Adoption Program

In 2011, Small World began working in Bulgaria to place children from Bulgaria in American homes. Bulgarian law requires that all foreign adoption agencies must contract and work through licensed Bulgarian Adoption Agencies. Small World is proud to be partnering with Family National Association in Sofia, Bulgaria.

This Small World Adoption Program qualifies for financial grants by the foundations who partner with Small World. The granting foundations are solely responsible for approving or denying prospective adoptive parents.


Bulgaria’s Standard Adoption Program

Families wishing to adopt from Bulgaria through its standard adoption program can expect the referral process to be approximately 1 to 5 years depending on the level of special needs, age, and sex of the child being requested. Small World’s experienced staff will lead you through the process step by step. Our staff, through Family National Association in Bulgaria, is English speaking and is dedicated to making your trips to Bulgaria informative and memorable experiences.

Bulgaria’s Waiting Child Adoption Program

In the waiting children program children (boys and girls) with special needs are available. Adoptive parents can expect a 9 – 18 month process from application to picking up your child in Bulgaria. The special needs program is a very organized and ethical adoption program.

In recent times Bulgaria has reached out for help to find families for these precious children and because of that they have worked to streamline the process for these children recognizing that the faster these children get into a stable family environment with proper medical care the better for the child. They have also included healthy children that are 8 or older as a special need, something Small World strongly encourages and praises Bulgaria for doing.

The adoption process in Bulgaria

Small World walks with you through the entire process of your adoption. The Small World employees communicate with you throughout the process of your Home Study and actually do your dossier for you as a service. Small World English speaking Representatives meet each family at the plane upon arrival in Sofia, Bulgaria and guide and accompany you through every step of the adoption process.

You will be in Bulgaria approximately one week for your first trip and 6 to 10 days on your second trip. Our representatives will walk you through the entire process in the city your child is coming from as well as in Sofia, culminating in your child’s visa from the US Consulate. Small World Representatives will accompany you to the airport for your departure from Bulgaria back to your home with your child.

Small World, Inc. prohibits its employees and agents from giving money or other consideration, directly or indirectly, to a child’s parent(s), other individual(s), or an entity as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.  Any attempt to do so is grounds for immediate termination and report to all authorities necessary.

If permitted or required by the child’s country of origin, Small World may remit reasonable payments for activities related to the adoption proceedings, pre-birth and birth medical costs, the care of the child, the care of the birth mother while pregnant and immediately following birth of the child, or the provision of child welfare and child protection services generally.

Under no circumstances shall permitted or required contributions be remitted as payment for the child or as an inducement to release the child.  For any further questions concerning our Bulgaria program please contact the Bulgaria Program Director Wade Williams at wade@smallworldadoption.com.



The age requirement for our Bulgaria program is that each applicant be at least 25 years old and at least 15 years older than the child. The younger spouse can not be more than 50 years older than the child and the older spouse cannot be more than 55 years older than the child. In the case of a single woman she cannot be more than 50 years older than the child.


Our Bulgaria program requires that a family’s income can support the addition of a child and is subject to a Home Study investigation. The family will need to meet the US Citizenship and Immigration Services income requirement which is that you must show that your household income is equal to or higher than 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size. Your household size includes you, your dependents, any relatives living with you, and the child or children you are adopting.


Our Bulgaria program does not place any restrictions on how many children are in the home, but it is subject to your Home Study investigation.

Marital Status

Married heterosexual couples who have been married for at least 2 years and single heterosexual females only may apply to adopt from Small World’s Bulgaria program.


In accordance with Small World’s mission statement, our Bulgaria program is open to Christian families only.

Post Adoption

Post Adoption Reports are due at the 6, 12, 18, and 24 month anniversaries of the adoption court hearing date in Bulgaria.
-All reports require a social worker visit.
-Photos must be submitted with each report.
-Photocopies of any significant screenings and/or medical information may be requested.

For further information, please contact Kerri Tracy, Director of Post Placement Services.


