Click on each factor to learn more. Current as of November 2020.
This information is subject to change; therefore, please check with an agency that places from this country for the most current information.
Parents should be in good physical and mental health. Parents currently on medication for a mental health condition such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia are not eligible to adopt. Parents with a history of mental health issues should contact an adoption agency to determine their eligibility. Adults who have had parental rights or a previous adoption, guardianship, or foster care relationship terminated involuntarily are not eligible. Same-sex couples are not allowed to adopt from Ukraine.
Once a child has been identified, parents can travel to the orphanage to meet the child and review the medical records before deciding whether to accept the referral. If the parents turn down the referral, they return to Kyiv and receive a referral for another child. Families are allowed 3 possible referrals on that trip.
When a family has accepted a referral, the adoption petition is filed with the court in the child’s region. The adoption decree is approved in a hearing approximately 3 to 4 weeks later. Both parents must be present for that court hearing. There is a 30-day waiting period after the hearing, at which point the adoptive parents have full parental rights.
Once the adoption is final, the parents apply for the child’s new birth certificate, passport, and US visa. The process typically takes 1 to 2 weeks but might take up to twelve weeks. Once those documents are in process, the parents and child leave together to wait in Kyiv (usually 3-5 business days) for the passport. While there, the American Embassy completes the medical exam and finalizes the remaining documentation for the child. The final step is obtaining the American visa that allows the child to enter the U.S. legally. Adoptions from Ukraine are usually finalized within a year of submitting the dossier.
Alcoholism is a serious social and medical problem in many Eastern European nations. International adoption doctors have reported a higher incidence of FASD in Ukraine than from other placing countries. One report estimated the FASD rate in Ukrainian orphanages as 8 times the worldwide average: approximately 15 per 1000 births (Aronson 2003b). Ukrainian orphans are at an increased risk for FAS and FASD.
For more specific needs, Ukraine maintains this list of what is considered special needs under Ukrainian law.
Parents are required to provide post-adoption reports to the Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine annually, during the first three years following the adoption and then once every three years thereafter, until the child’s 18th birthday. Post-adoption reports should contain detailed information about the child/children’s development and photos of the family. The adoption service provider should provide a form, a template, or other guidance for a report’s content.
**This information represents our best estimates and approximations only. Depending upon your individual circumstances, even the widest ranges can vary greatly. Please always refer back to your chosen adoption service provider for specifics regarding your process.
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