The USA is a country, which on 31st March 1994 signed the Hague Convention for Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption, ratified it on 12th December 2007 and the Convention became effective on 1st April 2008.

Pursuant to art. 6 of the Hague Convention, the US Central Authority is the US Department of State.

Pursuant to art. 14 of the Hague Convention, the authority competent to accept applications for adoption is the Department of Homeland Security through the so called USCIS – US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The US accredited adoption agencies, agencies with temporary accreditation and approved persons perform the obligations pursuant to art. 15 through art. 21 of the Hague Convention in accordance with art. 22 of the same Convention, with the exception of the consent pursuant to art. 17 (с), which is issued by the Department of State, when the USA is the receiving country.

International adoption in the USA is possible only if the prospective adoptive parents have permanent US residence and use US adoption providers which provide adoption services. These organizations have to be accredited by the US Department of State (US DOS authorizes Council on Accreditation or the Department of Human Resources in Coloradoto perform the accreditation process). Only an accredited agency has the right to carry out social assessments and to prepare the home study reports. If the home study report has been prepared by an organization, which does not have the required license, the report has to be approved by an accredited agency so that the respective US services can issue permission for the adoption.

At the moment of submitting the application for international adoption, the US applicants have to have their usual residence in the USA. If the prospective parent is single, he/she must be at least 25 years old to file an application. If the applicants are spouses and one of them is not an US citizen, he/she should be residing legally in the USA and should adopt the child as well. The applicants should have an approved I-800A Form and throughout the last year should not have been rejected the issuing of one of the following forms: І-800А, І-600А, І-800 or І-600.

The US citizens wishing to adopt a child from a country signatory to the Hague Convention start the procedure with choosing a US adoption service provider (a child placing agency). The Agency refers the applicant to the next step to be made – the preparation of an Adoption home study and receiving a certificate for the prospective parents’ eligibility and suitability to adopt.

After the Adoption home study has been prepared and approved, the applicants will submit І-800А form (Application for Determination of Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention country), with the processing fee, Home Study and other supporting documents to the USCIS. Then the USCIS determines the time and place where the applicants’ fingerprints/biometrics will be taken in order to go through the FBI FIRS (Fingerprint Identification Record System) procedure, so that it is proved that they do not have a criminal record. The FBI fingerprint check is officially sent to USCIS. The fingerprints taken are valid for 15 months.

After USCIS reviews all required paperwork and evidence that the prospective adoptive parents are capable of taking care of an adopted child and of ensuring a stable home for him/her, the approval of Application І-800А/Form І-797С is issued. І-797С indicates a specific country, signatory to the Convention, from which a child will be adopted and some specific characteristics - number of children to be adopted, sex, age, special needs, etc. The І-797С form is valid for 15 months from the date of taking the applicant’s fingerprints/biometrics but it can be renewed for another 15 months through filing Supplement No е 3 to І-800А Form by the applicants.

After receiving the approval Form І-797С, the prospective adoptive parents have to send it together with the International Adoption Home Study and their Adoption file to the country (signatory to the Convention) from which they wish to adopt a child.

After they accept the child referred to them for adoption, the applicants file Form I-800 (Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative) to the USCIS. The child should be under 16 at the time of filing the form. Based on the available information and on whether the child is eligible for adoption according to US legislation, USCIS determines if he/she can be admitted on the territory of the US after the adoption.

After approving Form I-800, USCIS through the National Visa Centre (NVC) notifies of such approval the respective embassy in the child’s country of origin.

The Bulgarian accredited organization files a provisional visa application to the consular officer in the US embassy in Sofia for issuing an immigrant visa for the child. The application includes a completed From DS-230, parts І and ІІ, accompanied by a visa 400$ fee, the child’s photograph and a power of attorney by the prospective adoptive parents to the Bulgarian accredited organization to represent them before the US Embassy in Sofia and throughout the immigration procedure. If the consular officer site considers that the child can immigrate to the USA, he/she informs the Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Bulgaria by issuing a letter pursuant to art. 5 (a “no objection” letter), which expressed the consent of the US Central authority, pursuant to art. 17 of the Hague Convention, to continue the adoption procedure for the identified child. The consular officer issues the letter pursuant to art. 5 only if the proposed child, whose adoption is requested, bears the characteristics specified in the approval І-797С.

After finalizing the adoption procedure in accordance with Bulgarian law, the adoptive parents will take the necessary steps to ensure that the child receives an immigration visa. To receive an immigration visa, the parents and the child will go in person to the USA embassy in Sofia. If the child is above 14 years he/she will be fingerprinted at the US Consulate.

The adoption effected in a country signatory to the Hague Convention is fully recognized and by virtue of the Bulgarian court judgment the child receives an ІН-3 immigration visa and when entering US territory the child automatically becomes a US citizen. The US citizenship acquired is recognized in all USA states. The blood relations with the birth family are interrupted and with the new family new relations and rights are acquired as in the case of blood relationship.


Since 2011, on the territory of the USA, ANIDO collaborates with:

410 East 92nd Street
New York, New York 10128
Telephone: +1 (212) 369.0300
Fax: +1 (212) 722.0675
Executive Director - Emily Forhman
email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Since 2013, on the territory of the USA, ANIDO collaborates with:

4155 E. Jewel Ave, Suite # 800
Denver, CO 80222
Phone: 303-333-1572
FAX: 720-262-7771
Executive Director: Kelly Carmody
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

506 Grover St. #115
PO BOX 447
Lynden, WA 98264
Phone: (360) 383-0623
FAX: (360) 383-0640
Executive director: Debbie Price
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

418 Jefferson Ave
Scranton, PA 18510
Phone: 1-855-899-1408
Executive Director: Tim Souslin

2046 Rushmore Court
Bel Air, MD 21015
Phone: (800) 957-9384
Executive director: Alaine Springer
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

449 Pennsylvania Avenue
Fort Washington, PA 19034-3414
Phone: 215-540-8999
Fax: 215-540-2765
Executive director: Samuel Fang
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

P.O. Box 5555
156 Port Watson St.
Cortland New York 13045
Phone: (607) 756-6574
(607)756-0373 FAX
Executive director: Daniel Stevens
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Intercountry Adoption Council sessions

This section contains information on the referrals (proposals) made by the IAC. This is the body within the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, which makes the referrals.

You made our dream come true - B. S. and M. van B., the Netherlands (NL)

Voorjaar 2012 kregen wij het mooiste bericht van ons leven. We mochten de ouders worden van een klein Bulgaars meisje, Stefania (Steffi). Ze heeft een moeilijke start gehad in haar leven en ze woont nu in de een kindertehuis in Sofia, wachtend op een papa en mama die haar thuisbrengen. We krijgen een fotootje te zien. We zien een klein meisje met bruine krullen en grote bruine ogen en ze is prachtig, de mooiste! Later blijkt: we hadden meteen hetzelfde gevoel. Zij is het, onze dochter en het had ook echt niemand anders kunnen zijn.

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