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Interesting Facts about ALBANIA
  • The official name of Albania is Republika e Shqipërisë, translated as the Republic of Albania.
  • Etymology. The country was known as Illyria in ancient times. During the Middle Ages they called their country "Arb'r" or "Arb'n". Modern day Albanians call their country Shqipëri, which means "land of eagles."  Albania comes from the Greek, either from an ancient word "alb" meaning hill, or from the prefix "albho-" meaning whiteIt may have begun with the 2nd century term "Albanoi," the name of an Illyrian tribe in north-central Albania.

  • HistoryThe Albanians were originally a small nomadic herding community in the mountains of the southwestern Balkans. The area was at various times a part of the Roman provinces of DalmatiaMacedonia, and Moesia Superior. The country gained independence after the collapse of the Ottoman Empire, declaring independence in 1912. It was invaded by Italy in 1939 and Nazi Germany in 1943. In 1944 it became socialist People's Republic and in 1991 the Republic of Albania was established.

  • GeographyAlbania is located in Southeastern Europe. It shares borders with Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, Macedonia to the north and east, and Greece to the south and southeast. 487 km of coastline are off the lowlands of the west which face the Adriatic Sea and the Strait of Otranto. There is less than 100 km of water between Albania and the heel of the Italian "boot".

  • Size. Albania is one of the smallest countries on earth. It is 28,748 square kilometers in size, slightly smaller than Maryland.

  • Climate. The country has many different climatic regions - a lot for so small of an area. It ranges from a Mediterranean climate in the coastal lowlands to a more continental climate in the highlands.  

  • Ethnicity. Official statistics differ from the statistics of other countries, and the subject is very sensitive. Albanian statistics reflect a very homogeneous population of more than 97% Albanian majority. Minority groups have questioned this data and claim a larger share. The recognized minorities include: Greeks, Macedonians, Montenegrins, Aromanians, Romani, Bulgarians, Balkan Egyptia and Jews. 
  • Capital.  Tirana, the capital city of Albania, is in a continious stage of construction. The main business and entertainment area is "Blloku", where the communist leaders used to live. There are many cafes and parks. There is also a cable car to Mount Dajti where one can get a panoramic view of the city from above.
  • Language.  Albanian is a language which has no close relatives. Some believe it to be a descendent of Illyrian, a group of languages that used to be spoken in the Western Balkans. Others believe that it descended from Thracian or Dacian. The Tosk dialect is the official language of Albania, and is spoken in Kosovo, Macedonia, Turkey, Greece and Italy. The Gheg dialect is spoken in Serbia, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia, northern Albania and Bulgaria. Originally the Tosk dialect was written with the Greek alphabet, while the Gheg dialect was written with the Latin alphabet. The Latin alphabet for Albanian was standardised in 1909.
  • Albanian Riviera. This tourist area used to be a communist gulag. It is a beautiful area, and inexpensive compared with most other resort areas. Roads are in the process of being re-built, and motorists must share the road with donkey carts.
  • Albanian cuisineMost Albanian dishes consist of meat and vegetables. The food has been influenced by the fertile soil, the surrounding cultures, and the sea. 
  • The Eagle. The eagle is found on the Albanian flag. It is a symbol of freedom and heroism in Albanian folklore. Albanians refer to themselves as the "Sons of the Eagle." 



Statistics for albania



 3,011,405 (July 2013 est.)


Life expectancy at birth:

total population: 77.77 years 
male: 75.16 years 
female: 80.67 years (2013 est.)


Total fertility rate:


1.49 children born/woman (2013 est.)


Albanian 95%

Greek 3%

other 2% (Vlach, Roma (Gypsy), Serb, Macedonian, Bulgarian) (1989 est.) 


note: in 1989, other estimates of the Greek population ranged from 1% (official Albanian statistics) to 12% (from a Greek organization)



Muslim 70%

Albanian Orthodox 20%

Roman Catholic 10% 


note: percentages are estimates; there are no available current statistics on religious affiliation; all mosques and churches were closed in 1967 and religious observances prohibited; in November 1990, Albania began allowing private religious practice


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$8,200 (2012 est.) 


definition: age 9 and over can read and write 
total population: 96.8% 
male: 98% 
female: 95.7% (2011 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):

total: 11 years 
male: 11 years 
female: 11 years (2003)





Adoption Facts about albania




In 2013 there were six children adopted from Albania to the USA. The Albania adoption program is very tightly controlled, with very few U.S. agencies authorized to operate in the country, and is very difficult.





INTER-COUNTRY Adoption PROGRAM in albania

As of 2014 these are the guidelines for adoption from Albania:


Ages of children: 12 months - 15 years.


Hague Convention country:  Yes.


Timeline: The estimated wait time for a young child with no identified special needs is three to four years.  After dossier is submitted it may take 6-18 months to receive a referral for a child. 


Gender of Children: Parents may not pre-select gender.


Siblings: Sibling groups are possible to adopt


Marital Status: Married couples and single adults may adopt.


Parent Qualifications: Parents must be at least 18 years older than the child to be adopted, and no more than 45 years older. Applicants over the age of 50 are generally not accepted, except for the case of waiting children.  Parents of Albanian heritage are preferred, except in the case of waiting children.


Health of Children: Children on the waiting list have mild to moderate special needs.


Travel: Two trips are usually necessary. The first is 4-6 weeks, and the second is 7-10 days, with approximately 15-30 days in between trips. Families can make one trip, if desired. In that case, length of one trip could be as long as 3 months.


Post Placement Reports and Supervision: Post-Adoption placement visits and reports are required at arrival, 3, 6, 12, 18, and 24 months.




We strongly urge you to comply with the requirements established by the government of the country you are adopting from and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process and/or provide you with more specific guidelines.  


If your agency is unable to help you with this, or no longer has an active program, it is suggested that you enlist the assistance of another agency that is able to help you complete the post-placement reports.  If all else fails, filing the report directly with the embassy or Minister of Education of the country adopted from may be acceptable.


In Fall 2006, the following advice was obtained by Karen's Adopiton Links for all families who needed to file their own Post Placement Reports:

  1. Use a Licensed Social Worker to do the Post Placement Report 
  2. Translate report with a Certified Translator. 
  3. Get the Post Placement Report apostilled.
  4. Include 5 pictures
  5. Suggested Sample form 
  6. Send directly by DHL or FedEx to the Minister of Education in the country or region of adoption. 

click here for more Information on Post-Placement Reports in general 





Helpful Links


Resources below are presented for information purposes only. Unless noted specifically as a FRUA INC group, FRUA INC does not endorse, nor have any connection with the following.



Albanian Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)

Albania (Wikipedia)

Albania (CIA Factbook)

Albania (Info Please) 

Albanian Embassy 

FRUA INC Facebook Page


Karen's Adoption Links

InterCountry Adoption Service Provider Search

International Adoptive Medical Clinics & Physicians

Child Welfare Gateway

North American Council on Adoptable Children

Hague Accreditation and Approval

Post Adoption (US Department of State)

Intercountry Adoption (US Department of State)

PEAR (Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform)



 There may also be other online parent support groups, lists and forums related to adoption from Albania on Yahoo GroupsFacebook, the EEACAdoptive FamilesAdoption Services Support Groups, and






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