Recently a draft law on ratification by Ukraine the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption has been submitted to the Verkhovna Rada. This document clearly regulates the procedure of adoption and keeping trace of the child’s life abroad. As the draft law reads, “The Convention defines the demands to international adoption, powers of central governmental bodies and accredited organizations in this sphere, and also obliges the adopting state to thoroughly protect the rights and provide at request all information about the child’s destiny for the country of the child’s birth.”
If the Verkhovna Rada ratifies the document, a number of organizations will be defined in Ukraine to deal with the questions of adoption and giving foreigners guardianship of children. Those should be exclusively governmental institutions, guardianship authorities, children’s rights agencies, Ministry of Social Policy, or Ukraine’s consular offices abroad. Organizations from Convention Countries, as well as the countries with which the agreements on international adoption have been signed previously, will be able to collect the documents and represent the interests of foreign guardians. The order of issuing permissions for such activity to foreign agencies should be drafted by the Cabinet of Ministers.
Fortunately, Ukraine does not have anything similar to the Dima Yakovlev Bill, which has been in effect in Russia since January 1, and bans adoption of Russian orphans by US citizens (however, the fourth chapter of Freedom Party’s program entitled “Citizenship and migration. Right for homeland and living space protection” contains as well a clause on implementing a ban for adoption of Ukrainian children by foreigners). But there is a kind of misunderstanding of certain moments, including the Hague Convention, by the members of the government, mass media, and citizens. Here I want to cite the Facebook post made by Russian journalist, psychologist and pedagogue Marina Aromshtam, “The word ‘orphanhood’ has acquired political sounding. This is like ‘poet is more than poet in Russia.’ And orphanhood is more than orphanhood now. Let it be at least this way. However, orphanhood and the circle of problems connected with it is quite a multi-faceted phenomenon. As a rule, we associate orphanhood with the word ‘orphanage.’ Helping orphans for us means helping an orphanage. Here the understanding has reached a new level: fighting orphanhood means adoption or supporting adoption.” The post refers to Russia, but it is topical in Ukraine, as well.