Following the recent actions by the Government of Ukraine which may result in a moratorium on intercountry adoption, the US Dept of State has published the following Adoption Alert. The full text of the Adoption Alert can be found here. To read Joint Council’s statement on the possibility of a suspension of intercountry adoption in Ukraine published on November 19, 2010, click here.
Department of State Office of Children’s Issues
On November 3, 2010, a proposed bill that would place a moratorium on intercountry adoptions from countries without bilateral agreements, including the United States passed a first reading in the Ukrainian parliament. On December 7, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv learned the proposed moratorium bill has been scheduled for a second reading during the upcoming plenary session on December 16. As the plenary session does have several important agenda items, this schedule may be subject to change depending on the progress of each issue.
Additionally, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv was informed that a slight, but possibly important, change was made to the text for the second reading. The bill originally stated, “intercountry adoptions will not be allowed for the citizens and permanent residents of the countries with which Ukraine does not have bilateral adoption agreements.” The change eliminates the word “bilateral,” which may allow the possibility of multilateral agreements, like the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, to take the place of bilateral agreements.
The Ukrainian State Department for Adoptions (SDA) has indicated that adoption processing will be conducted as usual until mandated by a change in legislation.
The Department of State cannot predict the outcome of the second reading. However, the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv is active in encouraging its counterparts to consider the Hague Adoption Convention as the best means to address concerns in the adoption process and to safeguard cases in progress. The Embassy is monitoring the situation closely. Any prospective adoptive parents with cases currently open in Ukraine are encouraged to contact the U.S. Embassy Kyiv Adoption Unit. The Embassy maintains a listserv to communicate with U.S. citizen prospective adoptive parents and will use this to send updates as information is available.