One of the great advantages to Ukrainian adoptions is that many families can adopt from Ukraine in months, not years. On average, the Ukrainian adoption process takes 8-12 months. Please see the Ukrainian adoption process and timing estimates for a typical detailed timeline.

In addition, 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.

You only need to take one trip, however the trip can be divided into two trips. It is recommended that at least one parent remain in Ukraine with the child while the documentation is completed as the time in Ukraine with your child is very important for bonding.

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.