Currently, there are many children in Ukrainian orphanages, waiting to go home, home to a new life in a new country with loving parents. Some of them have already met their new parents, and are just waiting for them to return and take them home. But many more parents are now feeling anxious and uncertain about how the political situation in Ukraine may affect their pending adoption.
As a country, Ukraine primarily allows adoption of orphaned children over the age of five years. However there are very important exceptions for younger children, namely for those with medical issues or part of a sibling group where one sibling is over five years. This has led to Ukraine becoming more popular with foreign adoptive parents, especially after the closure of Russian adoptions in 2013. Additionally, adoption professionals have reported that the Ukrainian ministry is a pleasure to work with when it comes to adoption.
Now, with the political upheaval in Kiev and Russian troops on the ground in Crimea, waiting adoptive parents are finding themselves in a state of worry that was unseen just a few weeks ago. After months or even years of financial, legal, and emotional preparation, their dreams of adoption are uncertain. And what’s worse, no one can tell them what may happen.
Sadly, this is not unusual with international adoptions. Our world, though so connected, can change in an instant. And while Ukraine seems half a world away for most of us, for those waiting to adopt, it has frozen their hopes and dreams.
As an adoption professional, I see and understand the great need for international adoption, but I also believe the need is great here at home. Working with foreign countries and their regulations has always been uncertain at best, and in my own adoption journey, uncertain is definitely not what I wanted. For these reasons and others, the work of
Lifetime Adoption Center, the organization I founded in 1986, has remained on domestic adoption.
In my book, Called to Adoption, I address concerns with foreign adoption and encourage couples who may have cause to be concerned during international adoption to be patient with each other during this time. Your adoption may feel far away. Know that God has a plan and a child for you. Be strong, faithful, and persevere through this time.