Kiev (Kyiv) is one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, as well as the capital and largest city of Ukraine. Ukraine is located in Eastern Europe, north of the Black Sea, and next to Russia. Ukraine also borders Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Moldova, and Belarus. Ukraine covers about 603,550 square kilometers, which makes it the largest country entirely in Europe and the second largest country in Europe after Russia. The population is over 45 million. Ukrainian is the official language of Ukraine, but Russian and Crimean Tatar are recognized as regional languages. Other minority languages spoken in Ukraine are Romanian, Polish, and Hungarian. The main religion in Ukraine is Ukrainian Orthodox Christianity of both the Kyiv Patriarchate and the Moscow Patriarchate, which has influenced the country’s culture and architecture. Other major religions include Ukrainian Greek Catholicism, Ukrainian Autocephalous, Roman Catholicism, Protestantism, and Judaism.
Ukraine’s national holiday celebrates its independence from the Soviet Union on August 24, 1991. Ukraine also celebrates Unity Day, when Western and Eastern Ukrainian republics united in 1919.
Ukrainian culture is heavily influenced by the Ukrainian Orthodox church, neighboring nations, since the country’s boundaries have changed many times, there is much overlap. Food in Ukraine is typical Eastern European food, such as cheese (especially head cheese), sausage, and borshch, which is the national soup of Ukraine.
There are well over 100,000 orphans in Ukraine, and an estimated 500 orphanages.
- Each day 38,493 orphans age out of the orphanage system
- Every 2.2 seconds another orphan ages out of their orphanage with no family to go to and no place to call home
- In Ukraine studies have shown that 10% – 15% of these children commit suicide before they reach age eighteen
- These same studies also show that 60% of the girls become prostitutes and 70% of the boys become hardened criminals
- An estimated 15,000 orphans are aging out of state-run institutions every year:
- 10% of these orphans committed suicide, 5,000 were unemployed, 6,000 were homeless and 3,000 were in prison within three years
Children of all ages are available. Children can be adopted from 5 years and up, unless they have special needs, then they can be younger. If adopting a sibling group, as long as one child is older, younger children can be adopted with their siblings. The children in Ukraine live in many different regions throughout Ukraine, in orphanages, and foster homes. Children of various ethnic backgrounds such as, Ukrainian, Russian-Caucasian, Gypsy, Tatar and Asian children are available. The children remain on national database for one year so that there is adequate time and opportunity for their family members or other Ukrainian families to come forward to adopt them. After this period of time, children are then available for international adoption. There are children that are mostly healthy, and many with minor to moderate special needs. Most of the kids are developmentally delayed due to time in the orphanage. Children under 5 years can be adopted; however, their medical conditions must be listed on the National Ministry of Public Health Protection list for the registry requirement to be waived. Ukrainian law does not allow pre-selection of children.
There are many Sibling groups available in Ukraine, and siblings are not normally separated, although some exceptions are made. The fees for sibling adoptions are minimal when adopting more than one child. Adoptions of unrelated children can also be possible.
Parents’ Ages: Parents must be at least 15 years older than the child or children they are adopting and must be over 25 years of age.
Marriage Status: Only married couples are accepted.
Children in Family: Families with large families are allowed to adopt.
Income: There is not an income requirement; however, adoptive parents should show they can provide financially for the child or children they are adopting. Income paperwork is provided in the dossier.
Travel to Country: It is possible that one parent can travel. If both parents travel, both parents do not need to remain in the country for the entire adoption procedure. You can do one trip of 6-8 weeks, or break the trip in to 2 or even 3 shorter trips. There are several options for travel that should be discussed with your adoption coordinator to see what options work best for your family.
Ukraine Adoption Process
After you have the dossier ready to send to Ukraine, the process is rather quick. You will be in Ukraine approximately 8 weeks after submission of your dossier. Once you arrive in Ukraine and have accepted your referral, you then travel to your child’s region where your adoption process begins. The adoption process in country takes about 6-8 weeks, and can be broken up in to multiple trips. It is preferable that both parents travel and appear in court, however, it is possible that one parent can travel for the entire process if necessary.
Hosting Programs from Ukraine
If you are interested in hosting a child or children from Ukraine please let us know. We bring kids every summer and winter for hosting!
Post Adoption Supervision
The Ukrainian legislation requires that adoptive parents provide the Ukrainian Consulates with annual reports to the Ukrainian Consulates once a year for the first three years after adoption, and then once every three years until the child reaches the age of 18. The Consulate General of Ukraine appreciates a detailed report about adopted child’s (children’s) living conditions and development and pictures of your family. You must also register your child or children with the Ukrainian Consulate within 30 days of arriving home.