UKRAINE CHRISTIAN ADOPTION
UKRAINE CHRISTIAN ADOPTION FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Here we posted the most
commonly asked questions. We, as well as those families who already completed
their adoptions, prepared the answers for you. If you don't find your
question here, please contact us and we will try to answer it or have other
families share their experience with you.
Our prayer is that God will bless you and provide His guidance
so that you could make a wise decision about adopting from Ukraine.
is a fountain of life to those who have it...” (Prov. 16:22, NIV).
1. Can a family adopt two or more children at the same
Yes, you can if such availability, determined by the NAC, exists. Some NAC
conditions or restrictions may apply. In fact, we always encourage families to
consider doing that. From our part, it is going to be the same amount of
attention and diligence for absolutely NO EXTRA MONEY. We take this
opportunity to remind you that, unlike many others, we don't charge "per
child". There will be no additional fee for adopting more than one
child. Please pray and consider adopting several children at one trip.
2. What are the restrictions on who may adopt?
As you may already know, to get a status of prospective adopters, a family
has to submit a dossier with certain documents. Complying with that list for
further processing by the Ukraine government is the sole official
Then, the Adoption Center
attorney will process submitted adoption dossier. The Adoption Center has to
either approve or disapprove of your intentions to adopt in Ukraine. If you
are rejected, you will be given written explanations from the Adoption Center
within 3 days. The situation could be corrected sometimes even if that
happens. Adoption Center personnel tolerate some minor errors to the extent
of waiting till the corrected document is submitted. No family working
through us was ever rejected.
However, being a private business, our personal requirement is that our
families must be Christians who share our faith in the Lord and Savior, Jesus
Christ. And finally, we do not provide our services for single men.
3. Is there a restriction on the number of children the
family already has?
The number of children a family already has will be taken into consideration
by the US Social Worker and BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration
Services), former INS, which approvals must clearly specify that they
favorably recommend/allow adopting additional children into such family.
4. What is minimum or maximum age for prospective
The age difference between the children and the adopters should be at least
15 years. Each and individual decision on applicants’ either registration or
denial is within the NAC authority.
5. What are income requirements for prospective adoptive
No certain requirement. The more, the better. Your family's yearly earnings
help the Social Worker in the first place to evaluate if you are financially
stable and can provide for adopted children. Then, based on US Social
Worker's recommendations and supported by your personal Employment
statements, the Adoption Center attorney will make the final decision.
6. Do both prospective parents have to travel to
adopt? Or can just one parent travel with a power of attorney from the
Both parents have to be at the court hearing. Afterwards, one parent may
return home, if necessary. Both parents have to be familiar with the course
of their adoption process.
7. Can someone who is not the prospective parent complete
the adoption and escort a child out of the country?
Absolutely not. The original signatures of the adopters and their physical
presence are required at certain offices and at certain stages of the
process. Keep in mind that Ukraine is unique in that it advocates for
parents’ personal direct involvement every step of the adoption process.
8. What medical reports or information
do the parents receive from the Adoption Center?
When parents are interviewed at the Adoption Center, they usually are
referred to the child's diagnosis only. And that is a couple of sentences. At
that point, if they seem comfortable with a general description
of existing medical conditions, they are very much encouraged to make a
trip and meet with orphanage administration, doctors and nurses, and children
personally. At the orphanage, a head doctor would disclose all medical
history of the child. If any suspicions appear, parents can request a medical
check-up of a child at a local hospital. If not satisfied even there, a
family could hire a doctor from licensed clinics in Kiev to perform all
necessary tests and check-ups on the child. All additional examinations are
rendered at the discretion of the orphanage administration.
9. Several families have written
notes to mailing lists on the internet and they have said that they traveled
to the Ukraine to adopt but after visiting several orphanages they were only
shown very handicapped children and no children with minor special needs and
no healthy children. Does this indeed happen? How often? Are
there still plenty of children to adopt?
Yes, it does happen. The major reason of this problem is as simple as the
right timing, which as we believe is provided by God who has His plan for all
details and provides the best for each family and the children.
The number of children coming out of the NAC database is not a public record.
It is against the law to pre-identify specific children and hold them
unavailable for others until the family comes to adopt them. Please always
Then, the number of adoptive applicants coming to Ukraine is fluctuating
daily and could be bigger than the number of immediately available children
at certain moments by several times. Obviously, at such high picks there are
families who are very disappointed at what they are referred to based on
We would advise that you consider three major factors. One is educate
yourself as much as you can on what it takes to adopt in Ukraine. Pray hard
and make sure you understand all risks involved in adopting from Ukraine.
Make sure that you sincerely believe that Ukraine adoption process is the
best option for your family. Thoroughly compare adopting in Ukraine with
other options and other countries.
