The following is just a sample of the information and resources available to FRUA INC members.  Please consider becoming a member at


Information and photos from FRUA INC activities and Wikipedia public domain unless otherwise noted. Click on blue links for more information and other works cited.




some interesting Facts about estonia


Estonia is a country in the Baltic region of Northern Europe.  







1,257,921 (July 2014 est.)


 Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 74.07 years 
male: 68.85 years 
female: 79.61 years (2014 est.)

Total fertility rate:


1.46 children born/woman (2014 est.)


Lutheran 9.9%

Orthodox 16.2%

other Christian (including Methodist, Seventh-Day Adventist, Roman Catholic, Pentecostal) 2.2%

other 0.9%

none 54.1%

unspecified 16.7% (2011 est.)


Ethnic Groups

Estonian 68.7%

Russian 24.8%

Ukrainian 1.7%

Belarusian 1%

Finn 0.6%

other 1.6%

unspecified 1.6% (2011 est.)



GDP - per capita (PPP):


$22,400 (2013 est.) 


definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 99.8% 
male: 99.8% 
female: 99.8% (2011 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education)



total: 17 years 
male: 16 years 
female: 18 years (2010)






  • The official name of the country is Eesti Vabariik, translated as the Republic of Estonia.
  • Geography. Estonia is bordered to the north by the Gulf of Finland, to the west by the Baltic Sea, to the south by Latvia and to the east by Lake Peipus and Russia. Across the Baltic Sea lies Sweden in the west and Finland in the north. The territory of Estonia contains 2222 islands and islets in the Baltic Sea, 984 sqare miles of peat wetlands (5.6% of the territory), and 61% is covered by forest. The northern coast of Estonia consists of limestone cliffs.
  • Etymology.  Ancient Scandinavian sagas refer to a land called Eistland, as the country is still called in Icelandic, and close to the Danish, German, Dutch, Swedish and Norwegian term "Estland" for the country.  Early Latin versions of the name were Estia and Hestia. It may be that the name Estonia originated from the Aesti described by the Roman historians in about 98 CE.  The name is often said to be from the Germanic, meaning eastern wayt.  Another theory suggests that the name derived from a native word meaing waterside dwellers. 
  • History. The oldest known settlement in Estonia is the Pulli settlement in south-western Estonia which was settled near the beginning of the 9th millennium BCE.  Hunting and fishing communities existed around 6500 BCE in northern Estonia. The Estonian Vikings (the Oeselians) raided Scandinavia until the Danes conquered Estonia in the 1200s, followed by the Swedes, Germans and Russians.  
  • Language.  Estonian is closely related to Finnish and is one of the few languages of Europe that is not of an Indo-European origin. The Estonian language has borrowed about 1/3 of its vocabulary from Germanic languages.  Russian is widely spoken as a second language.
  • Music.  In the 1100s Estonian warriors were known to sing at night while waiting for a battle. The older folksongs are referred to as regilaulud, songs in the poetic metre regivärss the tradition shared by all Baltic Finns. Runic singing was widespread among Estonians until the 18th century, when rhythmic folk songs began to replace them.  Traditional wind instruments were derived from those used by shepherds. Other instruments, including the fiddle, zither, concertina and accordion are commonly played for polkas or other dance music. 
  • Food.  Traditional cuisine of Estonia is heavily influenced by the seasons. Typical foods are black bread, pork, potatoes, dairy products, and fresh berries, herbs, and vegetables. It is very common to grill outside in summer.
  • Sports.  Estonia has competed as a nation in the Olympics since 1920.  Most of its medals were won in athletics, weightlifting, wrestling and cross-country skiing. Other popular games and sports include chess, tennis, cycling, beach volleyball, cricket, football (soccer), and basketball.  Kiiking, a relatively new sport, was invented in Estonia and involves a modified swing in which the rider of the swing tries to go around 360 degrees.
  • Osmussaar. This island's Swedish name is Odensholm, which originates from the Vikings' god, Odin, who, according to a legend, is buried on the island.  It has a long military history, but since World War II the whole island is a Nature Preserve. It is an exotic island, with glacial boulders, rock formations, bogs, lakes, old chapels and villages, Icelandic sheep, Estonian horses, a lighthouse, cliffs, beaches, and lots of plantlife - especially orchids. 
  • Tallinn.  The capitol of Estonia and largest city is Tallinn.  It has never been razed or pillaged.  The "Old Town" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  
  •  Ice Roads.  The Baltic Sea freezes in the winter, creating roads between the mainland and the islands. The longest ice road in Europe is the 26.5 km route between Rohuküla on continental Estonia and Heltermaa on Hiiumaa island. 
  • Haapsalu Bishop’s Castle and Cathedral. This is one of the best preserved castles in Estonia. Estonia’s most famous ghost, the White Lady, is said to haunt the castle. In the moat there is a playground with a large chessboard, archery grounds and clay workshop.
  • Animals. With a sparse population, there are many animals in Estonia.  There are flying squirrels, wolves, wild pigs, moose, lynx, deer, brown bear, beaver, adder, golden eagle and fox.













Generally no more than 20 Estonian children are adopted internationally each year worldwide, and referrals can take several years. Children available are generally special needs, where needs cannot be met in-country.






Hague Accredited: Yes


Marital Requirements: Single individuals and legally married couples may apply.  If divorced, ex-spouse must provide consent.  The literature at present still says that same-gender married couples will not be considered, but in 2014 Estonia passed laws granting equal rights to same-sex partners to allow joint adoption of children.


Travel: Initial exit processing is done in-country (Tallinn); medical exam and visa in Helsinki, Finland.


Parent Requirements:  Applicants with ethnic ties to Estonia will be given preference. Three successive referral refusals will terminate the application. 


Residency Requirements: There are no residency requirements for prospective adoptive parents in Estonia.


Time Frame: Identifying a child may take several years.  Once a child has been identified, the adoption process takes approximately one year.  This estimate includes matching the child and prospective parents, documentation, and the court hearing. 


Age Requirements: A prospective adoptive parent must be at least 25 years old. In exceptional cases, the Court may give permission to a younger person.


Post-Adoption Requirements: Estonia does not have any post-adoption requirements.





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.



Estonian Adopiton Process

Estonian Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)


US Embassy in Estonia 

Estonia (Wikipedia)

Estonia (CIA Factbook)

Estonia (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






Member Center