Interstate adoption impossible during time of war – social policy ministry
Ukraine's Ministry of Social Policy has said interstate adoption is impossible under the current conditions, and the dissemination of such false information contains signs of fraud and a violation of children's rights.
"Recently, the media and social networks are filled with messages about the readiness of foreigners to adopt a child from Ukraine and calls that Ukrainian children need to be adopted abroad. The Ministry of Social Policy notes that interstate adoption is impossible under the current conditions, and the dissemination of such unreliable information contains signs of fraud and a violation of the rights of children," the press service of the ministry said in a statement.
The ministry said that due to the risks to the life and health of children as a result of Russia's war against Ukraine, children and families with children are being evacuated to safe zones within Ukraine, as well as outside Ukraine to other states, including member states European Union.
"The policy of the UN Refugee Agency 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, since most of them are not orphans, or there is no official reliable confirmation of this," the ministry said.
The Ministry of Social Policy argues that such children require appropriate temporary care for possible reunification with families in the future, and not adoption.
In addition, adoption should not proceed if: there is hope for a successful tracing and family reunification in the best interests of the child; a reasonable period (usually at least two years) has not yet elapsed during which all possible steps have been taken to trace the surviving parents or other family members.
"According to Ukrainian legislation, for the adoption of a child-citizen of Ukraine by foreigners or citizens of Ukraine living outside its borders, the consent of the National Social Service is required. It is the service that oversees the issues of interstate adoption," the ministry said.
At the moment, the National Social Service does not consider cases and does not issue consent/permission for the adoption of children by foreigners and citizens of Ukraine living outside of it.
"Due to active hostilities, it is impossible to ensure a quality check of the documents of foreign citizens who have expressed a desire to adopt a child, to ensure contact between the candidate for adoptive parents and the child, to find out the opinion of the child about adoption by this particular candidate, to obtain opinions and consents of interested parties. Without such verification and previous work, there are great risks that the child may fall into the hands of fraudsters, persons who will not ensure his rights and best interests, or human traffickers," the ministry said.
The ministry said that when the situation allows restoring a high-quality verification of documents of foreigners - candidates for adoptive parents and carrying out the preliminary work necessary in the process of interstate adoption, the government of Ukraine will immediately inform the public and the competent authorities of foreign states about the conditions and features of restoring interstate adoption.