Ukraine is an Eastern European country that shares borders with the Russian Republic, Belarus, Slovakia, Romania and Moldova. With an area of more than 233,000 sq mi, it is also the largest country that lies entirely within the European continent. Ethnically the population of nearly 45 million are 78% native Ukrainians and 17% Russians, with the remainder primarily from other Eastern European ethnic groups. The 20th Century was marked by only brief periods of independence as much of the nation was absorbed into the Soviet Union in 1921 and occupied by the German army during WWII. Following the breakup of the Soviet Union, Ukraine became independent once again. Today Ukraine is a semi-presidential republic, with a unicameral parliament, judiciary branch, and executive branch consisting of a Cabinet of Ministers. Unlike the U.S. government in which the president is both head of state and head of the executive branch of the government, the Ukrainian president functions primarily as head of state. The president does, however, exert great influence over the Cabinet of Ministers, who head the executive branch.
While estimates vary widely, there may be as many as 100,000 children in state care in Ukraine. Some of these children are true orphans and have no living parents, but a larger number (estimated to be 68%) are placed in state care because of parental alcoholism, abandonment, or imprisonment. To our families, that means that not all children in state care are available for international adoption. Children range in age from 2 to 17 years of age. Many of the children are either special needs, older, or part of a sibling group. Children with no reported special needs (or only minor special needs) are considered for international adoption only after 5 years of age and after being registered for at least one year. This means that children under the age of 5 who are available for international adoption generally have the greatest degree of special needs. Most children are Caucasian, the remaining are Roma or other ethnicities. Many children 12 years and over take English classes in school.
A summary of adoption requirements include:
Once you have completed your home study, your completed draft dossier is sent by email for review before you apostille and submit your documents. The review and appointment process could take 2 to 3 months before you are invited for your first trip.
On your first trip, our staff in country will assist you to review available children. You will usually have access to a photo and basic medical information. Once you have selected a child, you will receive an official referral and travel to the child’s orphanage to visit. Once you are there, you will be given the opportunity to visit with the child, and spend some time with your referred child. Once you have made a decision to adopt your referred child, you can stay in the country and visit or return to the US and wait for a court date to be assigned. The assignment is usually 10 to 30 days out depending on how busy the court is.
On your second trip, both parents must be present for the adoption hearing. Ukraine has a 10-day waiting period before the adoption decree is issued, some courts count only business days. It takes approximately 5 to 7 business days in region to out process your adoption after the court decree is issued. Then you will go to the capital city for a medical appointment and US Embassy visa process, which is 3-5 days.
Our translators and coordinators are with you throughout your adoption journey in Ukraine and will assist you with your entire adoption process. They will be with you while actively doing adoption business and are always available by phone at any other time.
Once you are home with your child, Global requires that your social worker completes post adoption reports at 3, 6, and 12 months to assist you and your child with the transition into the family. Ukraine requires self-written post placement reports every year the first three years home and then every three years until your child reaches eighteen years of age, on the anniversary of the U.S. Embassy appointment date. Your child must also be registered with the Ukraine Consulate within 30 days of returning home. You will also commit to preserving your child’s Ukrainian citizenship until they reach eighteen years of age.
More information about requirements, as well as current notices can be found at the US Department of State country-specific webpage. US Customs and Immigration Service regulations and requirements can be found here.