Recognizing that the child… should grow up in a family environment, in an atmosphere of happiness, love and understanding
Hague Convention, Preamble
Here is an average schedule for adoption in Ukraine. Please, take into consideration that the time frame varies depending on many factors. This whole adoption process, on average, takes approximately 5-8 weeks. You need to take into consideration the factors that could extend the process, like Ukrainian holidays, weekends, judges or officials on vacation. Also if you adopt unrelated children, the process will be longer than usual, because there should be two separate processes, especially if children are in different orphanages and two courts needed. Steps toward the goal:
- BEGINNING - approximately 16-26 days
- MIDDLE - approximately 12-16 days
- END - approximately 5-12 days
|1||Dossier submission. The DFC considers dossiers for about 25-35 days and then invites you to visit DFC (appointment date may be approximately in 0,5-2 months after your dossier has been submitted).|
|2||Arrival at Kyiv airport. We'll meet you at the airport and take you to hotel or apartment.|
|3||Appointment at the DFC, meeting with a psychologist. She will ask you a few general questions and then show you information about children available for international adoption. If you have filed for a specific child, they will show you the file of this child and give you general information on the child.|
|4||The next day, you will return to the DFC to pick up your referral for the child which will allow you to visit the child at the orphanage. After receiving the referral you can travel to the region of the orphanage.
- So you should stay in Kiev about 2-3 days from the date of your appointment, if there are days off, count them too
|5||Now you can go to the region to visit the orphanage and meet the child.|
|6||Then you go to the inspector in the region and to the orphanage for making contact with the child, it will take 1-3 days.|
|7||We compile needed paperwork in the region for DFC Approval for adoption and regional inspector in 5-10 days gives a conclusion for the DFC and needed documents to start the adoption process.|
|8||So the conclusion from the region is issued in 5-10 days, and after receiving it we may file for DFC Approval. Your regional interpreter-facilitator goes to court during these 5-10 days (see point 7) for making an appointment for court hearing, court can set up a hearing in 7-30 days
- Depends on the region but usually in 10-15 days
|9||Your regional interpreter-facilitator will send to me all required documents and I will bring them to the DFC to receive an approval for adoption from the DFC and after that we may proceed with the court.
- The DFC issues this approval in 5-7 days (under the law 10 days).
- The DFC accepts and issues approvals on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
|10||Court Hearing. After the hearing there will be a 10 day waiting period (business days) for Court Decree to come in effect. One parent (or both) may fly home (both parents not in all regions are allowed). If one parent doesn't come back to Ukraine because of work or any other reasons, then he/she needs to set up an appointment at the US Embassy and fill up necessary forms. We may complete the process with one parent.|
|11||After Court Decree comes in effect we may apply for a new birth certificate with your names as parents and ID for the child. It may take 3-5 business days.|
|12||After needed paperwork we may apply for passport for the child. It takes about 2-5 business days, depending on the region.|
|13||After receiving the passport, you may now return to Kyiv with the child to finalize the process.
- So it is needed 5 to 12 days to complete the process after the Court Decree will have power.
|14||You will need to go to the medical center for medical examination of child/ren.|
|15||Then you need to make an appointment at your home country Embassy to apply for visa for the child. Two day process (but may take up to 5 days, if there are days off or Ukrainian/American holidays).|
|16||You obtain visa and can go home!|
The DFC, the central adoption authority in Ukraine, maintains the database of children available for both domestic and intercountry adoptions, and will help you meet and identify an eligible child to adopt. If you are eligible to adopt, and the DFC approves your application, you will receive an appointment (invitation) to visit the DFC. At this appointment DFC officials will show you information about orphans eligible for intercountry adoption, and issue a letter of referral to allow you to visit an orphanage to meet and establish contact with a child, and check his or her medical records.
As of December 1, 2008 the DFC will allow only three appointments to each adoptive family to look at the children's files. If you have not chosen a child after the third appointment, your adoption dossier will be returned to you immediately. You will need to submit a notarized statement to request a second/third appointment with your dossier to the DFC and then they officially have ten business days to respond with the date of your second/third appointment. The DFC also limits the number of adoption referrals issued to each family to two referrals.
While meeting a child at the orphanage, you will be shown his/her medical history. If any doubts arise, or if you would like to get more details on the child's health condition, you may request an additional medical check-up of the child (including blood tests etc.). According to the law, every prospective parent has the right for additional pre-adoption medical examination of the child conducted by a private physician in the presence of the orphanage staff member.
After prospective adopting parents identify a child for adoption, the file for the case is presented to a judge in the region where the child lives. The power to approve or deny an adoption remains solely with an individual judge. The judge's decision, in turn, is based on a review of various documents of each individual adoption case during the court hearing.
As a general rule, the judge's decision is announced and issued the day of the hearing. However, it does not take effect for ten days. During the ten-day period, the adoption can be appealed, which the Embassy understands is rare. If an application for appeal is submitted to the court within ten days after the court hearing, an additional period of 20 days is added for filing the actual appeal case with all the supporting documents with the court. The waivers of appeal period are rarely granted in cases when there is clear evidence that a delay in executing the court decision is not in the best interest of the child (for example, damage to health).
Once the decision takes effect, the new adopting parents are granted parental rights and legal responsibility for the child.
Adopting parents must attend the hearing. In cases where one of the parents cannot be present at the hearing (e.g. major surgery, disability etc.), a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney for the other parent.
RAGS (Ukrainian office of vital records) will issue a post-adoption certificate of birth for an adopted child based on the final court decree and the original (pre-adoption) birth certificate only. Once you obtain the post-adoption birth certificate, you may apply for a travel document (passport) for the child at the local VVIR (office of visas and registrations). You will be required to present the post-adoption certificate of birth and the final court decree.