International Adoption in Ukraine.
Law and General Procedures.
On January 28, 1996, and effective April 1, 1996,
the moratorium on adoption of children in Ukraine was lifted by
the Ukrainian parliament (Verkhovna
Rada of Ukraine).
The matters of international adoption in Ukraine are
adjusted by such legislative acts as follow:
- Civil Code of Ukraine
- Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine
- Code about a Marriage and Family of Ukraine (the Code);
- "The Order of transfer of children, who are the citizens of
Ukraine, on adoption to the citizens of Ukraine and foreign citizens
and realization of the control behind conditions of their residing
in new families", authorized by the Decision of the Cabinet of
Ministers of Ukraine from July 20, 1996, # 775
The adoption of children will be carried out under
the application of person wishing to adopt the child in the judicial
order. The presence of the prospective adoptive parents at the Court
is obligatory (Clause 102 of the Code).
The registration of the foreign citizens, who wish
to adopt children, is conducted by the Center
on adoption of children at the Ministry of education of Ukraine
extremely (Clause 102-2 of the Code).
THERE IS NO LEGAL PROCEDURE FOR ADOPTING THROUGH
GUARDIANSHIP IN UKRAINE.
Under US law, prospective American parents wishing
to adopt a child in a foreign country must, in all cases, initiate
the process with the Immigration and Naturalization Service of the
United States (INS) by filing form I-600A, Application for Advanced
Processing of Orphan Petition. This petition must be filed at the
appropriate INS office in the United States with jurisdiction over
the adoptive parents' place of residence.
REGISTRATION WITH ADOPTION CENTER
Citizens of the United States wishing to adopt a
child from Ukraine must register with the Adoption Center to begin
adoption proceedings in Ukraine. The Adoption Center is operated
as part of the Ministry of Education and is the ONLY legal Ukrainian
authority that maintains a database of children available and qualified
for both domestic and international adoptions. The Adoption Center
is involved in international adoptions from the initial to the final
stage, e.g. from the moment prospective parents apply for registration
to the point when, once a child has been identified, the case is
forwarded to a court for adjudication.
The Center on adoption of
children at the Ministry of education of Ukraine:
27 Taras Shevchenko Boulevard,
tel. # (380) (44) 246-54-31 /32 /37 /49;
fax. # (380) (44) 246-5452/62
Please keep in mind that translators or interpreters
are not available on the staff of the Adoption Center, so callers
or visitors have to be prepared to speak Ukrainian, or have their
The intermediary commercial activity concerning adoption
of children, transfer them under guardianship or on education in
families of the citizens of Ukraine or citizens of other states
is forbidden (Clause 102-3 of the Code), and there will be NO
fees except those for court filing, notarial and translation
and similar services.
ADOPTION CENTER DATABASE
Citizens of foreign countries may adopt only those
Ukrainian children that
- are qualified for adoption;
- have been registered with the Adoption Center for 1 (one) year
without any Ukrainian family coming forward to adopt them or become
- suffer from a disease (according to the list of diseases
issued by the Ministry of Public Health Protection); in this
case, one-year waiting requirement may be waived.
Orphanages are responsible for providing full and
complete information on children available for adoption to the Adoption
Center database in a timely fashion (within 1 week). The local district
office of the Ministry of Education creates a file for each child
available and qualified for adoption and prepares an application
that contains basic information about the child and his/her photo.
They retain the application at their office for one month, during
which they encourage Ukrainian families to adopt the child. After
being kept at the district office for 1 (one) month, the application
is forwarded to the regional (oblast') office of the Ministry of
Education. This office has 1 (one) month to find a Ukrainian adoptive
family for the child.
Note: Under Ukrainian law,
disclosure of information on children available for adoption to other
organizations or private citizens by Ukrainian officials is forbidden.
If the child still has not been adopted by Ukrainian
citizens, his/her application is further forwarded to the Adoption
Center to be input into its database. Once a child's application
reaches the Adoption Center, the Center has 12 (twelve) months to
find a Ukrainian family for the child. If the legal status of the
child changes, the guardian authority will have to notify the Adoption
Center of this change within 7 (seven) days.
Children who, in accordance with list of diseases
of the Ministry of Public Health Protection, are determined to be
unhealthy are not subject to the 'one-plus-one-plus-twelve month'
waiting period and will be available for international adoptions
DOCUMENTS REQUIRED FOR REGISTRATION
WITH THE ADOPTION CENTER
Ukrainian law states that foreign citizens wishing
to adopt Ukrainian children must submit a petition to the Adoption
Center, requesting to be registered as prospective adoptive parents
and to be permitted to visit orphanages in order to select, meet
and establish contact with an orphan.
The following documents must be part of the petition:
Please note that ALL seven documents
from the list must be independent documents.
1) Home Study,
an affidavit issued by a competent authority in the adoptive parents'
country, attesting to his/her eligibility, specifying his/her
housing and living conditions, containing curriculum vitae, and
other information; if this affidavit is issued by a non-governmental
entity, a copy of the license authorizing this entity to conduct
adoption procedures shall be appended.
Comment: Statement obtained from a social worker agency.
