports must be completed by non-profit agencies, and not by independent social workers.


Please contact us if you would like to recieve a sample of our Adoption Services contract of if you’d like inforamtion regarding the number and status of our annual adoption placements, the number of annual applicants, or the the number of eligible children awaiting placement through our agency. You may also view this information on our website at


See Also:
Contact Information
Phone: 302-475-8977
Fax: 302-529-1976

1009 Woodstream Drive
Wilmington, DE 19810


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About Us
Madison Adoption Associates is a 501(c)(3) non-profit agency licensed to place children through international adoption. We are currently offering adoption programs in the countries of China, Philippines, El Salvador, and Bulgaria. Learn more...


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