Ukraine Frequently Asked Questions

Does America World have staff in Ukraine?
AW does not have staff who live and work in Ukraine. We partner with professional and competent individuals who act on each family’s behalf in the country and communicate directly to the central adoption authority.
What children are available for adoption in Ukraine?
Only children over the age of 5 are available for international adoption. Foreigners are prohibited from requesting and receiving referrals for young children. Families should also expect to only be matched with children who have significant medical needs.
What does a “blind referral process” mean?
A blind referral process means that families do not receive information on a specific child prior to traveling to the country. Unlike most adoption processes in other countries, Ukraine issues an appointment for which families will travel and be shown children that are currently available for adoption. Families will not necessarily be shown referrals that match their child request. It is important for families entering into this process to be very flexible and to set low expectations for the age and condition of children they will be shown.

Families are given up to three appointments with the central adoption authority to select a child or sibling set for adoption. After the third appointment, if an adoption is not being processed, then the central adoption authority will return a family’s dossier to them.
How many trips to Ukraine are required?
Generally, the adoption process can be finalized in one long trip to Ukraine, although there is a period of time during the in-country process where it is more feasible for the family to return to the U.S. The trip can last anywhere from 4-6 weeks if a child is selected for adoption during the first referral review appointment. If a child is not selected during the first appointment, then the family should expect to add on another week to their stay as families can only obtain one appointment per week. Families are allowed up to three appointments to review and select a child for adoption. After the third and final appointment the family’s dossier will be returned to them and they will be required to return to the U.S.

Please note that often times there are delays in the finalization process in Ukraine due to national and U.S. holidays. Also, many officials take summer-long vacations and this can significantly slow down the in-country process.
Do both parents have to travel to Ukraine?
Yes, both parents should be prepared to travel together for the duration of the trip. While there will be an opportunity in which one or both can return to the U.S. for a short period of time, because of the uniqueness of the in-country process it is strongly advised that parents travel and work together.
How long has America World been working in Ukraine?
AW’s Ukraine program began in 2001 alongside our Russia program.