Fees for Bulgaria adoption paid to Small World:

Application  $250
US State Dept. Monitoring Fee (per child)   $550
Home Study $2,000
Agency Fee $7,000
Dossier Fee (Includes shipping all documents, Authentication, Registration, and Translation of all documents throughout the adoption process) $3,600
Letter of Intent (per child) $2,500
Foreign Program Fee (per child unless indicated) $12,000
Post Placement/Post Adoption Services* (per child) $1,600

Estimated expenses associated with Bulgaria adoption not paid to Small World:

Document procurement  $500
Visa (per person)  $118
COVID Testing (per person/per test) $100-$200
USCIS Application $775
FBI Fingerprints ($85 per adult living in the home) $170
Roundtrip Air from US (2 adults returning with 1 child) $5,000
Hotel/Ground Trans. (2 adults plus the adopted child) $3,500

Total Adoption Cost:

Total Adoption Cost $39,663 – 39,763


Payment Schedule

Application Fee Payment must accompany submission of application.
Services Agreement The signed services agreement must be returned to Small World along with the US Dept. of State Monitoring Fee (See Estimated Expenses) as the next step after the client’s application review. Transfer clients submit $1,250 of the agency fee at this time.
US State Dept. Monitoring Fee  In compliance with the mandate issued by the US State Department, this fee is collected by Small World and paid to the agency appointed by the US State Department for Monitoring and Oversight. The US State Department requires that the $500 (per child) fee be remitted following the finalized contract for services with your adoption agency. The payment will not be refunded by the Monitoring agency under any circumstance.
Home Study Fee Payment must be submitted at the initiation of Home Study services.  The Home Study packet will not be sent and work will not begin until the Home Study fee is paid.  Payments for updates are due at the time services are requested. For families residing outside of TN/MO, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.
Home Study Review Fee All Home Studies are reviewed by our professional reviewers.  If your Home Study is prepared by an agency other than Small World, a Home Study review fee of $200 is due at the time Small World enters into an exempt provider contract agreement with your home study agency.
Agency Fee Payment must be submitted at the time of the completed Homestudy.  No further work may be performed toward the adoption until the agency fee is received by Small World.  The agency fee for each additional child adopted simultaneously with the first child for most programs is eligible for a 50% discount. Transfer Clients Only: $1,250 is due upon contracting with SW, and the balance is due upon dossier transfer completion.
Post Adoption Services *$800 in Post Adoption Services, per child, must be submitted with the Home Study fee.  The post adoption services balance, per child, is due prior to travel and includes applicable translation fees.  For families residing outside of TN/MO, case worker travel is billed separately and in advance of travel.
Post Adoption & Exempt Providers When post adoption reports are completed by a Small World pre-approved exempt provider, the client will be eligible for a Post Adoption Services discount. To be eligible for the discount, the pre-approved exempt provider must be under contract with Small World prior to client travel to the foreign country.  Applicable discounts will be applied to the post adoption balance due prior to travel.
Dossier Prep & Registration Fee Includes applicable translation fees. Payment must accompany the first, original documents submitted to Small World for processing. Approved dossier documents will not be sent for authentication/apostille until the Dossier Fee is paid in full.
Letter of Intent  Includes applicable translation fees. Payment to Small World must accompany the document packet indicating that you intend to pursue a specific child for adoption.  Submission of the intent to pursue a particular child for adoption does not guarantee approval by the foreign country.
Foreign Program Fee The foreign program fee includes funds required by the foreign supervised provider, exit documents, applicable translation fees, and program development. Due to exchange rates and external costs, foreign program fees are subject to change. Orphanages in China request that adoptive families make a contribution to the orphanage for the care of the child and preparation of the child’s file which made them eligible for adoption. The average contribution requested by orphanages in China is $5,100. When agreed to by the client, the orphanage donation contribution is included in the foreign program fee invoiced prior to travel.

