In accordance to our goals, we start to publishing series of materials that will simplify the path of an orphan from a boarding school to a family. Our first article is about the adoption legislation (in force at the time of publication) and a link to an adoption application template from our Patreon. The application template can be downloaded and edited according to your needs.
If you would like to have an update on the legal provisions for international adoption in Ukraine, please send your request to our email address.
“There are no difficulties with the law of adoption, the procedure is simply to collect the documents required by the country of the adopter, and the adoption process itself is processed in accordance with the legislation of the country where the child who you want to adopt resides.” – Daniel Likhvenko, legal adviser.
In this article we will try to answer most common questions you ask before making a decision: “What steps should be undertaken by citizens of other countries to adopt an orphan in Ukraine?” or “Is it possible for a foreigner to adopt an orphan in Ukraine? What are current legislation and procedures on this? ”
Legitimacy is always the key point!
The main legislation and regulations that determine the grounds, conditions and procedure for interstate adoption in Ukraine are:
1.1 European Convention on Adoption of Children with reservations and declarations, ratified by Ukraine on 15.02.2011, (European Convention on Adoption… | dated 27.11.2008);
1.2 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of the Child;
1.3 “Procedure for adoption and supervision of the rights of adopted children”, adopted by the Resolution of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine №905 of 08.10.2008, (On adoption of the Procedure… | from 08.10.2008 № 905);
1.4 The Order of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine № 445 of 17.11.2011 “On the procedure and conditions of reception of citizens of Ukraine living outside Ukraine and foreigners wishing to adopt a child in Ukraine, for submitting of cases by them” (On the procedure and conditions of reception citizens… | from 17.11.2011 № 445).
The following legislation regulates legal relations of adoption in Ukraine:
1.1 Family Code, Section IV. Placement of orphans and children deprived of parental care, Chapter 18. Adoption.
1.2 Law of Ukraine “On Child Protection“;
1.3 Law of Ukraine “On Ensuring Organizational and Legal Conditions for Social Protection of Orphans and Children Deprived of Parental Care“;
1.4 Law of Ukraine “On State Assistance to Families with Children”.
The action plan can be split into 5 stages:
STAGE A. Collect the required documents in the country of the adopter:
– application for registration of candidates for adoption (notarized), which indicates the address of residence of the applicant (if there are several places of residence – the addresses of each of them);
– passport data;
– telephone number and e-mail address;
– biographies of families of potential adopters;
– 4 copies of a copy of a foreigner’s passport or other identity document;
– 3 copies of the Conclusion on capability of candidates to be adoptive parents, issued by the authorized body of their country. This document states: the address and living conditions of the applicant (for example, a detailed description of the room that will be allocated for a child).
The conclusion should not contain any recommendations regarding the adoption of a particular child, the exception to be made in case of adoption of siblings of a previously adopted child. Recommendations for the adaptation of an adopted child to a new environment (language learning, education, socialization, etc.) to be mentioned.
The Application for Registration and the Conclusion (issued and approved by the authorities in the adopter’s country) must be written in the specific form required by the Ukrainian authorities (see paragraph 2), which adds complexity to this stage. Therefore, it is recommended that you consult with local lawyers in Ukraine, who can provide you with samples and templates of documents, advise on how to fill them out properly, as well as facilitate the turn-key adoption procedure in Ukraine.
Submit the prepared package of documents to the Ukrainian competent authority: the Ministry of Social Policy.
Address of the Ministry: 8/10, street Esplanade, Kyiv, Ukraine, 01601
tel: +38 (044) 289-86-22, +38 (044) 289-70-60, fax: +38 (044) 289-00-98
This can be done personally or through an attorney. Hence, it is not necessary to come to Ukraine for this submission. The timeframe for the Ministry to review submitted documents is 20 working days. The result will be classified as following:
– applicants will be registered as candidates for adoption; знакомство
– documents will be left without consideration due to non-compliance or provision of an inaccurate data.
