Ukraine is not a party to the Hague Convention.
The Ukrainian Adoption Authority (State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child – SDAPRC) may refuse to register an adoption dossier if, at that time, the central database of Ukrainian children available for intercountry adoptions contains no children that meet the recommendation in the adoption homestudy. With extremely few healthy children available, and those children being matched with local families, children available have moderate to severe medical and special needs and over the age of 6 years.
Who Can Adopt
You must meet eligibility requirements in the United States as set by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as those of Ukraine.
Ukraine country requirements include:
- Heterosexual married couples may adopt. Married couples must apply jointly for the adoption of a child. Singles are not permitted to adopt.
- Adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old. They must be 15 – 45 years older than the child. There are no age requirements if a relative is adopting the child.
- Adoptive parents must be in good physical, medical and mental health. They must be of good moral character. Detailed medical form completed as part of adoption paperwork.
- Adoptive parents must be free of criminal conviction, including that relating to moral character.
- Must meet US Poverty Guidelines.
- Demonstrated ability to provide a safe family environment and meet the needs of a child, including an understanding of risks, developmental delays, identified and potential medical needs, and the adjustment course for an internationally adopted child.
- Applicants must complete Adoptive Parent Training and Education, including awareness of how to maintain the child’s connection to culture and heritage.
- Agreement to complete all Country and US requirements, including a period of post- adoption reports required.
- If finalizing the adoption in the US, check with your local state requirements that may also need to me met.
Children Awaiting Adoption
Every attempt is made to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition, the child must meet the US definition of an orphan.
Children available have moderate to severe medical and special needs and over the age of 6 years. Sibling groups are available.
You may apply to adopt 2 children; however, each application must be separate, full and complete. In addition, a separate trip must be made for each adoption.
How to Adopt
Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider.
Determine if additional US state requirement must be met.
Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt – USCIS Form I-600A.
Submit adoption application to SDAPRC.
Referral – Receipt of invitation to visit the SDAPRC, at which time officials will present profiles on children available for adoption that match the criteria set forth in the adoption homestudy. They will then issue a letter of referral, which permits you to visit an orphanage to meet a child and review their medical records. Three such appointments are available to each family, after which your adoption dossier will be returned to you. Should you continue to be considered for adoption, you need to submit a notarized statement requesting an additional appointment with the SDAPRC. The family makes the decision regarding a particular child.
Individual cases and circumstances affect the time frame and waiting period.
Finalization or obtaining custody/guardianship of the child. If custody/ guardianship, the adoption will take place back in the Untied States. Both parents are required to meet the child and be present at the court hearing. After the hearing, one parent can return to the US. The other parent is expected to remain in the country for approximately 5–6 weeks. It is also possible to complete the adoption in 2 trips, both parents traveling for the first trip and only one parent needing to travel on the second trip.
Obtain child’s birth certificate and passport.
Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption USCIS Form I-600.
Obtain U.S. immigrant visa from the United States – If Returning to the US with custody/guardianship of the child, the child becomes a Legal Permanent Resident upon entering the US. Adoptees entering on an IR-4 visa become Legal Permanent Residents upon admission to the United States, but do not automatically acquire U.S. citizenship. They will obtain US citizenship based on the date of the US final adoption decree. They child must be under the age of 18 at that time, residing in the US and in the legal custody or physical custody of the adopting parent(s).
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows the child to acquire American citizenship when they enter the United States as lawful permanent resident.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when an adoption decree is issued by a US court. Failure to obtain citizenship, may put your child’s status in jeopardy.
Ukraine requires a post adoption report, prepared by the adoption homestudy provider, for 3 years. After that time, the adoptive parents must submit a report every 3 years until the child turns 18 years of age.
Child must be registered with the Consular Office of the Ukrainian Embassy within one month of returning home.
Children maintain a dual US/Ukrainian citizenship until the age of 18. At that time, the child may chose to maintain the dual citizenship or drop their Ukrainian citizenship.
U.S. Embassy in Country and in U.S.
U.S. Embassy in Ukraine
6 Pymonenko Street
Email: [email protected]
Ukraine’s Adoption Authority
State Department for Adoptions and Protection of Rights of the Child (SDAPRC)
14 Desyatynna Street
Kyiv, Ukraine 01025
Tel: (380)(44) 278-4045
Fax: (380)(44) 278-4045
Embassy of Ukraine
3350 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20007
Tel: 202 333 0606
Fax: 202 333 0817
Office of Children’s Issues
U.S. Department of State
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Email: [email protected]
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, call the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).