Adoption Process

Process in the USA

As a first step, choose your Hague accredited agency in the USA, which shall be your Primary Provider of adoption services. If necessary, this agency would direct you to a Supervised Provider to carry out the home study, prepare the report and take on the responsibility for post-adoption monitoring; You should successfully complete a process of home study and obtain favorable home study for international adoption from Bulgaria; Submit your petition I-800A with the USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) and obtain I-797 approval from there – this is the permission from the US for the adoption in Bulgaria; Simultaneously with the actions and steps above, start completing the documents from your Adoption Dossier. At each stage of the process in the US, the authorized entity to assist, advise and help you in the process of international adoption, is your Primary Provider of adoption services.

The process in Bulgaria

Process with respect of children with special needs

After carrying out all the necessary consultations with the specialists of your Primary Provider in the US, those of Dreams Foundation and your family’s private consultants, make your informed and firm decision about the child whose adoption procedure you would like to pursue; Dreams Foundation and your Primary Provider in the US would provide you with the documentation that you need to fill out and complete in order to start the process at the Ministry of Justice in Bulgaria (MOJ). If additional documents and/or information are necessary, Dreams Foundation shall be informed and, in turn, would inform you. After their submission, in the majority of the cases, you would be approved by the MOJ and given six months period to submit with them your complete Adoption Dossier; The term above could be extended with three more months provided that you have an approved home study and await I-797 approval from USCIS; After your dossier is completed and submitted with the MOJ, the process would follow the standard development – with your entry into the register kept at the MOJ.

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Standard process

The process starts with the submission of your complete Adoption Dossier. Based on your submitted adoption dossier you would be entered into the register of the adoptive parents with habitual residence abroad. If you are adopting under the standard process, this entry in no way guarantees a future referral of a child and/or the moment when the referral would be issued for you. The entry is simply a confirmation that you are suitable to adopt a child from Bulgaria; In order to receive a referral of a child under the standard procedure, you should be determined by the International Adoption Committee (IAC) as suitable to adopt the specific child. IAC reviews the children’s dossiers according to the sequence of their entry and compares them with the data of the registered prospective adoptive parents and with the conditions contained in their permissions for adoption.

IAC would review your dossier according to the sequence of your entry into the registry, the preferences declared by you, as well as the circumstances of importance for the interest of the child. IAC discusses all appropriate applications for the respective child in order to specify an adoptive family and in the process of making the decision, the IAC is guided by the capabilities of the parents to provide the child with physical, psychological and social well-being, as well as the information about the personality of the applicants and all other circumstances of importance for the adoption.

If you are adopting a specific child with special needs, issuance of the official Certificate under 17c of the Hague Convention follows (referral of a child), accompanied with a photo and report on the child. If you are waiting for a referral from the IAC under the standard process, you should consider that the terms depend entirely on the profile of the child you declared you would accept. In case you are willing to accept a wider range of medical, psychological and emotional problems in the child, an older child or sibling group, the terms for receiving a referral are shorter (within a year or two). In case, however, you specified a desire to adopt a healthy child under three years of age, these terms could reach three, four, even five years.

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Within two months as of receiving the referral (by exception, the term may be extended with one month), three requirements should be met:
- You (at least one of the spouses), should personally meet the child referred and this contact needs to last a period not shorter than five days (by exception, and in specific circumstances, it could be shorter);
- Dreams Foundation should submit with the MOJ your consent or denial to adopt the child referred, as well as the conventionally titled by us Second Stage Documents of the adoption;
- The Article 5 Letter from the US Embassy in Sofia should be submitted with the MOJ (representing the consent of the Central Authority of the USA under the Hague Convention).
The process at the MOJ ends with the explicit written consent for the adoption, signed by the Minister of Justice. Typically, the process between Second Stage Documents submission and filing the adoption dossier with the court, takes about one calendar month.

The court would hear the case within a term varying usually from 10 days to one month as of the dossier’s submission with the court. The judge would rule his or her decision in the court hearing and the decree would be final in 7 days. Dreams Foundation shall represent you in the court procedure and shall obtain certified copies from the court decree granting the adoption. Dreams Foundation shall submit the documents for issuance of the new Birth Deed of the child and new Birth Certificate. You would be entered as parents of the child and his or her name shall be changed according to you desire. The new Birth Certificate shall be issued within 10-15 calendar days.

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Scheduling your second trip to Bulgaria follows, in order to complete the adoption procedure, pick up your child and take him or her to your home. Dreams Foundation shall assist you with submitting the application for issuance of the international passport of the child. This would take 3 business days. Dreams Foundation shall assist you with the medical examination at a polyclinic nominated by the US Embassy in Sofia to examine applicants for immigrant visas to the US. Dreams Foundation shall assist you in obtaining the immigrant visa to the USA of your child which will allow him or her to be admitted on the territory of the USA. At your timely request, Dreams Foundation could organize an escort of the child to your home, at your expense.