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Ukrainian Citizens Adopt Children and Then Give Them Back to Orphanages

April 2, 2012, 15:40 4293 Author: Eugenia Snezhkova, translated by Marina Shchadnykh 062.ua 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…

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 orphanage.

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 Mochalova.

“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 foundation.

“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” – summarizes Darya.

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 some revision.

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 profitable.

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 returns…

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