DISCLAIMER: the information on this Web page is general. Please, contact us if you would like to have detailed info on legal regulation and specific stages of adoption procedure in Ukraine.
Ukrainian Legislation on Adoption
- Constitution of Ukraine
- Family Code of Ukraine
- Civil Procedure Code of Ukraine
- Resolution on Adoption by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine #905
- Law on citizenship of Ukraine
CHILDREN AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION: The Ukrainian government passed an amendment to its Family Code to require orphans to be at least 5 years old before they are eligible for intercountry adoption. The amendment exempts children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions. It's forbidden to adopt a single child under 5 y.o. but if the child under 5 y.o. is in the sibling group, then it's possible, for instance, one child should be older than 5 y.o. and the other one or two child/ren may be under 5 y.o. Some younger children are available classified with serious medical conditions from about 6-9 months (list of diseases HERE). Two children may be adopted in the same court hearing (in the same court region).
According to Ukrainian law adopted children should keep Ukrainian citizenship until 18 years of age. The U.S. has recently passed a law which grants adopted children U.S. citizenship automatically upon adoption.
Age Requirements: Under a Ukrainian law which came into effect on April 24, 2008, prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old, and at least 15 years older. If only one of the adoptive parents complies with these age requirements, the adoption can be completed in the eligible parent's name only. If the child is being adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.
Marriage Requirements: Foreign citizens must be married in order to be eligible to adopt from Ukraine.
Income Requirements: While there are no specified income requirements, prospective adoptive parents are required to submit documentation identifying their income/financial standing on last 6 months.
Time frame: It takes anywhere between 2 to 8 weeks after adopting parents submit their dossier to the Department for Family and Children (DFC) until the appointment date. Parents can also expect a 2 to 4 week wait between the initial filing of the adoption in the local court and issuance of the final adoption decree
TERMS: Children must be on the National Registry for one year before they are eligible to be adopted. This gives Ukrainian Citizens a priority in adoption. However, if a child has a health diagnosis (which allows to adopt him/her without a waiting period) as listed by statue they are available for international adoption once there paperwork administratively clears through the DFC.
PROCEDURE Travel required: At least one, usually two trips; both parents must travel. Parents must travel to Ukraine personally in order to identify their child and to attend the court hearing. In order to identify a child for adoption, the parents must first have their application and dossier approved by the DFC. We, or our US partners, may help you with the dossier preparation - they will give any info you might need for that. The adoption procedure takes 45-55 days. However, there is a 10-day waiting period after a court hearing and one or both parent/s prefer to go home for this period of time.
There is one legal adoption agency in Ukraine: the government-operated Department for Department for Family and Children in Kiev (DFC). The DFC is the only organization which may legally show photos or files of available children and help you identify a child for adoption.
Exclusion: Here is the list of diseases, if children are not on this list they are not able to be adopted till age 5+
Requirements for Prospective Parents
Make sure your family meets the requirements to adopt from Ukraine:
- Must be found eligible to adopt in the U.S. (through a home study by a licensed social worker — see section dossier)
- No preference for number of years married, must be married to adopt from the Ukraine. (Only traditional marriage relationships are recognized in Ukraine.)
- No limit on size of your current family
- Total cost of adoption for one child will be approximately $25,000 (included your country charges and plane tickets)
- Plan to be in Ukraine for 5-7 weeks (if you plan to do it one trip) and both parents must be present first 2-3 weeks. If you choose to complete the adoption in two trips, plan to be in Ukraine (both parents) for 2-3 weeks, return home for 10-14 days, and at least one parent returns to Ukraine for 1 – 2 weeks to finish adoption.
- All funding must be available at time of travel.
The list of diseases which does not allow adoption from Ukraine
Make sure you meet the USCIS requirements for adoption:
Financial Requirement – To meet the requirements of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), you must have an income equal to or greater than 125% of the poverty level of a household (based on the number living in your home). See table below.
|Size of Family||Poverty Level Income||125% of Poverty Income|
Citizens of foreign countries may adopt only those Ukrainian children that:
- Are qualified for adoption;
- 5 years of age and older; have been registered with the DFC for one year without any Ukrainian family coming forward to adopt them or become their guardians
- Suffer from a disease (according to the list of diseases issued by the Ministry of Health Protection); in this case, the child may be younger than 5 and one-year waiting requirement may be waived due to the list of diseases which give the right to adopt sick children without a waiting period of being on the list of registration in the DFC.
Children who, in accordance with list of diseases of the Ministry of Health Protection, are determined to be unhealthy are not subject to the 1 year waiting period and will be available for international adoptions immediately
HERE is the list of diseases, if children are not on this list they are not able to be adopted till age 5+
Orphanages are responsible for providing full and complete information on children available for adoption to the DFC database in a timely manner. The local office of the Children's Services creates a file for each child available and qualified for adoption and prepares an application that contains basic information about the child and his/her photo. The file of the child is sent to DFC and then DFC's offilicials put the information on the child into the database of children available for adoption. The child should be in a closed database for 1 year (if there is no serious health problems) and will be available for national adoption only.