In case of a positive decision, an invitation to an interview with the candidates to be issued indicating a specific date time. This invitation may be issued to an attorney (lawyer).
Introduction the prospective child and registration of the application for his/her adoption.
This stage consists of several steps.
Step 1 – Interview.
Candidates for adoption must be present in person at the interview, together with a certified translator, whose presence is mandatory. The venue for the interview is selected by the Ministry, and indicated in the invitation letter.
During the interview, candidates for adoption will be able to consider the candidacies of children and get a referral to meet a particular child.
Step 2 – Introduction.
The introduction takes place on the day of receipt of the referral or the day after a presence of a certified translator is also mandatory. If a contact with the child is eventually established, the next step will be to submit a statement of desire to adopt the child. In other words, this is a trip to a boarding school to meet with a prospective son/daughter or with several prospective children at once. The meeting will take place on the territory familiar to a child, in comfortable environment for him/her.
After meeting the child, candidates for adoption have the right to visit the child daily, during the period of validity of the authorization (10 working days from the date of issuance), at his/her place of residence (stay) and communicate with him/her at the time set by the responsible adults: head of the institution, foster parents, mentors, guardians or trustees, but not less than three hours per day. If there is a need, the term of validity of the authorization may be extended by the service for children’s affairs, but no longer than additional 10 working days. The fact about the introduction of the candidates for adoption the child will be documented in a form of an act.
During the stay of candidates for adoption in a child’s residence, they are not allowed to meet other children residing in the same institution, receive information about them, take photos or filming them.
It is prohibited to issue referrals for simultaneous introduction to two or more children, unless they are siblings of a child in respect of whom a permission is available. Officers of the child care institution where the child stays are obliged to familiarize candidates for adoption with the documents from the prospective child’s personal files, medical card, provide candidates for adoption with the information about the child’s life story, developmental characteristics, behavior, abilities, character traits, recommendations on forms and methods of communication with the child, care for him/her after adoption, as well as to facilitate the establishment of a contact between the child and candidates for adoption.
Law prohibits provision of inaccurate information about children, concealment of the objective information of their health conditions.
In case candidates for adoption have not submitted an application for the adoption of the child to the service for children’s affairs at the place of residence (stay) of the child by the time of expiration of the referral, it is considered that they refused the adoption.
Candidates for adoption who refused to adopt a child can apply to the Ministry of Social Policy with a personal application for re-acquaintance with information about children who may be adopted. In case of a positive decision, the date of re-acquaintance with the information about the children who can be adopted is set, about which the candidates for adoption are notified against a receipt.
IMPORTANT TO KNOW! The word “child” in the singular frequently mentioned in this article does not mean that you can not adopt two or three children at once.
Step 3 – Application for adoption of a particular child.
The application of citizens of Ukraine living outside of Ukraine and foreigners must be notarized. During the application review period (10 working days), potential parents have an opportunity to meet with the child periodically (2 hours per day).
If the special commission makes a positive decision, the candidates for adoption should collect the Conclusion on feasibility of adoption. Candidates must receive the conclusion in person.
IMPORTANT! Recommendation for prospective parents who read this information: You can opt to a mini vacation for yourself and your prospective child (children) if you book a hotel or apartment near the boarding school for a couple days. This may be a good time spent together for you and your prospective children.
The package of documents, including those related to the child’s biography, is compiled by the service of children’s affairs and handed over to the candidates. The received documents can be submitted to the Ministry of Social Policy by the candidates personally or by their attorney.
The submission to be considered by the Ministry of Social Policy within 10 days. Then the Ministry issued a consent to an adoption of the child. Candidates must obtain this Consent only in person, an attorney cannot receive it.
The power of attorney is prepared with assistance of a lawyer, whose authority to be indicated. The power of attorney must be certified by a notary.
APPEAL TO THE COURT FOR A DECISION ON THE ADOPTION OF A CHILD.
