Age and Civil Status Requirements
Age Requirements: Under a Ukrainian law which came into effect on October 4, 2011 prospective adoptive parents must be at least 21 years old, and at least 15 years older than the adopted child (the 45-year maximum age difference requirement has been eliminated). In case of adoption of an 18-year old child, the minimum age difference between the adopted child and the adopting parent must be at least 18 years. If only one of the adoptive parents complies with these age requirements, the adoption can be completed in the eligible parent's name only (classified as IR4 visa type). If the child is being adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered.
Marriage Requirements: Foreign citizens must be married in order to be eligible to adopt from Ukraine.
Residential Requirements: There are no residency requirements to adopt in Ukraine.
Time frame: It takes anywhere between three to twelve months after adopting parents submit their dossier to the Department for Family and Children until the appointment date. Parents can also expect a three to four week wait between the initial filing of the adoption in the local court and issuance of the final adoption decree (see also ADOPTION PROCEDURES/Court Hearing).
Adoption Agencies And Attorneys: Since the current Ukrainian law does not allow adoption intermediaries, no private interpeters/facilitators will be allowed to interpret during the meetings of prospecting parents with the DFC. You can still use the private interpreters/facilitators for other stages of the adoption process.
Prospective adopting parents can protect themselves by openly discussing all fees and expenses in great detail before hiring a facilitator or interpreter. Discuss recommendations with adoption agencies and with other families who hired these individuals in the past. Prospective adopting parents are advised to fully research any adoption agency or facilitator they plan to use for adoption services. For U.S.- based agencies, it is suggested that prospective adopting parents contact the Better Business Bureau and licensing office of the Department of Health and Family Services in the state where the agency is located. The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has a list of translators known to work in Ukraine. These are general translation service providers and do not necessarily have experience with adoptions. Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Department of State can vouch for the efficacy or professionalism of any agent, facilitator, or interpreter.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv has received reports of questionable practices during the adoption process by adopting parents. Please see Important Notice Regarding Adoption Agents and Facilitators at the Web site for the Bureau of Consular Affairs at travel.state.gov.