Thousands of orphans in Ukraine are struggling right now to get basic amenities such as food and water. Learn how to adopt from Ukraine so that you can help these children when the time is right.
According to UNICEF, 1.3 percent of Ukraine children live in orphanages or boarding schools for orphans. International adoption is an excellent way to give these children a better life and new opportunities. So how to adopt from Ukraine?
If you stay in the U.S., you need to obey both the laws while adopting a child from Ukraine. The article discusses more about adoption from Ukraine. So, keep on reading the article for more information.
What Are The Eligibility Requirements To Adopt In Ukraine?
If you want to adopt a Ukrainian child, you must meet the eligibility criteria of both Ukraine and the US. However, I have outlined the requirements below.
Earlier, adoptive parents who wanted to adopt a Ukrainian boy or girl should not be more than 45 years old. But Ukraine changed its rule later.
If you want to adopt a Ukraine child, then you need to be at least 21 years old. Moreover, you there should be an age difference of 15 years between you and the adoptive child. If the child’s relative wishes to adopt, then the age difference is not considered.
Ukraine will not let you adopt a child unless you are married. Adoptive families of same sex couples cannot adopt a child from Ukraine.
Ukraine has set a specific income requirements for adopting a child. But adoptive parents should be able to prove to the Ukrainian government that they have a steady income and that income is sufficient to satisfy the basic needs of the adopted boy or girl.
#4. Health Condition
Adoptive parents must be physically and mentally sound to adopt a Ukraine child. If you suffer from depression, anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, and other mental illnesses, then Ukraine will not accept your adoption application.
If you have a history of mental health problems, then it’s better to contact the adoption agency to confirm whether you are eligible to adopt a child from Ukraine.
#5. Family Size
There is no restriction on family size while adopting a child from Ukraine.
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Which Ukrainian Children are Available For Adoption?
Ukraine has a few rules and regulations for adoptive children as well.
The child must be first eligible for domestic adoption before he becomes eligible for inter-country adoption. The child’s name has been listed in the local register for almost 14 months, and if within these months, no one has adopted him, his name falls in the registry of inter-country adoption.
However, the child’s age should be five years and above and should be exempt from certain categories like the one with special needs, should not have siblings and others.
Age Of Children For Inter-Country Adoption
The majority of adoptive children in Ukraine are between the ages of seven to fifteen. You may have children younger than this in each group, but they may have siblings. Moreover, you will also find some children with special needs.
The Ukraine law says that the orphan should be five years old for intercountry adoption and exempts specific categories like children with special needs, sibling adoption, and relative adoption.
How Much Time Does it Take To Get A Child For Adoption In Ukraine?
You can complete the child adoption process much quicker in Ukraine than in other countries. It takes almost one year to complete the adoption process.
I have outlined below a general timeline of the child adoption process in Ukraine.
- It takes between 2-3 months to get the home study process done.
- The United States Citizenship And Immigrant Services(USCIS) takes almost six to eight weeks to make your dossier and approve it.
- Approval from Ukraine and invitation for traveling take three to six months.
- Traveling to Ukraine and completing the adoption process will take four to eight weeks.
- Obtaining Visa and returning home takes two to three weeks.
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The Process Of Adoption From Ukraine
Hague Convention does not govern Ukraine. But it can still have the child adoption process with the United States. If you want to adopt a child
estimation. Some processes during child adoption may take even longer time.
Finding an Adoption Service Provider
You need to search few good adoption agencies which do intercountry adoption. For instance, if I talk about CCAI, it tries its best to find caring and supportive American families for either abandoned or orphan children by providing professional adoption services.
After completing a home study (which should be Hague convention compliant), you can apply to U.S. CIS to adopt a child from Ukraine. But, to apply, you need to fill I-600 A form.
You should closely work with an attorney to ensure all the documents you send are notarized and have authenticity. If the USCIS approves all your documents, Ukraine will want you to submit an application to the adoption authorities in Ukraine. You must submit the adoption application to the Ministry of Social policy in a paper version.
Remember, the paper version should have all the necessary stamps and signatures. The adoption authorities of Ukraine will review your application, and they may provide you with a letter of referral if they find a correct match according to your adoption application.
You should consult a health professional and your primary adoption service provider to know the child’s basic needs. But finally, you need to take the decision, i.e., you need to decide whether you will be able to provide the basic needs and permanent home to the child.
Role Of Adoption Authorities
The Ukraine adoption authorities will review the file sent from the adoption service provider and find whether the child is eligible for intercountry adoption. If they find that the child is eligible, then the authorities enter his name in the database listing children eligible for inter-country adoption. Simultaneously the adoption authorities in Ukraine will also review the application of parents interested in adopting a child. If the adoption authorities find a correct match, then they approve the further adoption process.
What Happens After I get A Referral?
You need to travel to Ukraine once you receive approval from both Ukraine and the U.S. . You have to complete three main steps of child adoption upon arrival to Ukraine. I am outlining those steps below.
- Get an appointment with the State Department For Adoption And Protection Of Rights Of Child(SDAPRC) to find a child.