For China, the published foreign program fee assumes the full, standard orphanage donation contribution. Details regarding Small World’s process for the orphanage donation contribution can be found at https://smallworldadoption.com/blog/ . The estimated foreign program fee and the estimated in-China travel is billed upon receiving I800 and is due prior to TA arrival. The estimate is updated to reflect actual costs upon receiving the final cost list from China after the requested itinerary is finalized. If the actual costs are lower than the estimate, the resulting overpayment will be credited back to the family. If the actual costs are higher than the estimate, the resulting underpayment must be remitted to Small World prior to departing for Gotcha Day. This invoice will include a 3% payment processing fee for the applicable amount paid online.

For all other countries, half of the Foreign Program Fee is due at the time of I800 or I600 approval, and the balance is due prior to travel.


Country And Culture

Bulgaria, officially the Republic of Bulgaria, is a country in Southeast Europe. Bulgaria borders five other countries: Romania to the north (mostly along the Danube), Serbia and the Republic of Macedonia to the west, and Greece and Turkey to the south. The Black Sea defines the extent of the country to the east.

With a territory of 110,994 square kilometers (42,855 sq mi), Bulgaria ranks as the 15th-largest country in Europe. Several mountainous areas define the landscape, most notably Stara Planina (the Balkan mountains) and Rhodope mountain ranges, as well as the Rila range, which includes the highest peak in the entire Balkans. In contrast, the Danubian plain in the north and the Upper Thracian Plain in the south represent Bulgaria’s lowest and most fertile regions. The 378-kilometer (235 mi) Black Sea coastline covers the entire eastern bound of the country.

The emergence of a unified Bulgarian ethnicity and state dates back to the 7th century AD. All Bulgarian political entities that subsequently emerged preserved the traditions (in ethnic name, language and alphabet) of the First Bulgarian Empire (681–1018), which at times covered most of the Balkans and became a cultural hub for the Slavs in the Middle Ages. With the decline of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185–1396), Bulgarian territories came under Ottoman rule for nearly five centuries. The Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878 led to the establishment of a Third Bulgarian state as a principality in 1878, which gained its full sovereignty in 1908. In 1945, after World War II, it became a communist state and was a part of the Eastern Bloc until the political changes in Eastern Europe in 1989/1990, when the Communist Party allowed multi-party elections and Bulgaria undertook a transition to democracy and free-market capitalism with mixed results.

Bulgaria functions as a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic. A member of the European Union, NATO, the United Nations, the Council of Europe, the World Trade Organization and a founding state of the OSCE and the Black Sea Economic Cooperation Organization, it has a high Human Development Index of 0.743, ranking 58th in the world in 2010.


International travel can be frustrating for even the most seasoned traveler. Small World’s staff will work to make this a very smooth process for you and ensure that your adoption travel experience is relaxed rather than frustrating.

We give you guidance and information to help with planning your international travel. At Small World, we allow you to arrange the international flight to accommodate your own travel preferences.

2 trips are required for adopting in Bulgaria. The first trip will take place within 2 months of receiving your referral. This trip is to visit with the child and complete the decision process of adopting a specific child.

You are required to spend 5 days visiting with the child. If you wish to continue with the adoption of that child then you sign paperwork in Bulgaria to pursue the adoption of that child. You will then return to the US.

You will travel a second time to Bulgaria approximately 4 to 6 months after the first trip. This second trip will be approximately 6 to 10 days. On this second trip you will complete your adoption process, get a visa for the child from the US Consulate in Sofia, Bulgaria and take the child home with you.

Upon arrival in Bulgaria for both trips, you will be greeted by one of our partner agencies English-speaking staff members. Our partner agency in Bulgaria prides themselves on 24-hour service to you in Bulgaria. Each step of the process is arranged for you both for the adoption and pleasure.


More information on the statistics of Small World’s program is available upon request, including the number of adoption placements per year, number of applicants per year, and where possible, the number of children eligible for adoption. Please contact the Program Director via the info form to the right of this page if you wish to receive to discuss this information.