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Written by Jessie McNaughton
on November 29, 2016

If you are considering adopting older children or are thinking about international adoptionadoption from Ukraine may be a good fit for you.  There are many children living in orphanages in Ukraine waiting for their forever family.


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So, who can adopt from Ukraine?  If you are married and over the age of 21 you will most likely qualify to adopt from Ukraine.  You must also meet the state & federal guidelines for adoptive parents and meet the federal guidelines for finances.  Most families easily meet the necessary guidelines.


Who can be adopted?  There are many healthy children ages 6 to 16 years old, special needs children 5 years old and older, and sibling groups ages 2 to 16 years old.  If a younger sibling is available for adoption and an older sibling is not, the older child must give their permission for their younger brother or sister to be adopted.  Older children must also consent to being adopted.  They are given the opportunity to choose to stay in Ukraine rather than be adopted by an American family. 


What is Family Connections’ role?  We are a primary provider for Ukraine, as well as a New York State home study provider.  If you do not live in New York, you will need a home study provider in your state.  We will aid in the completion of the I600A application, prepare your dossier documents as well as authenticate them, refer you to a vetted Ukrainian facilitator, submit your dossier documents to the facilitator, support you while you navigate the USCIS and in-country adoption process, help you find accommodations and transportation on your travels, arrange for translation services and a travel guide in Ukraine, provide post-adoption supervision and support, and provide life-long support for adoptive parents and adopted children. 


How much does a Ukraine adoption cost?  Families must pay for a primary provider to do a home study, other primary provider fees, legal fees, travel costs, facilitator fees and other fees.  You can see our Ukraine adoption fee schedule here.  The costs will vary depending on each family and their unique adoption process.  We are a fees for services agency, which means you will only get charged for the services you use.  In addition, Family Connections has a free adoption finance coach service available to our clients.  Our finance coach will help your family create your financial plan, help with fundraising, assist in applying for grants and low-interest loans and generally be your guiding light through the stressful and sometimes confusing financial portion of your adoption.


What is the process like?  Here’s the condensed version: If you live in New York State, Family Connections can be your home study provider as well as your primary provider.  If you live outside of New York State, you will need a home study provider in your state and a primary provider specifically for Ukraine (that's us!).  Once you have your home study done and are approved adoptive parents, you will need to work on getting your dossier together.  Your primary provider will walk you through this lengthy and detail-oriented process.  Your dossier will then need to be sent to an adoption facilitator in Ukraine, who will help you with the adoption process in-country.  Your facilitator will arrange for translation of your documents, make sure they are perfect and then submit your dossier to Ukraine.  Once approved, your facilitator will assist you in your in-country travels and being matched with a child.  When your dossier is approved by Ukraine, you will receive an invitation to travel


When you arrive in Ukraine, you will be shown profiles of children who fit with your wishes as outlined in your home study.  Once you choose a child to meet, you will go to the orphanage to meet them.  You will stay in the vicinity of the orphanage for 2-3 days so that you have time to spend time with the child and think it over before you officially accept that child’s referral.  Once you accept a child, you can begin the process of adopting them in Ukraine and getting their visa to come home!  Once home, you will have to do post-placement visits with your home study provider and then re-adopt your child in your state of residence.  This whole process can take up to three trips to Ukraine, and somewhere around 1-2 years to complete.  The time frame is very different for each family and each adoption, so it is impossible to give an exact time frame. 


Is Ukraine adoption right for you?  If you think Ukraine adoption might be right for you and your family, please feel free to get in touch with us.  We would be happy to help you explore adopting from Ukraine and the options available to you.  If you would like to make an appointment to meet with Anita or Renee to discuss your adoption options please call 607-756-6574 or click on the link below.


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Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State authorized child placing agency who has achieved Hague Accreditation from IAAME.  We provide home study and post placement/adoption services to families throughout New York State.


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