Bulgaria: The Bulgarian Family Act

07/2003

Recently there has been quite a bit of activity in Bulgaria regarding the laws pertaining to adoption. The Bulgarian Family Act has been rewritten and international adoptions are affected by the new laws. Here is an outline of the recent events:

  • The new law was written, sent to the Parliament, approved by the Parliament and passed on to the President.
  • On June 27 the Family Act was vetoed by Bulgaria’s President Georgi Parvanov and returned with suggestions for revisions. “According to President Georgi Parvanov, the controversial motion will limit the selection of Bulgarian adopters thus creating more opportunities for foreigners willing to parent Bulgarian children. The head of state insisted that the parliament should protect the rights of indigenous adopters more efficiently”. (Source: Novinite.com – Bulgarian News)
  • On July 3 the law passed again through the legislative committee of the Parliament and they had not taken into consideration any of the President’s objections.
  • On July 10: The Parliament voted and overrode President Parvanov’s veto. “Some 148 Bulgarian MPs from the ruling majority Simeon II National Movement, the junior coalition partner Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and the rightist opposition Union of Democratic Forces (UDF) cast their votes against the veto. Only 18 MPs from the Bulgarian Socialist Party (BSP) backed the president’s veto”. (Source: Novinite.com – Bulgarian News)

The next step is that the law will be published in the Register (this makes it official) in approximately 10 days and three days after publication, it will become law. How long it will take them to implement the changes it only conjecture at this time.

Two reported changes are that:

  • The revised law also strips parents who leave their children in social institutions for more than six months of their parental rights and bans mothers from rendering consent on the child’s adoption earlier than fourteen days following the delivery.
  • Bulgarian authorities are to issue the passport of a child who will be adopted abroad within three days after such request is filed.

More will be known once the law is published and translated.

Click here for the U.S. Department of State’s website on Bulgaria.

Click here for the Embassy of Bulgaria’s website page on International Adoption.

Click here for the U.S. Embassy in Sofia’s information page on International Adoption.

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