Adoption of a Child by a Foreigner

As of May 2014 at the Department of Family and Children of the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine there were registered 306 foreign candidates for adoptive parents. From these candidates 163 families were willing to adopt a child aged over 12 years (including 157 families from the United States) and these families have a real chance to implement their intention and adopt a child in Ukraine. However, the people who want to adopt a child aged from 5 to 6 may face a completely different situation. There were registered 74 such families. One third of foreigners come to Ukraine to adopt a child particularly under the age of 5 years.

Adoption means the process of adopting of a child by an adoptive family on the rights of a daughter or a son. Typically, the adoption of a child is based on the court judgment. The number of children who may be adopted by an adopter is not limited.

An adoptive parent of a child may be any legally capable person aged at least twenty one and minimum fifteen years older than a child he/she wants to adopt. Adoptive parents shall be spouses. Adoptive parents must not be persons of the same sex. Persons who are not in registered married with each other can not adopt the same child.

The following persons have no right to be adopters: limited in capacity or incapacitated persons; persons deprived of parental rights if those rights were not reestablished; persons who were adoptive parents (guardians, care-giver, adoptive parents, foster parents) of another child, but the adoption was revoked or invalidated (guardianship, adoptive family activities or family-type children's home  activities were terminated) due to their fault; persons who registered or undergo treatment at psychoneurological dispensary or drug abuse clinic; persons suffering from abuse of alcohol or drugs; persons without  permanent residence and permanent (steady) income; single foreigner, unless he/she is a relative of a child, etc.

A child may be adopted by a foreigner if this child has been registered at the Ministry of Social Policy for least one year already and has attained age of five.

A foreigner who wants to adopt a child must also be registered at the Ministry of Social Policy.

The procedure for adoption of orphans and children deprived of parental care, who reside in Ukraine, by foreigners are quite complicated and consists of the following steps:

  1. Documents obtaining and procurement in the country of adoptive parents’ residence.
  2. Registration for document submission.
  3. Submission of these documents to the Ministry of Social Policy.
  4. Registration of candidates for adoptive parents.
  5. Receiving the invitation for an interview to get familiar with the information about children available for adoption.
  6. Interview with State Department of Adoption and Protection of Child's Rights of the Ministry of Social Policy. Getting familiarized with the information on children available for adoption.
  7. Obtaining a letter of referral from the aforesaid department which allows the prospective parents to visit certain orphanages and establish contact with a child. 
  8. Familiarization with a child at the place of his/her residence.
  9. Filing an application to adopt a child at the agency of children’s services.
  10. Obtaining at the agency of children’s services of conclusion on the adoption appropriateness and its correspondence to child’s interests.
  11. Submission of the documents to the Ministry of Social Policy to receive a favorable final resolution for adoption.
  12. Obtaining a favorable final resolution for adoption from the Ministry of Social Policy.
  13. Submission of the application and documents to the court. Court hearing of adoption case.
  14. Obtaining a court decision on adoption of a child.
  15. Issue of a new birth certificate for the adopted child at the civil status acts registration authority.
  16. Adopted child transfer to the adoptive parents.
  17. Registration of travel documents.
  18. Consular registration of the adopted child in the country of residence.