Basic Steps and Timeline of the Ukraine Adoption Process

Timeline from Application Approval to Bringing Your Child Home: Approximately 10 - 20 Months

Application

5 working days

Approved Home Study

Approx. 6 -8 weeks

Dossier

Approx. 3-5 months

Ukrainian Adoption Authority Approval

Approx. 3-6 months

Child Match (In country)

Approx. 1-2 weeks

Travel to Ukraine

Approx. 6-8 weeks

There are benchmarks in every Ukraine adoption. To give you an idea of what is involved in a Ukrainian adoption through CCAI, the following highlights the major steps and timeframe of the process. Because of the nature of international adoption, this timeframe can change during your adoption process, but CCAI is committed to keeping you informed of the current timeframe as you work toward your adopted child(ren). Understanding the process and timeline now will enable you to be better prepared for this incredible journey that brings you and your child together.

Application for Adoption – 5 Working Days

Your application allows CCAI to screen your qualifications for a Ukrainian adoption. From your application, we are able to determine whether or not you meet the requirements of our agency and the requirements of the various government entities that will be involved in your adoption - U.S. government, Ukrainian government, etc. If a family submits a complete and truthful application and is approved by CCAI, we are committed to serving you through all the stages of a Ukrainian adoption.

2. Home Study - Approx. 6 to 8 weeks

Your dossier cannot be complete without your Home Study; CCAI provides a list of home study service providers and is your link to the USCIS. Our dossier team will review your home study.

3. Dossier Compilation – Approx. 3 - 5 Months

Once your adoption application has been approved, and your homestudy completed, you will begin to compile your adoption dossier. Your dossier is a collection of documents that report on various aspects of your life and represents you as adoptive parents to the Ukrainian government. This part of the adoption process often seems daunting to adoptive families, but it is important to remember to follow CCAI’s Ukraine Adoption Dossier Guidelines, and get help from our knowledgeable dossier team.

Our dossier team will critically review your documents. We will submit it for international express mailing to the Ukraine processor. The Ukraine processor will translate your dossier and personally walk it through all of the steps of the in–country process.

4. Ukraine Adoption Authority Approval - Approx. 3 - 6 Months

The Ukrainian Adoption Authority, the Ministry of Social Policy, Department of Family and Children (MSP), maintains a database of available children for both domestic and international adoption. The MSP will help you meet and identify an eligible child to adopt. If you are eligible to adopt, and the MSP approves your application, you will receive an appointment (invitation) to visit the MSP.

5. Child Match – 2 weeks

Upon receipt of an appointment (invitation) to visit the MSP, the Ukraine officials will show you information about several orphans eligible for inter-country adoption. Once you chose one of the profiles, MSP will issue a letter of referral to allow you to visit the orphanage to meet and establish contact with the child, and check his or her medical records. If you do not see a child you want to meet, then you can request a second appointment, approximately 1 to 2 weeks later to review different children’s files. You will not be granted more than 3 appointments with MSP to select a child.

For families adopting a specific child(ren) who they have hosted or learned about through a hosting program, the process described above is the same except that when they appear at their appointment, the identified child will be the ONLY child profile shown. You confirm your desire to adopt this child and you then receive your official referral to meet the child and establish contact with the child, and check his or her medical records. If a host child has siblings, you may also be given their information at the meeting.

Parents are usually able to complete their adoption 6-8 weeks after their official acceptance of a child referral from Ukraine.

Parents spend two weeks in the region for the bonding period with the child. Once parents accept their referral, the Ukraine legal process begins and a hearing at the local city court is scheduled.

After the court hearing there is a 10 day waiting period before the adoption paperwork is signed. One or both of the parents may leave Ukraine during this period, and return approximately 10-12 days later. Although several factors can impact the time adoptive parents will be required to be in Ukraine, currently the majority of families are completing their adoptions within 6-8 weeks.