Second is timing. It will usually take 4 to 6 months for a family to complete
Ukraine adoption dossier. Most families admit that after waiting for so long
in the USA, their excitement builds up so much that 3 to 4 weeks of the
process itself in Ukraine will seem like years of life. Time for many
families just freezes in Ukraine. Many of them may have to take two trips to
finalize the adoption as ruled by local courts. As much as we realize that
many families leave their own children at home in the U.S., their important
jobs and habitual lifestyles, you will have to stop thinking about timing in
Ukraine to be completely focused on your children. We will do most of the
legwork for you but unfortunately we can't make time fly faster for you.
And the last, you should be concerned about who you hire in Ukraine. If you
don't have a direct contact with your helper in Ukraine before your actual
travel, if that person takes on too many obligations from other families, if
that person is unwilling to make as many trips to orphanages as needed for
you to look at different children, and if no refund is even discussed with
you, then you need to be careful. The orphanages are still full to the best
of our knowledge.
10. Families report regularly on these lists about drivers
and facilitators and translators who demand bribes from families or they
threaten to not help them complete the adoption. Do we need to be
concerned about this?
Please consider very carefully those offers that look extremely low and
unbeatable. What may happen is that hidden costs are not objectively
discussed with you. Request a detailed break down of costs and fees ahead of
time. Very often facilitators will have another family coming shortly and as
such facilitators need to complete your process ahead of reasonable time,
allegedly caring for you, the only way to achieve it is to give, which is to
extort from their own clients, bribes.
11. Has the list of AC required documents for registration been
It truly has been affected slightly. The National Adoption Center (NAC) of
Ukraine has asked us to inform Americans planning to adopt children in
Ukraine of the Center's new policy regarding police records (as of summer
2002). The NAC has told us that it now requires criminal clearance documents
at least on a state level. The NAC has informed us that it will not
accept clearance on a county/city/village level.
The US Embassy in Kiev alerted the NAC to
the fact that some states do not issue such documents, and that prospective
parents from these states can therefore only present documents issued at a
local level. In these cases the NAC said it would accept locally issued
documents if they clearly include a statement to the effect that the
prospective adoptive parent has no criminal record in the state of his/her
The US Embassy alerted the NAC to the fact that all Americans who have BCIS
(Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services), former
INS, pre-approval for an international adoption have passed a federal
However, the NAC referred to Ukrainian regulations on international adoption
that require the criminal record check to be presented in a separate document
issued by the competent authority of a sufficient level.
Therefore, police clearance at a local level cannot be supplemented by the
police clearance information in the home study.
The NAC also said that police, medical and income records must be issued on
the letterheads of respective agencies (e.g. sheriff's office, physician's
office/clinic, employer) and signed by respective authorized officials.
Otherwise, the NAC said it could not guarantee that the dossier will be
approved and the family will be registered promptly. The NAC said it would
not accept such records printed on the letterhead of the U.S. adoption agency
that helps prospective adoptive parents with their dossier.
As of February 2003, the NAC introduced a new requirement
regarding adoption dossiers. Effective February 2003, the National Adoption
Center began requiring prospective adoptive parents who are approved for adoption
of more than one child to submit a separate authenticated dossier for each
child. Please note that the fact that such families submit two or more
authenticated dossiers does not guarantee that they will be able to adopt two
or more children. The NAC officers will determine the availability of
children during the interview upon family's arrival in Ukraine.
And lastly, according to the Consular
Office of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington DC, “starting May 1, 2003 a
background report (home study) should be accompanied by a translation into
the Ukrainian language provided by authorized companies that meet Consular
Office qualification's criteria to ensure proper and adequate translation.
Consular Office should certify the translation. A background report (home
study) and its translation will be returned to the applicants in a sealed
envelope to be opened only by the Center for Child Adoption of the Ministry
of Education of Ukraine". For the list of such approved translation
agencies in the United States please inquire at the Embassy of Ukraine,
Washington DC http://ukraineinfo.us/consular/adoption.html
However, to the best of our knowledge
dossiers forwarded to the Consulate of Ukraine in Chicago, IL need not to be
translated by approved translation agencies in the United States prior to
being submitted for legalization.
12. In May 2003 the NAC returned to
regular interview schedule by canceling appointment system. How soon can we
come in Ukraine to be interviewed by the NAC? Can we come right after dossier
clearance? Is it a fixed or recommended arrival date?
As of August 2003 the National Adoption Center again interviews adoptive
families by appointment. Once a family has been assigned a registration
number at the NAC, such family will be scheduled a travel date. Only the NAC
determines how quickly you can come. This period could be from several days
to several months. The NAC interviews about fifteen families each day.
13. Would the NAC counselors open the database for a family on
the date of their arrival? What if there's no match on that particular day
and the family is already in Ukraine?
