Bulgaria - Adopt a Child
Adoption is a legal act by which between two persons is created a parent-child relationship. This is the legal way in which these two persons are connected as origin. Adoption is neither a contract nor a deal, this is a specific remedy for the establishment of relations, equal in their effects to blood relations. In Bulgarian law this matter is governed by the Family Code. This is a humane institute of law, with great emotional and social importance.
The Bulgarian law requires that the person wishing to adopt a child, to be viable, ie be over 18 to be able to assume the rights and obligations and is not under limited or full guardianship. Adopter should not be deprived of parental rights. It is imperative that the difference between the adopter and the adopted is not less than 15 years.
The law also introduces a ban on adoptions between lineal relatives (father, mother, grandmother, grandfather) and between siblings.
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Application shall be submitted. A person that wishes to adopt a child under the conditions of full adoption, must submit a written application for permission for registration of Adopters to Directorate "Social support" at his permanent address. When those wishing to adopt a child are spouses, but have different permanent addresses, the application is submitted to the permanent address of one of them.
When the adopter is Bulgarian citizen permanently residing abroad, Directorate "Social Assistance" prepares a report on his suitability to adopt a child on the basis of the report submitted by the competent authority in the country of residence and other researches made about the candidate parent.
Directorate "Social support" examines and foreign nationals who are resident in the country and who wish to adopt a child.
The application for adoption must contain the following information:
- Personal data for the prospective parent - name, personal identification number, date and place of birth, etc.
- A brief history of the adoptive family;
- information on the economic and social situation of the adoptive parent;
- listing of regional directorates for social assistance, in which registers the person wishes to be entered;
- What are the reasons for adoption;
- other relevant circumstances of the adoption;
- signature of the applicant.
You cannot adopt a child that has already been adopted. One of the new aspects of the Family Code is the obligation at adoption of a child who has a twin to adopt both children. Among the new rules is that full adoption is possible only if there is an entry in the special registers set in the Family Code. So to the regional directorate for social assistance at the permanent address of the child is created a register of children who can be adopted under the conditions of full adoption. It contains information on:
- Personal data of the child;
- his medical condition and previous medical exams (This information is updated every three months);
- social status of the child;
- presence or absence of full adoption agreement given by the parents;
- personal data of the parents as well as data on their health status;
- contacts of the child with the parents;
- specialized institutions, foster families or others in which the child was placed or who have been caring for him;
- whether the child is in a specialized institution, whether the parents are known or unknown or deceased, etc.;
Every child shall be entered in the register under a special procedure with the respective District Court and then can be adopted.
In another register are put candidates for adoptive parents. They must submit a special application, which indicates their personal data, a brief history of their family, economic and social status and their motives to adopt a child.
To the self-signed application must be attached photocopies of:
- document certifying that the person has not been deprived of parental rights;
- medical certificate for physical and mental health, the absence of severe chronic, contagious, venereal ,diseases, AIDS, tuberculosis and others.;
- certificate of conviction;
- certificate indicating that they are not prosecuted for an intentional criminal offense;
- document for income and other assets;
- references for the person who wishes to adopt;
- marriage certificate when candidates for adoption are spouses.
Designated social worker from the "Child Protection" in the regional directorate makes social research of the person who wants to adopt. The research includes at least three meetings with the person and with members of his family, with people that recommended him, visits in his home. Then the social worker writes a reasoned report whether the person is fit to be adoptive parent. After that the director of the regional directorate for social assistance issues a permit or motivated denial for registration of the person in the register of adoption. If the prospective parent is registered the authorization is valid for 2 years. If he does not adopt during this period, another check is made on him so he can stay in the register.
Also there are Special Adoption Councils at each Regional Directorate of Social Assistance. It is they who determine the suitable adoptive parents for the adoptive child and give an opinion about it. The final adoption procedure, however, is in a court of law. Only a court decides whether a child to be adopted or not, and the person who is an adoptive parent.
The case goes in the district court at the location of the regional directorate for social assistance in which register the child was entered. A prosecutor is also involved in the case. The court's decision, which grants or refuses adoption, is subject to appeal before the Court of Appeals.
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Along with the application for adoption the following documents must be submitted:
- You are not deprived of parental rights
The first document to be attached is certifying that the person is not deprived of parental rights and is issued by “Civil Registration and Administrative Services” (CRAS) office at permanent address of the person after checking with the other municipalities in which he had permanent addresses.
- Physical and mental health
To the application must be attached a medical certificate of physical and mental health, and medical certificate for absence of serious chronic transmissible venereal diseases, AIDS, tuberculosis and others, threatening the life of the adoptive parent. This shall be obtained from the GP of the adopter.
- Court documents
The next document is a certificate of conviction – from the district court. Besides this , however, there must be a document from the prosecutor’s office , showing that the person is not prosecuted for a crime of general nature.
- Personal income and assets documents
Together with the application you must deposit and documents for income and assets (statement of earnings, deed, etc.).
References are needed for the person wishing to adopt, as well as those who live with him. They must be in writing and can be from relatives, friends and neighbors.
- Marriage certificate-if the adopters are married couple
When candidates for adoption are spouses, there also shall be a certificate of marriage. Then the spouses file the above-mentioned documents for each of them along with the application form.
Some fees may be applied for the issuance of the required documents but there are no fees or taxes for the adoption itself.
The adoption of a child is valid forever.
Please attach documents which can be used by people who would like to follow this procedure.
Please attach sample completed documents which would help other people who would like to follow this procedure.
From the moment of application is submitted a three months research on the person begins about his suitability to adopt a child. According the results of the research, the social worker prepares a report on the suitability of the person to adopt a child under the conditions of full adoption. Within seven days of the submission of the report, the Director of the Directorate "Social Assistance" authorizes or refuses the registration of Adopters.
Please find below the addresses of the Directorate “Child Protection” in Bulgaria:
The contact information of all “Social Assistance” offices in Bulgaria: http://sacp.government.bg/za-agenciata/kontakti/
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Videos explaining the procedure or to fill the applications. Attach videos using the following tag <&video type="website">video ID|width|height<&/video&> from external websites. Please remove the "&" inside the tags during implementation. Website = allocine, blip, dailymotion, facebook, gametrailers, googlevideo, html5, metacafe, myspace, revver, sevenload, viddler, vimeo, youku, youtube width = 560, height = 340, Video ID = Can be obtained from the URL of webpage where the video is displayed. e.g In the following url "http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0US7oR_t3M" Video ID is "Y0US7oR_t3M".
In case the circumstances relevant to the permit issue change, the adoptive parent must inform the Directorate "Social Assistance." When the change is essential, the director of "Social Assistance" orders a new social research.
Please explain what are other uses of obtaining this document/certificate. e.g. Birth Certificate can be used as proof of identity.
More information which might help people.