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some interesting Facts about Bulgaria


Bulgaria is a country located in Eastern Europe in the Balkan Peninsula. It is about the size of Ohio.  




Statistics for Bulgaria


6,981,642 (July 2013 est.)


 Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 74.08 years 
male: 70.49 years 
female: 77.89 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:


1.43 children born/woman (2013 est.)


There is freedom of religious expression. The traditional religion is Bulgarian Orthodox Christianity.

Orthodoxy (59.4%)

Islam (7.8%)

Protestantism (0.9%)

Roman Catholicism (0.7%)

undeclared (21.8%)

no religion (9.3%)

others (7%) (2011)


Ethnic Groups

Bulgarian 76.9%

Turkish 8%

Roma 4.4%

other 0.7% (including Macedonian, Armenian, Tatar, Circassian)

other (unknown) 10% (2011 census)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$14,500 (2012 est.) 


definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 98.4% 
male: 98.7% 
female: 98% (2011 est.)   

Roma population: 82% (2008)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)



total: 14 years 
male: 14 years 
female: 14 years (2010)






  • The official name of the country is Република България (Republika Bulgaria), translated as the Republic of Bulgaria.
  • Government. Bulgaria is a parliamentary republic.

  • History. Prehistoric cultures began developing in Bulgaria in the Neolithic period. The first Bulgarian Empire was established about 681 CE in the northeastern Balkan Mountains.

  • Geography.  Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostly along the Danube River), Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea is the border to the east.

  • Roses.  Roses have been cultivated in Bulgaria for centuries. The Rose Valley of Bulgaria produces 85% of the world's rose oil. 

  • Wine. Wine is an ancient part of Bulgaria's culture. Until 1990, exported Bulgarian wine was the world's second-largest total of bottled wine. 

  • Sports. Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in Bulgaria. The country excells at volleyball, tennis, gymnastics, track and field, and weightlifting.  

  • Sofia. The capital city of Bugaria, and its largest city, is Sofia with a population of more than 1.2 million. 
  • Serdika.  Sofia is one of the oldest cities in Europe and boasts many ancient sights from the time of the Thracians. The eastern gate of the Serdika Fortress (2000 BCE) can be found in the underpass between the Presidency and the Council of Ministers in Sofia.
  • Roman Rotunda. Behind the Sheraton Hotel in Sofia is the Roman Rotunda or St. George Chruch. It is the oldest preserved structure which still serves its original purpose in the Sofia city.
  • Rila Monastery. The Rila Monastery is a UNESCO site & example of Bulgarian Renaissance. It was founded in the 10th century by St John of Rila, a hermit canonized by the Orthodox Church.
  • The Bulgarian Black Sea coast has 378 km of shoreline with 70 beaches, many bays, picturesque estuaries, clean sand, and dense forests.  

  • Veliko Tarnovo was the medieval capital of Bulgaria, with more than 7000 years of history. The houses, stacked one above the other, with narrow and winding cobblestone streets and alleys, are situated on the hills above the Yantra River. Tsarevets Fortress is displayed in a spectacular light show at night. 
  • Gabrovo. The citizens of Gabrovo are known for being frugal. At the hint of a crisis their sense of humor kicks in.  Located in the town is the Museum House of Humor and Satire.
  • Economy. Bulgaria is attracting large amounts of American and European investment.

  • Traditionally Bulgarians shake their heads for ‘yes’ and nod for ‘no’, although nowadays this may be inconsistntly adhered to in the major cities.

  • When Germany ordered Bulgaria to surrender its 50,000 Jews during World War II, the Bulgarian people refused, saving nearly all of them from deportation and death.
  • Baba Marta Day. March 1st is Baba Marta Den (Granny March Day) in Bulgaria. Martenitsi ("tassles", ususally of red and white thread) are made on this day and given to friends and family to wear, and hung on trees and animals, to welcome the coming Spring. 















