International adoption:


Ukraine, located in southeastern Europe, is the largest country geographically in Europe after Russia. Forests cover some 13% of the territory in the northern regions and large plains with fertile soil dominate southern Ukraine. Ukraine has cold winters and cool summers. The country has a long and interesting history, which dates back to 1500 B.C. The population is comprised of ethnic Ukrainians, ethnic Russians, Jews, Tatars, Poles, Germans, Hungarians, Romanians, and Greeks. Ukraine is a parliamentary democracy led by a strong executive president.

why choose to adopt from Ukraine?

Thousands of children are available for immediate adoption in Ukraine. These children need families. During your trip to Ukraine,you will be referred a child, and then travel to meet and interact with the child before you accept the referral. 

who can adopt from ukraine?

  • Married couples (two adults, different biological sexes)

  • Single individuals can adopt only if the child is a relative

  • Adoptive parents and adoptive child must have a minimum age difference of 15 years

  • If adopted by a relative, the age difference is not considered

  • Cannot have complete or partial physical or mental disabilities 

children available

Only children age 6 and older are available for international adoption, due to legislation passed in July 2011 by the Ukraine government. All children must be registered with the Regional Data Bank and a National Data Bank. The children are generally Caucasian in appearance. The children are of good general health yet have some developmental delays due to the orphanage setting. Some younger children with an HIV+ diagnosis or special needs may also be available. Pre-travel photographs, videos, and medical information on the children are not available due to the laws of Ukraine.You will receive detailed medical and social information when you meet with the adoption authority in Kiev. We can work in different orphanages including the Kiev region, Crimea, and in Western Ukraine.

overview of ukraine adoption process

1. Contact the agency and particpate in a group or individual information session about our Ukraine adoption program.

2. Complete and submit an application for adoption services with accompanying application fee to HATW


3. Complete your Home Study with Hands Across The Water or an appropriate agency in your state. Please contact HATW for assistance if you live outside Michigan.

4. File your I-600A with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).


5. Prepare your dossier for Ukraine. 


6. Hands Across The Water will forward your completed dossier to be translated. Once translated it will be submitted to the Ukrainian State Department of Adoption (SDA) to be registered and approved. Once approved, you will be given an appointment to travel. Approval takes 3 to 6 months and the appointment will be several weeks after that.


7. At the appointment time you will travel to Ukraine to register with the SDA and receive information on an available child(ren). You will then travel to the orphanages to meet the child(ren) and begin the process.


8. When all the Ukrainian paperwork is complete, you will obtain your child's visa from the U.S. Embassy in Kiev. Your stay in Ukraine will be approximately 5-6 weeks. You have the option of making two trips of 10-14 days with two weeks in between. This is a very valuable time to learn about the country, people and culture of your child's birth.

Post-Adoption Supervision Reports

Your child's adoption is finalized in Ukraine, but you must register your child with the Ukraine Consulate in the U.S. Ukraine requires post-adoption reports until your child reaches 18 years of age. The reports are to be social worker written during the first three years you are home, and then annual family written reports are to be submitted to the Ukraine Consulate. 

Hands Across The Water supports and empowers children and families through inclusive, strengths-based services.


We envision a community where every child is valued and has a safe home and loving family where they can thrive.

EIN #: 38-3167509

Contact Us today

T: 734-477-0135

F: 734-477-0213


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