2) Entrance and permanent
residence permit for the adopted child, issued by the
competent authority in the adoptive parents' country.
Comment: Forms I-171 or I-797 (INS approval forms) will serve
in place of this document.
3) Proof of income
(bank statement on the parent's family yearly incomes).
Comment: W-2 form or tax returns and a statement from your
bank certifying that you have a bank account there.
4) Bill of health
issued in the name of each of the adoptive parents.
Comment: Not just a general statement that you are healthy,
but a declaration that you are specifically not suffering from
any kind of psychic, communicable, internal, skin or venereal
diseases as well as that you are not drug addict; also, AIDS and
syphilis tests must be included.
5) Copy of the marriage
certificate (if applicants are a married couple)
6) "No criminal record"
statement supplied by a competent authority for each
adoptive parent, attesting to his/her having no criminal record
and included Copy of the passport
or other identification papers of prospective adoptive
Comment: statement obtained from local sheriff/police office.
7) Adoptive parents' commitment,
if granted the adoption, to have the child registered with Ukraine's
consular office in their home country within one month; to supply
information (at least once a year) about an adopted child's living
conditions and educational process to the Ukrainian consular office,
to arrange for consular officers to keep in touch with the adopted
child, and to retain the child's Ukrainian citizenship until 18
years of age.
The Adoption Center must, within ten days, process
the documents submitted by adoptive parents and enter them into
the database. Once parents identify the sex and the age of the child
they wish to adopt, the Adoption Center shows them applications
of orphans available for adoption within this age group. The Center
will then issue a letter of referral to allow the prospective parents
to visit orphanages and to meet, select and establish contact with
the children. Along with a letter of referral, adoptive parents
will be given their documents, bound, numbered, sealed, and signed
by an official in charge of the Adoption Center, with a separate
sheet specifying the number of pages and the prospective parents'
registration file code.
The receipt of any type of payment or favor for the
granting of the adoption is forbidden.
No person acting in an introductory or intermediary
capacity is allowed to accept any kind of payment for having facilitated
the adoption of a child.
In the name of and in the interest of citizens who
request the adoption of a child, other individuals may act by specific
written power-of-attorney the purpose of effecting the correct legal
transfer of the child except in the following capacities:
1. Candidates for the adoption prior to a decision
being made are personally obligated:
- to familiarize themselves with the documents related to adoption
of the child, including oversight of the state of the child's
- to meet and establish contact with the child.
2. Attendance of the candidates seeking to adopt at
the time of examination of the adoption papers in court is mandatory.
3. The candidates are personally obligated:
- to accept the decision of the court regarding the adoption;
- take the child from his residence by using as proof a copy
of the court's decision regarding adoption.
GROUNDS FOR DENIAL TO REGISTER
No standards have been established by law for approval
or denial of prospective parents' applications to register. Eligibility
is determined through a personal interview at the Adoption Center.
However, violation of adoption procedures and regulations
(e.g. visiting an orphanage without the Center's permission,
meeting and selecting children for adoption prior to registration,
not arriving for an interview, etc.) can be considered as grounds
for denial to be registered with the Adoption Center. In case of
registration denial, prospective parents must be notified of the
denial in writing and all the documents they submit should be returned
MEETING A CHILD
Once the Adoption Center issues permission for prospective
parents to visit orphanages, parents may go there and meet with
a child(ren), check medical records and establish personal contact
with him/her. When a child is selected for adoption, the Adoption
Center then removes the child's name from the database of orphans
available for adoption.
It is important to mention that, in compliance with
recent changes in and amendments to the Family and Marriage Code
of Ukraine, the power to approve or deny an adoption is solely with
an individual judge. The judge's decision, in turn, will be based
on a review of various documents of each individual adoption case
during the court hearing, where adoptive parents have to be present.
The law states that adoptive parents must attend the hearing. The
Adoption Center has stated that this requirement will be strictly
enforced following the recent resolution of the Supreme Court of
Ukraine. In cases where one of the parents cannot be present at
the hearing due to a compelling reason (e.g. major surgery, disability
etc.), a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney
to the other parent.
The packet of documents for the adoption case is
presented to the judge after being carefully examined by the Adoption
Center. As a general rule, the judge's decision is announced and
issued the day of the hearing. However, it does not take effect
for ten calendar days, within which it can be appealed.
Once the decision takes effect, the new parents are
granted parental rights and legal responsibility for the child.
OBTAINING A TRAVEL DOCUMENT
RAGS (Ukrainian office of vital records)
will issue a post-adoption certificate of birth for an adopted child
based on the final court decree and the original (pre-adoption)
birth certificate only. Please remember that you will not be given
the pre-adoption birth certificate back. Therefore, please make
sure to that you make a copy before handing it over to RAGS authorities.
Once you obtain the post-adoption birth certificate,
you may apply for a travel document (passport) for the child at
the local VVIR (Office of Visas and Registrations).
You will be required to present the post-adoption certificate of
birth and the final court decree.
REGISTRATION OF ADOPTED CHILD
WITH THE CONSULATE GENERAL OF UKRAINE IN New York
of citizen of UKRAINE who is a permanent resident of the USA