Age: Adoptive parents must be at least 25 years of age. The parent must be at least 15 years older than the adoptive child.  There is no longer any upper age limit required for parents.  Extra flexibility on age is given when the adopted children are in a sibling group and/or have special needs.

Previous Children: Families may have children currently living in their home.

Marriage Status: Married couples are eligible to adopt. There are no prior divorce restrictions. Ukraine does not place children with singles.

Income: There is no minimum income required. 

Medical History: Good mental and physical health.

Criminal History: Applicants with a criminal history of child abuse, violence or domestic violence are not eligible to adopt.

Ukraine adoption eligibility requirements are subject to change per Ukraine’s adoption laws. 

  • Some children will need medical and/or developmental intervention;
  • More boys are available than girls;

Eligibility criteria:

  • Parents must be flexible;
  • Couples should be married;
  • Adoption can be completed with one parent only;
  • Singles are not eligible.

Length of process:

Preparation of adoption dossier takes 2-3 months.

It takes a couple of weeks to get dossier filed in Ukraine.

Parents make first trip approximately 1,5-2 months later after the dossier was submitted.

Travel Requirements:

Two or one trip to Ukraine required.

First trip will be approximately 3-4 weeks, family comes home for 2 weeks, then one parent returns to Ukraine for about ten days.

Alternatively, family can stay and complete the adoption process in one trip which is approximately 50-65 days.

Adoption procedures

Registering with the DFC. Prospective adoptive parents must first register with the Department for Family and Children (DFC) under the Ministry for Social Policy of Ukraine. The DFC processes the documents submitted by adopting parents and enters them into their database within twenty working days. Once an aplication is approved, the prospective adopting parents will receive an invitation to visit the DFC. When adopting parents arrive in Ukraine, the DFC shows them information about orphans available for the international adoption within the parents’ specified age range. And then DFC issues a letter of referral that gives prospective adoptive parents permission to visit orphanages to meet a child and establish contact with him or her. Together with the letter of referral adoptive parents will be given their documents, bounds, numbered, sealed and signed by an official in charge of the DFC together with a separate sheet specifying the number of pages and the prospectives adoptive parents’ registration file code.

Representatives of the Department for Family and Children meet only with prospective adoptive parents with an appointment on the day when they are sheduled or appointed.

Meeting a child. Central adoptional authority of Ukraine has a general database of children, available for both domestic and intercountry adoptions, so they will help you to find a child eligible for adoption in case your documents are fulfilled in the right order and the DFC approves your application, then an invitation will be sent to you. At this appointment DFC officials will show you information about orphants eligible for intercountry adoption and issue a letter of referral wich means a permission to visit an orphanage to meet a child and check his or her medical history. According to DFC only three appointments are allowed to each family to look at children’s files, if you have not chosen a child after the third one your dossier will be returned to you immediately. The number of adoption referrals issued for each family is also limited. So your second attempt will be the last one.

Pre-adoption medical examination. You can check a medical story of a child while meeting in the orphanage. You will be given there all the necessary information about a child, but if any doubts arise, or if you wold like to have some more information about child’s health conditions, you can request for an additional pre-adoption medical examination by a privat doctor in the presence of the orphanage staff member. According to the law every prospective parent has the right for additional medical examination of a child. Every couple should do their best to thoroughly understand the medical conditions diagnosed by local physicians. Parents should verify that medical reports from the orphanage are thorough and reflect all the information provided to the Ukrainian court for the hearing.

Court hearing. After prospective adopting parents indentify 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, wich 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 a court decision is not in the best interest of the child. 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 when one of the parents cannot be present at the hearing, a judge may permit one parent to provide a power of attorney for the other parent.

Obtaining the post adoption birth certificate. The last step is obtaining the documents. The local office of RAGS (Ukrainian abbreviation for the Office of Vital Records) issues a post-adoption certificate of birth for an adopted child based on the final court decree and the original (pre-adoption) birth certificate.

Obtaining a travel document. Just after getting a post-adoption birth certificate, you can apply for a travel document for the child at the local visas and registration office. To obtain your child’s passport you will be required a post-adoption document and a final court decree.