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25 Factors to Consider When Adopting from Ukraine

Also available in a printable version.

Current as of September 2011. You should always check with an agency that places from this country for the most current information.

Parental Age

Parents must be at least 21 years old and between 15 – 45 years older than the child. If only one parents complies with these age requirements, the adoption can be completed in the eligible parent's name only. There are no age requirements if a relative is adopting the child.

Length of Marriage

No length requirement, but perspective parents must be married.


No country requirements, but agencies may have limits.

Children in Family

No country requirements.

Single Applicant

Not allowed.

Sexual Orientation

Does not knowingly place with homosexuals.

Children Available

Children must be at least five years old before become available for intercountry adoption expect children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions. According to the Ukrainian Adoption Authority (SDAPRC), the majority of children available for adoption have moderate to severe special needs and are over the age of six. Sibling groups are sometimes available.


Caucasian; children may be of Roma (gypsy) heritage


Girls and boys

Adopting more than one unrelated child at same time

Not allowed unless the parents submit two separate dossiers and make an additional trip or two to Ukraine for the second child as a separate adoption.

Travel in Country

  • Both parents are required to meet the child and be at the court hearing, but one parent can then leave.
  • Approximately 5–6 weeks in country if one trip
  • Can divide travel into 2 trips, with only one parent needing to travel on the second trip.
  • Parents do not travel in groups.

Referral Method

Blind; parents are given medical records and photos for 1-3 children upon arrival in Kiev and then travel to the region of the child to meet in person.

Wait for approval to adopt (after dossier submitted)

5-12 months; wait is longer for younger children.

Wait for travel date

Not applicable for blind referrals.

Approximate Cost

$30,000 + travel

Youngest Age Upon Arrival Home

Average is 6 years

Orphanage/Foster Care

Orphanage. Quality varies considerably.

How children enter government care

Relinquishment, removal, and abandonment. Removal more common than in many other countries due to abuse and neglect often related to alcohol.

Prevalence of FAS

The Creating a Family radio show has addressed Fetal Alcohol Syndrome extensively in the following shows:
Alcoholism is a serious social and medical problem in countries of the former Soviet bloc. The IA doctors interviewed reported seeing a higher incidence of FAS in Ukraine than with other placing countries. One report estimates the FAS rate in Ukrainian orphanages as 8 times the worldwide average; approximately 15 per 1000 births (Aronson 2003b). Ukrainian orphans are at an increased risk for FAS and FASD.



Adequacy of medical reports

  • Fairly good. Some diagnoses may be confusing to western trained doctors, but International Adoption doctors are well versed in interpreting.
  • Lab results are fairly accurate.
  • Can usually get growth records over time.
  • Usually little birth family or prenatal history available.
  • Usually not much developmental data.
  • Additional data and testing may be available if not too costly.

Program Stability


Number of children placed in the US 1999 - 2010



Staying stable

Post Adoption Reports

Required once a year for the first three years after adoption prepared by a home study agency. After the first three years, one report prepared by the parents must be submitted every three years until the child turns 18. The child will retain their Ukrainian citizenship until they turn 18.

Hague Treaty


Health Restrictions for Adoptive Parents

Yes, notify your agency before you apply if you have a chronic health condition now or in the past and if you are taking any medication for psychological conditions, including depression. To be safe, tell you agency about any prescription medicine you take on a routine basis.There is a very specific form that must be filled out.

Additional Information

  1. Adoptions finalized in Ukraine.
  2. Agencies must be licensed in Ukraine.
  3. Your local Power-of-Attorney must show a complete adoption dossier before you are able to sign up with the Ukrainian Central Authority.
  4. Ask agency if the translators used are competent to translate and explain complex medical information.
  5. Parents should include one or two prepaid, self-addressed international express mail envelopes with their dossier. The Ukrainian government uses these envelopes for mailing registration and appointment letters to U.S. families. Unless these are included, all notification is by regular mail and can take up to 3 weeks.
  6. Child must be registered with the Consular Office of the Ukrainian Embassy within one month of returning home.
  7. Child must maintain dual US/Ukrainian citizenship until age 18 when child can decide to drop the Ukrainian citizenship.
  8. The Ukrainian Adoption Authority (SDAPRC) has the right to refuse to register your dossier if, at the time of the dossier's submission to the SDAPRC, the central database of Ukrainian children available for intercountry adoptions does not contain any children complying with the recommendation in your home study. Given the statistics published by the SDAPRC, there are currently no healthy children (or children with minor, correctable health problems) under three and very few under six years old. Therefore, if you are recommended for a healthy child or a child with minor/correctable health problems under six years of age, the SDAPRC is very likely to refuse even to accept and register your dossier.

Useful Links

Great Blogs

The Accidental Mommy

Creating a Family Sponsors

Nightlight® Christian Adoptions

MLJ Adoptions, Inc.


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