Increased Waiting Period for Adoption Approvals in Ukraine

On July 6, 2018, the U.S. Department of State (DOS) published an intercountry adoption notice titled “Ukraine Update — Changes to Ukrainian Civil Code affect timeframes for adoptions” [PDF version]. In this article, we will examine the brief alert.

On December 15, 2017, the new Civil Code of Ukraine took effect. The new Civil Code of Ukraine extends the appeal period for all civil cases from 10 days to 30 days. This extension includes Ukrainian adoption decrees, making it important to note for U.S. parents seeking to adopt from Ukraine.

Due to the new Civil Code of Ukraine, when a Ukrainian civil court approves an adoption decree, the approval will not take effect until 30 calendar days have elapsed. If no appeal is filed within that 30-day window, “adoptive parents may be given physical custody of the adopted child and may then apply for a new birth certificate and passport to finalize the adoption.” In an additional note, the DOS explained that adoptive parents may have to wait six to twelve weeks in Ukraine to obtain the adoptive child's passport, birth certificate, and other required documents. The DOS recommends that in making travel plans prospective adoptive parents consider the 30-day period from the approval of an adoption decree and the potentially long wait to obtain the adoptive child's documents after the judgment takes effect.

Completing an intercountry adoption is a daunting process, and prospective adoptive parents should consult with an experienced immigration attorney in the area of intercountry adoption. The Ukraine news alert highlights the importance of being aware of country-specific rules and regulations when looking to adopt a child from that country. To learn more about intercountry adoption, please see our growing collection of articles on the subject [see category].