Bulgarian legislation does not set any significant restrictions to the candidate-adoptive parents. They must be above 18 years of age, to be at least 15 years older than the adoptive child and to meet all requirements of the applicable Portuguese laws. This is the rule stated in the Family Code but the Intercountry Adoption Council firmly abides by the following age criterion: "There should not be more that 50 years age difference between the adoptee and the younger spouse in a married couple and there should not be more that 55 years age difference between the adoptee and the older spouse in a married couple. When a child is adopted by a single adopter, the lower age difference (of 50 years) should be considered."
Single candidates can also apply for adoption.
Portuguese law requires the following:
- Two people can adopt together only if they are married, provided that they have been married for at least four years without being separated. Both applicants should have turned the age of 25 years.
- Single person who wish to adopt a child must have reached the age of 30 years. In case of adoption of spouse's child, the adoptive parent should have reached the age of 25 years.
- Only a person who is under the age of 50 at the time of placement can adopt via full adoption. This limitation does not apply in case of adoption of a spouse's child.
There is a requirement for a maximum age difference between the adoptive parent and the adoptee, which should not exceed 50 years. This difference may be exceeded only if important reasons require this, for example: adoption of siblings, where the difference with regards to one or some of them exceeds 50 years. The maximum age difference is not applied in case of adoption of a spouse's child.