When it is time to travel we will assist you with recommendations for travel. Accommodations (typically an apartment) and transportation (train, inter-country flights, etc.) in Ukraine will be coordinated by the facilitator. You are responsible for inter-country transportation costs (plane, train). Adoptive parents are responsible for shared accommodations (apartment) with the facilitator, and paying for meals and transportation costs for the facilitator while in Ukraine. This is estimated in the per day/diem fee of $100-150, dependent on the region.

6. Travel to Ukraine – Approx. 5 to 7 weeks (one, two, or three trips)

The estimated timelines from start to finish is 6 – 8 weeks, barring any unforeseen problems. Depending on how the family would prefer to travel, the logistics of travel are divided into 1 trip, 2 trips, or 3 trips.

One Trip

The family stays in Ukraine for the entire process. One of the spouses can return to U.S. and not come back to Ukraine after the court hearing (about 2 – 3 weeks into the process).

Two Trips

  1. 1ST TRIP: 1 week: During this trip, the family completes MSP and local Child Protective Services (CPS) process. Then there is a pause of about 2-3 weeks to allow for preparation for the court hearing. During this pause the family can go home and come back to Ukraine for court when the court date is set. Dependent on the region, there have been instances where the court date is not set for at least 4 weeks.
  2. 2ND TRIP: 3 hours for the court hearing. During the court hearing the judge may waive 10 days waiting (appeal) after-court period, in which case there is no break between phase 2 and phase 3, thus no need for the family to make a third trip; they simply stay after the court hearing and proceed to finish their adoption process. If the judge does not waive the 10 days – then the family can either stay in Ukraine (keeping it to a 2 trip scenario), or go home for these 10 days of appeal period and come back to complete the process in 10 days.

Three Trips

  1. 1ST TRIP: 1 week: During this trip the family completes MSP and local Child Protective Services (CPS) process. Then there is a pause of about 2-3 weeks of preparation for the court hearing. During this pause the family can go home and come back to Ukraine for court in 10 – 14 days. Dependent on the region and the local court, there have been some instances where the court date is not set for at least 4 weeks.
  2. 2ND TRIP: 3 hours for court hearing. During the court hearing the judge may waive 10 days waiting (appeal) after-court period, in which case there is no break between phase 2 and phase 3, thus no need for family to make third trip; they simply stay after court hearing and proceed to finish their adoption process. If the judge does not waive the 10 days, the family goes home for these 10 days of the appeal period and comes back to complete the adoption process in 10-12 days.
  3. 3RD TRIP: 10 days. (If the family went home after court): The 3rd trip includes: obtaining the child’s birth certificate, passport, medicals, and embassy appointment. One spouse can do the third part of the process by him/herself.

Please remember that timelines are controlled by the Ukrainian government offices and are subject to change.

Throughout the wait, families are encouraged to check in with CCAI regularly. We maintain a library of books and resources at our office and are able to recommend relevant reading materials to families as they wait.

* The timeframe may lengthen while you are in process. However, the outline above reflects the timeline that families have experienced. This may not be your timeline.

CCAI and our Ukrainian facilitator will work with your family to determine the best option for your family related to travel. CCAI’s Ukrainian facilitator will arrange your local travel, accommodations, and visit to the orphanage. You will be met at the airport and accompanied at all times by your Ukrainian representative. CCAI will provide you with the needed travel training.

Post Adoption Support and Adoption Validation

After you return to the United States, CCAI will provide ongoing post adoption support to assist you with your adoption transition. The prospective adoptive parents must commit, in writing, to register their child with the Ukrainian Embassy or Consulate in the United States within one month of the completion of the adoption. Ukraine requires adoptive parents to supply information about the adopted child's living conditions and educational progress to the Ukrainian consular office annually during the first three years following the adoption and once every three years thereafter, until the child's 18th birthday. Note: Under Ukrainian law, an adopted child remains a citizen until he/she turns 18 years old. At that time, he/she can decide whether or not to remain a Ukrainian citizen. Photos are to be attached to all reports. CCAI will provide you information on how to validate your finalized adoption through your local court, enable your adopted Ukrainian child(ren) to receive a U.S. birth certificate from your state, and obtain his/her Social Security card and citizenship, if necessary.