Local adoptions in Eastern Europe often result in many children
being returned to the orphanages by their adoptive parents. In
Russia last year a well researched article showed that almost the
same number of children adopted in a year nationally, was the
same number of adopted children that were returned that year.
(Over 6000 if I recall accurately.)
I can not vouch for the numbers from this article about Ukraine,
but the trend is accurate. The Ukrainian government has been
pushing Ukrainians to adopt and it has not worked out in the
interests of the children in some cases. We must keep this in
perspective. This article states that in 2010 36 children were
returned by Ukrainian adoptive parents and 3 by International
adoptive parents. This number is a huge success in comparison to
I agree strongly with the author's belief that more education for
perspective Ukrainian parents is necessary. It is one thing to
have your documents in order, it is another to be prepared to
parent and provide a forever family. This is why it is important
that we do a home study, to show that we have thought this
through and it is much more than a passing desire.
This article also notes an all to real differentiation in Slavic
countries in their perception of adoption. These cultures look at
adopted children as not the same as their biological children.
Yet, this is only a generalization. I have met many Ukrainian
families that have spent years and all their savings to adopt and
they love that child more than anything in the world.
Here is the article by Eugenia Snezhkova, translated by Marina
Shchadnykh, Published: 2012-04-02
During the last two years the number of adopted children
decreased in our country. But we can't say that there is any
indifference to orphans. And the number of people who want to
adopt a child didn't become smaller…
It seems like Ukrainians started to look at the adoption process
of "getting" a new family member with more responsibility.
The Donetsk oblast is a leader in adoption in Ukraine. During 11
months of last year 242 children went to live in new families in
this region. And 127 in total orphans have gone to live in their
new families abroad.
Now there are 27 thousands of minor orphans who can be adopted in
Ukraine. 70 per cent of this number is children older than 10
years. Each of them dreams to have parents, especially a mother,
who will come to take them out of the cold walls of the
Sometimes it happens. But unfortunately fairy tale doesn't always
have a happy end. Firstly, Ukrainians want to adopt newly-born
and healthy babies. Secondly, sometimes people give adopted
children back to orphanages…
Not to Be Returned Or Exchanged
Some goods can't be returned or exchanged. Someone can always put
away some purchase which he doesn't like. But what can parents
and adopted children do, whose relations are not too good?
There is an unofficial list with names of parents who had
problems with their "new" children. Viktoria Mochalova is a
psychologist with big experience working in the "Happy Child"
charity foundation. She told journalist of 062.ua website a
touching story to learn from.
A couple couldn't have their own children. They decided to adopt
a child. But as soon as they got an adopted baby, they found out
that the wife finally got pregnant. Not having any concerns the
couple gave an adopted child back to the orphanage. "Don't need
him any longer" - as they explained. And the pregnancy didn't go
well - baby died before delivery. But the right to adopt children
this couple lost forever - reports Victoria Mochalova.
Fortunately, there is not that much of such stories with
returning orphans, but they all have bad psychological
consequences for orphans.
To adopt a child is half-a-deal done. But the child also needs to
be raised. Sometimes it happens that children are being returned
because of the problems of teenage period, - says Viktoriya
"There was a story in Kiev not that long ago, when people who
adopted a newly born baby returned him to the orphanage at the
age of thirteen. Any explanations that it is such an age and they
deal with the result of their own education didn't help. A
teenage boy was returned to the orphanage."
The question appears - What do social workers and psychologists
do? The thing is that education is necessary: for foster-parents,
tutors and mentors.
While educational courses for people who adopt a child are not
necessary it's necessary for documents to be in order. And this
is where the mistake is, because children from the orphanages
often have their own specific character. As many of them saw
drunk parents from the early childhood, then lived on the streets
and then turned out to be under state care.
Children themselves don't really like to talk about the reasons
why they are being returned. A headmaster of one orphanage told
us that the teachers don't ask the children about reasons of
their return. "We don't ask them, but not because we don't care.
We just don't want to hurt them more. That's our policy…"
Either way, the most awful behavior of biological child, who was
carried by his mother under her heart for 9 months, wouldn't make
normal parents abandon him. A mother wouldn't take her child to
the orphanage if she has a headache or neighbors complain about
constant noise, as it happened in Donetsk.
"A lady, who adopted three children at once, returned them to the
orphanage in a week" - tells us this sad story Darya Kasyanova,
representative of Rinat Akhmetov "Development of Ukraine" charity
"The woman got used to her stable life. And suddenly three
children appeared in the apartment. When she left for work,
children stayed by themselves. And as it is usual for kids,
jumped, cried, and laughed loudly. The neighbors complained to
the new mother about the noise. She didn't think for a long time
and returned them with their luggage, as some useless things" -
The procedure of returning a child is fulfilled in a lawsuit. The
basic reason is usually "different characters". The child is
often taken back to the orphanage, not waiting for an
adjudgement. The law can't reject an adopter.
The Hague Convention: For and Against
Today in Ukraine primary rights to adopt children are given to
national adopters. When there are no chances for a child to be
adopted by a Ukrainian family, then government lets foreign
mothers and fathers adopt a child. This is the Law of Ukraine and
rules of the Hague Convention.
The ratification process of the Hague Convention rules became a
long story in Ukraine. Politicians discuss it's ratification for
14 years, but haven't decided on anything yet. Starting in 1998,
then in 2002, 2006 and 2008 different complement of Ministry
requested for Verhovna Rada to ratify the international document.
But no result. The next, fifth try of ratification was in March
2011. But, again VR returned the document to the President for
Every child needs a family
There is no certain opinion about the Hague Convention
advantages. Mostly the Parliament is against the ratification of
the document. Deputies say that the Convention can support
children trade. In particular, 32nd article, which says about
"…reward of professional fees to the parties, who take part in
adoption process." And for those who trade people this is very
The supporters, as social organizations, vice versa, insist that
the ratification of the Convection will make control of
candidates for adoption selection and children who were adopted
abroad more efficient.
Some government officials, who work in adoption and protection of
children's rights, think that the ratification opposition of the
document is lobbying of criminals, who trade people interests,
who have influential patrons.
Nevertheless, imperfect laws, long process of documents
gathering, numerous controls don't prevent Ukrainian families
from children adoption. And a number of children adopted is not
the most important thing in this process. Quality is the main. In
that case families will be more stable and there won't be any
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