An appeal to the court for a decision on adoption of a child to be prepared. The following Annexes to be included in the appeal to the court:
– a copy of the marriage certificate;
– medical certificate of the applicants’ state of health;
– certificate from the place of work with the indication of salary (a copy of the declaration of income is also suitable);
– act / document confirming the ownership or right of use (lease) of a house or apartment;
– confirmation of the adoption permit from the Ministry of Social Policy;
– conclusion about capability to be adopters, issued by the competent authorities of the adopters’ state;
– permission/copy/ on relocation and permanent residence of the child to the country of future parents.
IMPORTANT! All the above mentioned documents must be legalized (translated at the consulate of Ukraine) in accordance with the legislation of Ukraine and a foreign country, the place of residence of candidates for adoption.
The presence of prospective parents during the adoption court hearing is mandatory. A lawyer can represent adoptive parents in court whose mandate is confirmed by a power of attorney. A lawyer can offer services on representation of candidates for adoption and deal with all formalities. He/she can also assist with the proper preparation of the power of attorney. It is important to know your rights on what request.
If the court decides to announce foreign candidates as adoptive parents, the decision will also contain the obligation of the State Registry Office where the child is registered to amend his/her birth certificate.
1. New parents indicate new names, surnames and patronymics of children in the appeal to the court. It is also possible to change the date of birth of the child as per request of future parents.
2. The court’s decision is not public and will not be place in the general register of court decisions of Ukraine. This ensures the secrecy of adoption.
Application to the Center for the provision of administrative services for the preparation of an travel document for a child, obtaining of an international passport enabling to travel to a new homeland.
Dual citizenship is prohibited in Ukraine. However, if a citizen of Ukraine has acquired the citizenship of another state, he/she is not deprived of Ukrainian citizenship. He/she continues to be in legal relations with Ukraine and further recognized by Ukraine as the only citizen of Ukraine. Loss of citizenship of Ukraine does not occur automatically with the acquisition of citizenship of another state, but only occurs in case of publication of a Decree of the President of Ukraine on termination of citizenship of a certain person, effective the date of issuance. Therefore, the child can be issued Ukrainian document on citizenship (id card is available from the age of 14, the timeframe for issuance a passport of a citizen of Ukraine is about 20 working days), in addition to foreign citizenship, in case the child may want to return to Ukraine one day.
Earlie, children were included in the parents’ passports enabling parents to cross the border with children.
In 2015, legislative changes were adopted, after which, issuance international passports for children become a rule. This document can be issued for a baby from the birth. Child’s passport is valid for 4 years. The regular, non-urgent, production of a child’s international biometric passport takes (approximately 20 working days) and costs UAH 682. Urgent production of a passport within a week costs 1034 UAH. Additionally, you will have to pay bank fees (3-5 percent of the payment amount).
To receive the travel document you should to provide:
– an application for receipt of an international passport;
– submit a copy of court decision;
– passport (id-card) of a citizen of Ukraine, if a child is older than 14;
– the original of the child’s birth certificate when issuing a passport for travel abroad for the first time to a child under age of 14;
– photos of children older than 12 years to be taken when applying for a passport. Children under 12 can be photographed on the spot or bring a 10×15 sm photo to enable transfer an image of the child’s face to the digital chip;
– documents confirming execution of payment of the administrative fee or the original document on exemption from its payment.
Therefore, the document granting parents the right to take their child/children with them to their country is already available. It’s time to buy tickets and a happy family is ready for the long-awaited return home with the children.
“Thus, thanks to the wise preparation to all organizational and legal processes, the adoption for foreigners in Ukraine can take about 2 months with the need to come to Ukraine 2-3 times for up to 7 days each visit.” – Igor Prus, President of the Foundation.
IMPORTANT! Citizens of Ukraine living outside of Ukraine and foreigners wishing to adopt a child residing in Ukraine shall apply to the Ministry of Social Policy.
5. Sample application form for adoption is here, which can be filled out by a person without legal education (download the sample application form in Word format).
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