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Children's Issues

The Department of State and the U.S. Embassy view the protection of children as one of our highest priorities.  We are actively engaged in the many matters related to children and families as they cross international boundaries.  The Department of State's Office of Children's Issues and the Embassy's U.S. Citizen Services and Immigrant Visa unit provide specific services to parents in intercountry adoption and international family abductions.

We are fully committed to protecting the welfare and interests of children, our most vulnerable citizens, and their parents.  Please see the information below and the links to the left for more information about how the U.S. Embassy can help you. 

International Parental Child Abduction

The Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction came into force in Ukraine in 2007.  Please visit our Child Abduction webpage for more information about the Convention or the resources available if your child has been abducted.

Intercountry Adoptions

For in-depth information on intercountry adoptions, please visit the Immigrant Visa Unit's Adoptions webpage.

Child Support Enforcement

According to present United States law, you are ineligible to receive a U.S. passport if the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) certifies to the Department of State that you owe more than $2,500 in child support.  If this applies to you, we strongly encourage you to contact the appropriate State child support enforcement agency to make payment arrangements before applying for a passport.   The State agency must certify to HHS that acceptable payment arrangements have been made, and then HHS must notify the Department of State of your renewed eligibility for a passport by removing your name from the electronic child support arrears list.  This process can take 2-3 weeks from the time you make payment arrangements.  Neither the U.S. Embassy nor the Department of State has any information about your child support obligations or the authority to remove your name from the list.

Please direct any questions to the appropriate State child support enforcement agency.  You may go to the Department of Health and Human Services, State Child Support Enforcement website for a listing of State agencies.

Travel of a Minor Child

There may be occasions when an airline or travel company asks for a letter of consent if your child is traveling internationally with only one parent, or with another adult.  Please note that a letter of consent is not required by any U.S. Government agency.  Such letters may be executed as affidavits or powers of attorney with your signature notarized by a U.S. consular official.  Regular notary requirements and fees apply.  Please see our Notary Services page for more information.

Child Protection & Neglect Issues

If you wish to discuss a child protection matter, please send an email to the American Citizen Services unit .