- Go to a court hearing and for completing the child adoption process.
- Making Visa and returning to your home.
Adoptive parents will have to plan for two to three trips to Ukraine in order to complete all the formalities. However, you must identify a child during your first trip to Ukraine.
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#1. Identify Child
Once you have an appointment with SDAPRC and receive a referral letter, your first duty should be to try and locate an orphanage so that you can identify Ukrainian orphans that you might w.
The Ukraine law says you can look into the child’s file only three times and decide on adoption. If you fail to choose a child in three attempts, they will return your dossier to you. But if you identify a child within this time, then you will move for a further adoption process.
#2. Submit Child Adoption Application In Court
There may be 2-3 weeks of waiting period for a court hearing. You may choose to go back to your home within this time and return on the date there will be a hearing in court. If you don’t want to go back home for a few weeks, you can stay in Ukraine.
You need to submit the adoption package to the court for review. The Judge will review your application and make a final decision, i.e., whether you can adopt the child or not. The judgment does not have its effect for 30 days. So, if the judge denies your request, you can appeal the decision.
You will have full legal parental rights to the child once the Judge decides to adopt the child.
#3. Make Visa and Return To Home
You may have ten days waiting period after the court hearing. You can go back to your home or stay back till the child adoption process is complete during this period.
Finally, you need to get a birth certificate and passport to get Visa and take the child to your home. Once you get them, you are free to bring the child to your home.
Completing the Adoption Process
You have to finalize the child adoption process in the U.S. if you did not complete it in Ukraine.
I will suggest you complete the readoption process again in the United States to secure the citizenship of your adopted child.
Post Adoption Reports
Ukraine will need the reports of after the adoption for at least three years annually, and then you have to send reports every three years till the adopted child become 18 years old.
If you adopt a child from Ukraine, the child will have Ukraine citizenship until the age of 18 years and then decide to have U.S or Ukraine citizenship.
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How Much Does It Cost To Adopt From Ukraine?
The cost of adopting a child in Ukraine depends on numerous factors like the type of adoption program, the agency, attorney fees, and how much time it requires to match with the child.
However, I have listed below average costs involved in the child adoption process.
- You may have to spend $1000 for home study.
- You may spend between $2000 to $2500 for child adoption applications and documentation.
- You may have to spend between $9000 to $15000 for traveling
- You may have to pay between $4000 to $10,000 for an adoption agency.
- You may have to pay $1000 to $15,00 for post-adoption applications and fees for the foreign program.
Traveling Tips In Ukraine
If you want to adopt a child from Ukraine, then you need to be acquainted with the rules and regulations of Ukraine.
I am listing below a few things which you should think og while traveling to Ukraine.
- The police of the Ukraine may stop you at any time ann ask for identification. So, you should always keep your passport along with you.
- Various currency agency booths are licensed and help you exchange the dollars and get in the form of the Ukrainian hryvnia.
- If you are going for less than 60 days, then you don’t have a problem driving with your United States driving license.
How Has The Russian Invasion Impacted Adoptions?
The Russian military operation has created havoc for children in orphanages in Ukraine. Most of them from institutional care were trapped in Ukraine and are at heightened risk of trafficking, abuse, and other problems.
Hundreds of families in the United States wish to adopt a child from Ukraine. But the Russian invasion has stalled their efforts. As the war began, many adoption agencies stopped the child adoption process.
The parents who want to adopt a particular child can contact only through messages and calls but cannot legally adopt them. The parents get news of bombings and shootings near their orphanage, making them worry.
Frequently Answered Questions
#1. What Countries need adoption the most?
The countries that need adoption the most are as follows
Democratic republic of congo
#2. How hard is it to adopt a child from Ukraine?
If you stay in the United States and want to adopt a child from Ukraine, then it will take six to twelve months to adopt legally. You have to meet the U.S and Ukraine laws while adopting the child. You have to submit all the documents to the USCIS, and once they approve, your documents will be verified by the child adoption authorities in Ukraine.
Then they will match the child according to the specification specified by the applicant. After matching the child, you have to deal with the hearing of the court. Once the court legally allows you to adopt the child, you have to apply for birth certification and a passport. Once you get Visa, you can take the child to your home.
#3. Does Ukraine have orphanages?
Yes, Ukraine has orphanages. There are more than 700 orphanages all over Ukraine. It is estimated that Ukraine is home to almost 100,000 orphans. However, most of the orphans are social orphans, which means they have some connection with their families or relatives.
A Few Final Words
More than 100,000 orphans are staying in the orphanage in Ukraine. It is estimated that almost 20 percent of children are orphans as their parents are dead. In comparison, 80 percent are social orphans, which means they have abandonment or violence with their parents because of drug addiction.
Adoption is an excellent idea to give a better life to these Ukraine orphans. But if you are in the United States and want to adopt a child from Ukraine, then you have to follow the rules of both the U.S and Ukraine.
We thank you for reading this article and hope that we have covered everything related to the adoption of Ukraine in this article.