Ministry matters

Interstate adoption impossible in time of war – Ministry of Social Policy

Ukraine’s Ministry of Social Policy has stated that interstate adoption is impossible under current conditions and that the spread of such false information contains signs of fraud and a violation of children’s rights.

“Recently, the media and social networks are full of messages about the willingness of foreigners to adopt a Ukrainian child and calls for Ukrainian children to be adopted abroad. The Ministry of Social Policy notes that the adoption interstate is impossible under current conditions, and the dissemination of such unreliable information contains signs of fraud and violation of children’s rights,” the ministry’s press office said in a statement.

The ministry said that due to the risks to children’s lives and health as a result of Russia’s war on Ukraine, children and families with children are being evacuated to safe areas in Ukraine, as well as ‘outside Ukraine to other states, including member states. European Union.

“The United Nations Refugee Agency’s policy on adoption is that children evacuated to other States as a result of an emergency, including children who have been granted refugee status in other states, cannot be adopted, as most of them are not orphans, or there is no reliable official confirmation of this,” the ministry said.

The Ministry of Social Policy argues that these children need appropriate temporary care with a view to possible family reunification in the future, not adoption.

Furthermore, adoption should not take place if: there is hope of successful tracing and family reunification in the best interests of the child; a reasonable period (usually at least two years) has not yet elapsed in which all possible steps have been taken to locate the surviving parents or other family members.

“According to Ukrainian legislation, for the adoption of a Ukrainian citizen child by foreigners or Ukrainian citizens living outside its borders, the consent of the National Social Service is required. This is the service that supervises the issues of interstate adoption,” the department said.

At present, the National Social Service does not examine cases and does not issue consent/permission for the adoption of children by foreigners and Ukrainian citizens living outside of it.

“Due to the active hostilities, it is impossible to ensure quality control of the documents of foreign citizens who have expressed a desire to adopt a child, to ensure contact between the candidate for adoption and the child, to know the opinion of the child on the adoption by this particular candidate, to obtain the opinions and consents of the interested parties. Without this verification and this preliminary work, there is a great risk that the child will fall into the hands of fraudsters , people who will not guarantee his rights and best interest, or human traffickers,” the ministry said.

The Ministry stated that when the situation allows to restore high-quality verification of documents of foreigners – applicants to adoptive parents and to carry out the preliminary work necessary for the process of interstate adoption, the Ukrainian government will immediately inform the public and the authorities jurisdictions of foreign States on the conditions and characteristics of the restoration of interstate adoption.