A+ A A-

Select your language



    UPDATED FEBRUARY 2024: New applications paused as of March 2021. The Bulgarian MOJ is working to reduce waiting times - in the meantime, HHAMA is not accepting new applicants unless applicants have exceptional matching circumstances in terms of either age of child or additional needs. 

    Adopting from BULGARIA

    Ireland and Bulgaria are signatories to the 1993 Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption.

    Article 2 of the Hague Convention states that the Convention shall apply where a child habitually resident in one Contracting State (e.g. Bulgaria) has been, is being, or is to be moved to another Contracting State (e.g. Ireland) either after his or her adoption in the State of origin by spouses or a person habitually resident in the receiving State, or for the purposes of such an adoption in the receiving State or in the State of origin. The Convention covers only adoptions which create a permanent parent-child relationship.

    Under the Convention the following procedures apply –

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland* sends an Article 15 Assessment Report on the prospective adoptive parent(s) to the National Central Authority* of the country of origin.

    The National Central Authority of the country of origin* matches the child with prospective adoptive parent(s) and sends an Article 16 Child Study report to the Adoption Authority of Ireland* for consideration.

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland*sends an Article 17 Child Placement Agreement Notice to the National Central Authority* of the country of origin for the child to be placed with the prospective adoptive parents.

    Following the granting of an Adoption Order the National Central Authority* of the country of origin issues an Article 23 Certificate confirming that the adoption has been effected in accordance with the terms and conditions of the 1993 Hague Convention.

    *Under Article 22 of the Convention, the functions outlined in Articles 15, 16 and 17 of the Convention may be delegated to approved Accredited Bodies.

    The Ministry for Justice (the National Central Authority for Bulgaria) has delegated the above functions to various Bulgarian Adoption Service Providers (ASPs).

    The Adoption Authority of Ireland has delegated the above functions to –

    • Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency

    Subsequently, the Adoption Authority of Ireland no longer sends Article 15 Assessment Reports to Bulgaria. They are transmitted through Helping Hands Adoption Mediation Agency.

    Helping Hands' partner in Bulgaria is NGO Vesta based in Sofia.

    • Common Programme Fee (HHAMA) €9,500
    • Vesta Fee €6,500


    Prospective adoptive parents should satisfy themselves that any persons acting on their behalf are duly authorised by the appropriate National Central Authority to carry out the functions for which they are engaged.

    Prospective adoptive parents are advised to seek independent legal advice prior to effecting an adoption.

    Prospective adoptive parents should not take custody of a child or accept a placement prior to the Adoption Authority of Ireland issuing an Article 17 Placement Agreement Notice.

    When a child enters the State for the first time after his or her adoption, the adopters must notify the Child and Family Agency and the Adoption Authority of Ireland of the child’s entry as soon as practicable and, in any event, not later than three (3) months after the date of entry. Failure to so notify is a criminal offence.

    Not later than three (3) months after the date when a child first enters the State after his or her intercountry adoption in another state, the adopters must apply to the Adoption Authority of Ireland to have the particulars of the adoption entered into the Register of Intercountry Adoptions (RICA). Failure to do so is a criminal offence. Applications for an entry in the RICA must be accompanied by an Article 23 certificate issued by a National Central Authority or by an Accredited Body duly authorised to do so by a National Central Authority.

    Any adoptions effected outside these parameters will not be recognised by the AAI.

    Please click here for country specific information table for Prospective Adoptive Parents

    Mission Statement

    " To ensure the provision of the highest possible standards of adoption related services, throughout the lifelong adoption process, with the best interests of children as the first and paramount objective."