In the early 1990s two percent of Bulgaria’s children were living in institutions, giving the country the distinction of having the highest percentage of institutionalized children in Europe.  Bulgaria is a small country, about the size of Ohio, but many of her children grow up in “social homes”.  International adoptions began in 1989, with a high of almost 400 children coming to the USA in 2001. In 2005 political change, negative press, and reorganization of the system led to a severe slowdown.  Since 2007 Bulgaria has been working to close “social homes” in favor of financial support to families in crisis, foster homes and children’s villages. Things have picked up again and there were 125 children adopted to the USA in 2012.  Children have rarely been younger than 2 or 3 years old at the time of adoption.  Roma (Gypsy) and Turkish-Bulgarian children constitute a sizable portion of the children in the "Social Homes" and are not generally adopted by ethnic Bulgarians.






2012 Adoptions: 125 children adopted.


Hague Accredited: Yes


Estimated Total Cost (2013): $30,000 to $40,000 +


Available Children: Healthy & special needs children residing in Social Homes ("orphanages") are on the registry for adoption. There are more boys than girls available. Waiting children with special needs include children age 7+, sibling groups, & children with major medical needs. Generally disabilities that some other countries tend to consider to be a major medical need, such as cleft palate, are not considered to be major enough to be a "special need" in Bulgaria.


Age of Children: 61% of the children to be adopted are between 5-12 years old (2011). Waiting children are listed at 12 mo.-16 yrs old, and could conceivably be united with their new parents between the ages of 22 mo.-17 yrs.


Ethnicity of Children: Many ethnic Bulgarians have an olive complexion, brown eyes, & dark brown hair. Some ethnic Bulgarians have a lighter complexion with hazel eyes. The majority of children in the "Social Homes" are of Roma or Turkish ethnicity.


Family Marital Status: Couples married at least 1 year may adopt. Single women, & on rare occasions single men may adopt (with a guardianship plan).


Travel: 2 trips of 5-15 days are required. Parents must spend 5 days with child before orphanage will release child. In some cases the first trip can be waived & escorts may be possible for the trip home. Only one parent may need to travel on the second trip. Visas are not required for travel to Bulgaria.


Siblings: Available.


Adopting more than one unrelated child at same time: Allowed; but treated as two separate adoptions.


Parent Ages: Parents must be 25-55 years old. They must be at least 15 years & no more than 45 years older than child.


Other Children in the home. Preferable that there are limited number of children at home, usually not more than 4. Must prove ability to financially support children. Special Needs adoption requirements are usually more flexible.


Health of Parents: Parents must have no major health problems including Multiple Sclerosis and bipolar disorde. Cancer histories are reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Medical support letters will be requested if there are concerns.


Criminal Records of Parents: Bulgaria will not accept families with a history of criminal activity on their FBI check; however, a DUI may be accepted if it is at least 5 years prior.


Timeline: Time frame is unpredictable, varies year to year, depends greatly upon the age & needs of child, & can range from several months to several years. Quicker to receive referral for child over 3 years or with a special need. The younger and "healthier" the child, the more lengthy the process will be. Typically, for a child 3 years or older, the process may take 24 months or longer from dossier submission to return home.  


Other Notes: Child becomes eligible for intercountry adoption only if 3 Bulgarian families have declined to adopt him/her. 


Post Adoption: After adoption, Bulgaria requests regular post-adoption reports by a social worker. 4 reports are required; one report every 6 months for two years, prepared by home study provider.


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.


FRUA INC Bulgaria & Romania Chat 

Families with Children Adopted from Bulgaria (FaCAB)

Bulgaria Adoptive Families 

Bulgarian Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)

Bulgaria Adoption.com

Bulgarian Adoption Blogs & Stories 

25 Factors to Consider When Adopting from Bulgaria

Bulgarian Intercountry Adoption Council at the Ministry of Justice 

Building Your Family: Adoption from Bulgaria

Bulgaria (Wikipedia)

Bulgaria (CIA Factbook)

Bulgaria (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 Adoption.com






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