The families are shown the information on available children on the day of
their interview at the NAC. It sometimes happens that prospective adoptive
parents cannot find the child they wanted from the first NAC referral and
have to stay several more days in Ukraine, if they wish, to request further
referrals. The NAC helps such families with searching the database to ensure
that they considered all possible options.
14. Our initial thought is that we will be adopting one
child. However, we don't want to close the door on the Lord should He
lead us to adopt another. Is there something we should do now to
prepare for that possibility?
Yes, there are several things to consider in order to be approved for
adopting 2 children from Ukraine. First, your Home Study must clearly
recommend you for adopting 2 children. Consequently, BCIS (Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services), former INS, must approve of this
recommendation. Second, your Application to Adopt Form to the NAC must
clearly specify that you request to adopt 2 children from Ukraine. And
finally, you have to collect and submit a separate authenticated adoption
dossier on each child to the NAC. This requirement was introduced by the NAC
in February 2003 (see question 18).
15. Are there specific sample forms that are preferred in Ukraine
for our dossier?
We have helped more than 100 families with their adoption dossiers for Ukraine.
As soon as you start formal relationships with us, not only do we help you
with the list of required documents for BCIS (Bureau of Citizenship and
Immigration Services), former INS, your Social Worker and Ukraine, but we
will also email you all sample forms where applicable.
16. Where will we be staying?
When in Kiev, families usually choose to stay either in a hotel or in a
rented apartment. To our sadness, you have to be ready for somewhat
harsh living conditions after you leave Kiev and travel to the region of your
adoption in Ukraine. By far, not even every big city has a regular hot water
supply, or heating in winter. Very few places are air-conditioned. So, when
you travel to other regions of Ukraine, please be ready to adjust to
In Kiev all lodging locations are usually within walking distance to places
where you often need to be. Walking in general will be a very common
thing. Get yourself in good shape before you travel to Ukraine.
17. How much
money should we bring with us?
It will be bound to a fee plan that you choose and ultimately to your
preferred lifestyles and speed of the process in Ukraine. Your total (Ukraine
and US combined) adoption expense, if working through us, is estimated
between $10000 and $12000. As soon as you determine which fee plan meets your
needs better, we will objectively help you make financial estimates of what
you may incur before and during your trip to Ukraine.
18. Do we need to bring any special equipment or supplies?
Usually, we do not recommend bringing supplies. You can find almost
everything here for the children. Especially, do not bring clothes for them.
You don't know the sizes of the children and you don't know the weather here.
You will have plenty of time to do shopping. After you get back home, buy
nice things there.
19. Are orphans tested for HIV
and Hepatitis B? How much do we know about children's vaccination?
Yes, orphans who are eligible for domestic and international adoptions are
tested for HIV and Hepatitis B. In most orphanages the administration has
children's vaccination cards with current immunization records.
20. What is the youngest age a child could be adopted?
As you may already know, citizens of foreign countries may adopt only those
Ukrainian orphans who qualified for adoption and have been registered with
the National Adoption Center of Ukraine for 1 (one) year without any
Ukrainian family coming forward to adopt them or become their guardians. The
one-year registration requirement may be waived only if children have one of
the medical conditions stipulated by the list of the Ministry of Public
Health Protection of Ukraine.
On January 21, 2002, the Ministry of Public Health Protection issued an
updated list of diseases allowing foreign adoption without the one-year
registration requirement. On February 15, 2002, the National Adoption Center
started the registration of children under the new list. Children registered
before that day, with the health problems stipulated by the old list, can be
still adopted by foreigners without the one-year registration requirement.
Only such orphans could be then younger than 1 year old.
21. Do you recommend or prefer a
Our policy is that we will go with a family to where desired children are
available. Our reasoning again is that finding the desired children is much
more important than being in a preferred region. We do not ask for preferred
regions at the NAC. Yet, if it were our choice, we would certainly prefer to
work in our home Donetsk region.
It is our desire to adopt children 4 yrs old or younger; we would prefer to
have at least one boy and one girl. Would you consider this a likely
possibility these days? We know the Lord has already chosen our
children for us and we are willing to accept them, this is what we currently
have on our hearts. We do not expect you to promise something only the
Lord can know, just reassurance that our desire is not an unrealistic goal?
Our personal advice is that you should write a personal letter to the
director of the NAC. The NAC appreciates a direct contact with each
family a lot. We will only serve you faithfully by your side as instruments.
Tell the director about your true-life story (why Ukraine, what children,
etc.) Then, fax this letter to us. We will translate it and deliver it to
director’s office. Also, we will certainly ask director about your realistic
chances of seeking to adopt desired children.
We want you to always understand and
remember though that the money you pay us does not provide for or take care
of locating the desired children before or after you come in Ukraine. We
cannot give you guarantees about availability of the desired children. In
fact, no one can, as it is illegal in Ukraine.
St. Bessonova 33/206