Ukraine is Europe’s second largest country. The mainland of Ukraine is flat fertile land, but the Carpathian Mountains rise in the West and the Crimean Mountains in the south. The capital of Ukraine is Kyiv.
Nightlight Christian Adoptions’ Ukraine adoption program has been active since 1998. The fees for an international adoption from Ukraine are reasonable, and we estimate that the process will take about one year from application to completion depending upon the type of child you are seeking to adopt. Your wait time will likely be at the shorter end of this range if you are open to a special needs, older child, or large sibling groups.
Staying on top of the regulations and the idiosyncrasies of Ukrainian adoptions requires someone with firsthand knowledge of adoptions in Ukraine. Nightlight Christian Adoptions uses a facilitator in Ukraine to meet with key officials. Additionally, Nightlight is committed to helping families prepare for the adoption of children from Ukraine. Because Ukraine does not permit families to pre-identify a child before traveling, you will be identifying a child in-country. Our pre-adoption education requirements will help prepare you by providing information about developmental delays and health issues. Because of the nature of children in need of adoption from Ukraine, you will be learning about the adoption of children over 6 years old and/or children with special needs – and the resources you possess to parent such children.
ELIGIBILITY TO ADOPT
Based on Ukrainian law, you must be married and be at least 15 years older than the child you seek to adopt and no more than 45 years older than the child. If you have any criminal background or any mental health history, please let us know so that we can determine if the authorities in Ukraine will accept your application.
- Make application to Nightlight Christian Adoptions.
- Begin your adoption home study and submit form I-600A to USCIS.
- Submit your adoption dossier to DAPRC and be registered.
- Begin to assemble your dossier while you wait for your I-600A approval.
- Once USCIS has approved your petition, you will receive your I-600A approval notice, which will complete your dossier paperwork.
- Your dossier will be hand delivered to the DAPRC by our coordinator. Once your documents are submitted, they are reviewed and the coordinator will be notified that your dossier is in good order or if corrections need to be made. DAPRC takes 21 business days for review process.
- Once your dossier is accepted and registered with DAPRC, it will be at least another 21 business before your invitation to travel is received.
You select your child once you are in the country. When you arrive in Kyiv, an English-speaking representative will meet you. The next day you will go to the DAPRC, where you will be given information about a child who is the same sex and approximate age that you requested. You will see a picture of the child and his/her profile information. Once you have identified a child to adopt and met with the child at his/her orphanage, you proceed in that region with the completion of the adoption. You will go to court and meet with a judge about 4-6 weeks after you have met with your child. At this time, you will be required to have a 30-day-wait period. During this time you can go home or you can stay in Ukraine. You then receive your child, and our coordinator will help you arrange to get your child’s new birth certificate and Ukrainian passport, as well as file paperwork with the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv for your child’s U.S. visa. This process takes about 1 week to 10 days. Usually you will stay almost 8-10 weeks in Ukraine for the entire adoption process or you could make two or three shorter trips.
The in-country stay gives you time to visit your child daily at the orphanage and to begin the bonding process. It is amazing to see how children change while their parents are there visiting with them. It is quite common for a toddler to begin walking during this time and reaching other developmental milestones. The bonding process is very important, and being in the country allows your child to transition from being in an orphanage to being with you, his/her new family.
Within 30 days of your arrival home, you must have a home visit by your home study provider. Your home study provider will prepare post-adoption reports and submit them to Nightlight at 1 month, 6 months, 1 year, 2 years, 3 years, and then every 3 years until your child is 18 years old. These reports include your child’s developmental progress and pictures. This is a very serious commitment; Nightlight is committed to showing Ukrainian adoption authorities that children adopted by US citizens are healthy and well cared for. Compliance with post adoption reports is also required by the Hague Convention. Therefore, Nightlight charges a fee to monitor and process these post adoption reports and also requires families to pay for the cost of the post adoption report in advance.
The program fee for a Ukraine adoption is $17,500. Additional estimated expenses of $14,075 – 18,775 will bring the total cost to approximately $31,575 to $36,275. Your out-of-pocket expenses may be reduced if you receive scholarships or employer-provided adoption benefits. Adoption Tax Credit may also be available to you and we recommend you to contact a tax professional for advice. For additional fee information, please see Exhibit A.
Please contact Liana Stoddart at Liana@nightlight.org or 970-663-6799 with any questions.
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Ukraine Adoption Program Details:
- Program fee is $31,575 – 36,275
- Children in this program will be 5 years of age and older
- The typical referral time is 6 months
- Parental Age Restrictions will be determined by the adoption agency
More information on Ukraine Adoptions