The country of Ukraine lies between the border countries of the Russian Federation and Moldova/Romania. It is a country that has been hit with great strife and economical hardships during its connection with and since its separation from the USSR. There are struggles for power and control that have resulted in mass poverty and depression. Alcoholism is a significant result of the depression that overshadows this country.
According to a recent source, as many as twenty-five thousand children have entered orphanages in this country in the recent years. The need is incredible. Yet, need is not enough in some cases. As of November 2010, the Ukrainian government is trying to pass a moratorium [ to cease] “intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements, including the United States…(US Dept of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs.)” This has not occurred yet and was tabled again yesterday. There has been no indication of when the Ukraine is going to vote on this moratorium. I spoke with a caseworker for an Ukraine adoption agency today to find out what was happening with this countries adoption program and she said, “…at this point we are still accepting applications for Ukraine. We will do that until we we are told that adoptions are not happening between the US and Ukraine…” She believes that we will see changes in the adoption relationship with this country in the future.
This is not good news for people desiring to adopt children from this country. Ukraine is not party to the Hague Convention and is thus not regulated by those standards. When regulatory practices are not in place misunderstandings can occur and people feel that they are not fairly treated. This can result in practices (though rare) such as the mother who returned the child to [Russia]. As stated, those incidences are rare but dissatisfaction and unreported problems are extremely normal in non-regulated countries.
The main reason that the Ukraine is considering placing a moratorium on adoptions with the US and other countries (without bilateral agreements) deals with international trade issues.
Amongst all of the potential negatives, there are children adopted out of this country, growing up in ‘normal’ families and situations and succeeding. This is not a country to discount if you are looking to adopt Caucasian children. As a whole, this country does not have the restrictions that are in place for other countries, sibling sets are available and travel time is about average.
As with anyone who has a heart for adoption, it is not only about what we (adoptive parents) want, need, etc. It is all about the children. The children of this country are in need of homes and conditions that promote positive growth. It is the hope of this writer that this Ukraine and the United States can continue its adoption relationship.
I will keep a watch on this country and let you know when updates are available.