Bulgarian adoption process requires you to travel to the country twice. Once to meet with your prospective adoptive child, and the second time to pick up your kid, go to the US Embassy for a visa, and come home together.

First trip: about 5 to 7 days.

First trip to the country of adoption is always exciting. Up until now you were talking to people and doing paperwork, but now you get to actually go there and meet your prospective adoptive child. You’ve seen the pictures, read medical and social history, but pictures and words on a piece of paper don’t even come close to what the first actual meeting gives you, to that time when you can look into the eyes of your child and see what only you can see.

So, onto the actual travel part, which, aside from spending time with your child, is pretty uneventful.

Day 1: Fly to Sofia and get settled.

Day 2: Get the documents needed so you can visit the orphanage.

Days 3, 4 and 5: Meet with your prospective adoptive child.

Days 5 or 6: The decision time! You’ll need to tell the Bulgarian side if you are planning on pursuing adopting of the child, and if you are, you’ll need to sign some forms and get the process going.

Last day: You signed the forms indicating your decision, and now you can go back home to the United States. The Bulgarian side will work on the process.

So, why 5 to 7 days? Well, it really depends on when you signed the form. If you took 2 days to make the decision, and you made it early in the morning, and signed the documents early, you can go back earlier. Usually prospective adoptive parents like to spend a few days with the prospective adoptive child before making their decision.

Second trip: usually 7 to 10 days.

Your second trip is usually scheduled about 4 to 5 months after your first trip. During that time the Bulgarian side will follow the process and do what needs to be done, schedule a court hearing and represent you there, and request the adoption documents, such as court decision, new adoption certificate, new passport for the child, and so on. This time may vary based on how busy the courts are, scheduling a hearing depends on when they have an opening in their docket.

So, the actual trip:

Day 1: Arrive to Sofia and get settled. Everything should be familiar by now.

Days 2 and 3: Go over and sign for the documents received.

Day 4: Submit your documents to the US Embassy and have an appointment scheduled.

Day 5: Go for your meeting at the Embassy and have a medical exam for the child scheduled.

Day 6: Got o the US Embassy’s approved clinic and a certified doctor will do the medical evaluation of the child.

Day 7: Go back to the US Embassy and get the visa for your child to come to the United States.

Day 8: Fly home with your child.

So, why 7 to 10 days?

The US Embassy and the clinic are closed on weekends, so depending on their scheduling you may have to stay in the country longer. You must have a visa for your child to come to the United States and the Embassy won’t issue a visa without a medical evaluation.

That’s about it. This trip should be rather uneventful, but very exciting. You will have your child there with you!

Now, let’s proceed to the financial section.