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some interesting Facts about Bosnia-Herzegovina


  • The official name of the country is Bosna i Hercegovina, translated as Bosnia and Herzegovina.
  • Etymology.   The name "Bosnia" is probably derived from the name of the Bosna river.  It may be from the word Bosna, derived from Illyrian "Bass-an-as", a variation of the Proto-Indo-European root "bos" or "bogh", meaning "the running water" or "bhog" meaninf "current".  Another theory is that it is from the rare Latin term Bosina, meaning boundary, with possible Slavic and Thracian origins.  In the 1440s, the region was ruled by Stephen Vukčić Kosača. In 1448, Kosača assumed the title "Herceg (Herzog) of Hum and the Coast", Herzog being the German word for "duke", and so the lands he controlled would later be known as Herzegovina ("Dukedom", from the addition of -ovina, "land").
  • History.  Bosnia and Herzegovina have been inhabited since at latest the Neolithic age by the people that became the Illyrians. The region was populated by a number of different peoples speaking distinct languages. Between 229 BCE and 9 CE the area was taken over by Rome.  Bosnia was part of the Ottoman Empire.  It became the heart of the former Yugoslavia.  Bosnia-Herzegovina has a very icomplicated system of government, a very unique constitutional and institutional set up.  Bosnia and Herzegovina declared independence from Yugoslavia on 1 March 1992, triggering a secessionist bid by the country’s Serbs backed by Belgrade, and a war that left about 100,000 dead.
  • Geography.  Bosnia and Herzegovina is located in the western Balkans, bordering Croatia to the north and southwest, Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the southeast, and a small section of the Adriatic Sea.  The country is a triangular shaped country about the size of Kentucky. The Bosnian region in the north is mountainous and covered with thick forests. The Herzegovina region in the south is largely rugged, flat farmland. 
  • Language.  Bosnian is a South Slavic language spoken mainly in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Bosnian emerged as a distinct language after the break up of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It became one of official languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1994, along with Croatian and Serbian.  Bosnian is written with both the Cyrillic and Latin alphabets. 
  • Sarajevo.  This is the capital and largest city of Bosnia and Herzegovin and the Republika Srpska.   It is in the middle of the greater Sarajevo valley of Bosnia, surrounded by the Dinaric Alps and situated along the Miljacka River in the heart of Southeastern Europe and the Balkans.  
  • Ali Pasha's Mosque (Alipašina džamija) is one of the most beautiful cupolaed mosques, built in 1561 beside the tomb of the founder of Bosnian governor of the sandjak province (sandzak bey) Ali-pasha, a native of Sarajevsko polje (Sarajevo field). He died in Sarajevo in 1557, and prior to his death in the sickbed, he dictated his testament ordering thereby a mosque to be built next to his tomb with the funds from his foundation. 

  • Republika Srpska (RS) means the Serb Republic.  It is almost impossible to explain the complicated setup of this almost separate independent entity which, along with Bosnia and Herzegovina, makes up Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Banja Luka is the capitol of RS, one of Europe’s more obscure capitals, and the largest city in RS.

  • People.  The Federation is predominantly Bosniak (Muslims) and Croat (Catholics), while the Republika Srpska is Serb (Orthodox). The largest minorities are the Roma and Jewish communities. 
  • Cuisine.  Bosnian foods typically include tomatoes, potatoes, onions, garlic, peppers, cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, mushrooms, spinach, squash, beans, paprika, pepper, parsley, bay leaf, celery, milk, cream and sour cream.  The Herzegovina region is suitable for growing grapes and wine production, while in Bosnia the home made brandy is made from plums. Trout is popular in Herzegovina.





Statistics for Bosnia and Herzegovina



3,871,643 (July 2014 est.)


 Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 76.33 years 
male: 73.33 years 
female: 79.55 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:


1.26 children born/woman (2014 est.)


Muslim 40%

Orthodox 31%

Roman Catholic 15%

other 14%


Ethnic Groups

Bosniak 48%

Serb 37.1%

Croat 14.3%

other 0.6% (2000) 

note: Bosniak has replaced Muslim as an ethnic term in part to avoid confusion with the religious term Muslim - an adherent of Islam)


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$1$8,300 (2013 est.) 


definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 98% 
male: 99.5% 
female: 96.7% (2011 est.)













 While Bosnian law does not specifically prohibit foreigners from applying to adopt a Bosnian child, it does stress that there must be overwhelming justification and exceptionally compelling reasons for a foreigner to be permitted to do so. The definition of "overwhelming justification" is judged on a case-by-case basis. The law says specifically that a foreign citizen may be an adoptive parent "if the adoption is in the best interest of the child and if the child cannot be adopted in Bosnia and Herzegovina.”










Hague Accredited:  no


Parent Qualifications:  Prospective adoptive parents must be between 25 and 45 years old and must be at least 18 years older than the child. A prospective adoptive parent may be older than 45, but the age difference between the parent and child must not be greater than 45 years.


Maritial Status of Potential Parents:  In addition to married couples, common-law marriage partners who have lived together for at least 5 years or single prospective adoptive parents may adopt; however, the latter cases are the exception. Bosnia and Herzegovina law does not provide for the possibility of adoption by LGBT persons or same sex couples.


Age of Children:  A child less than three months old cannot be adopted. Only a child up to the age of 10 can be adopted fully. A child up to the age of 18 can be adopted partially. Children older than age 10 must give their approval for the adoption.


Sibling Adoptions: If possible, the centers for social work will facilitate sibling adoptions.


Timeline: It can take several years for a prospective adoptive parent to be matched with a child. After both the prospective adoptive parents and the child have met the requirements for adoption, the child and the prospective adoptive family have an adaptation period of six months. This is mandatory and must take place on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina. During this time, a social worker visits the family regularly. In cases involving children with special needs, who need special medical care, exceptions to this rule may be made but on a case by case basis. Only after the assessment of the social worker is complete will the final decision on adoption be made.





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.



Adopting from Bosnia and Herzegovina (

Bosnia and Herzegovina Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (Wikipedia)

Bosnia and Herzegovina (CIA Factbook)

Bosnia-Herzegovina (Info Please)  

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 this country on Yahoo GroupsFacebook, the EEACAdoptive FamilesAdoption Services Support Groups, and







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