As of September 1, 2013, Ukraine is home for 91,718 orphans and children deprived of parental care.
- 75 742 (82.6 %) are raised in families of citizens of Ukraine (under guardianship or trusteeship, living in foster families and family-type orphanages) and cannot be adopted by foreigners;
- 23 849 children are registered with the Directorate of Family and Children at the Ministry for Social Policy of Ukraine as children who can be adopted including 11 123 who have been already placed in foster families and family-type orphanages. According to Ukrainian legislation such children may be adopted only by Ukrainian citizens and cannot be adopted by foreigners.
- 10 483 children – are available for adoption both by Ukrainian and foreign citizens. However, 60 % of them have siblings.
Here are age characteristics of children who can be adopted by foreigners:
9500 children at the age of 10+ years; 52 % of these children have siblings;
783 Children between 5 and 10 years old; 70 % of these children have siblings;
200 Children under the age of 5 (children with disabilities and/or special needs).
Every year the rate of international adoption in Ukraine is rapidly falling.
All orphans and children deprived of parental care under the age of 5 who are more or less healthy let alone those in the full of their health, are placing in families of Ukrainian citizens. Some 15 000 of such children are placed in Ukrainian families annually.
Each year Ukrainians are slowly changing their approach in realizing their potential as parents - to help orphans live in families. Ukrainians has begun to adopt not only infants but also children of school age. Reforms in the Ukrainian national legislation are carried out observing one of the basic principles of the UN Convention on the Children Rights – to ensure the best interests of a child.
Foreigners are focused mainly on the adoption of young healthy children. However, such children eligible for adoption by foreigners are almost absent in Ukraine.
Children under the age of 5 and those who are registered for less than one year with the central adoption authority are not eligible for adoption by foreigners, except for children with diseases that allow their adoption without complying with these terms and age requirements.
Each year the number of children adopted by foreigners decreases. During 2005 foreign nationals adopted 2 110 children in Ukraine, in 2012 – 806 children, and during 9 months of 2013 - 443 children were adopted.
By the end of 2013 it was expected no more than 600 international adoptions (the lowest number in the history of international adoption in Ukraine). In 2014 we predict further reduction of international adoptions.
Currently, 269 foreign candidates seeking to adopt a child are registered with the Directorate of Family and Children at the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine. Among them, 114 families wish to adopt a child over the age of 12 years (including 103 families from the United States) - they have a real chance to realize their intention to adopt a child in Ukraine.
A completely different situation will experience families (currently 86) seeking to adopt a child from 5 to 6 years old.
Some 30% of foreigners visit Ukraine with the purpose to adopt a 5 year old child.
To adopt a healthy 5-6 or even 7-8 year old child with no siblings is almost impossible in Ukraine. In 2012, 52 foreign candidates left Ukraine without a child. During 8 months of 2013, this figure is already 161.
As of today Ukraine welcomes foreign adoptive parents who wish to adopt:
- A child with disabilities, special needs or medical conditions;
- A child over 10 years old;
- A group of siblings (4-5 children) over the age of 8 years.
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