Adoption did not work out? What is the way out?

Adoptive parents open their hearts and their families for orphans. They think they save these children from disaster which waits for these children in the future. They are ready to give love, care and nurture to compensate all years without parental love, without mom and dad. They dream about how happy this child will be to have a family. How grateful and loving in return.
But then reality strikes and a happy process turns into a disaster for a family.
Some children, especially older, have so much damage to their soles and characters that having them as a family member can be a dramatic challenge. They are grown up and formed personalities. They could have lived in an orphanage for too long that they can not fully accommodate into a family. Destructing themselves they destruct the adoptive family.
I am not talking about mood swings or swearing in public, I am talking about sexual abuse of siblings and parents, pathological lies which lead to parents in jail, threat and abuse which can be life threatening to the adoptive family members, alcohol and drugs, running away and living in the streets, and so on and so forth.
The families feel lost because they do not know what to do. They are even afraid to share it in their adoption groups, because of rage and judgments wave which will follow. People are so fast to judge. Some families suffer for years. They feel stuck: they can not parent this child and they can not return the child back.
I have clients which wrote me after years of suffering, marriages ruined and younger biological children in therapy.
If, in spite of your efforts, adoption did not work out, it can be cancelled. The procedure is performed by a legal suit in the Ukrainian court and often without the presence of the adoptive parents. The time frame: 2-4 months in the average. The child is returned to Ukraine to the Children’s Protective Services which placed the child for adoption. On our end, we make sure that the child continues with proper education to become an independent citizen in the future.
Please write to me to if you face a problem like this. I will be happy to help your family find solution to this problem.

Natalia M. Kovalchuk
Attorney At Law, LL.M

Want to make your adoption in Ukraine faster? Stuck here waiting on the documents? This is one small but great solution from me to you! Why don’t you use it?

Since several latest changes in the Ukrainian Law, such as 30-day appeal time after court, new birth certificate, a new ID card before the new passport, getting a new passport for the adopted children, etc. All this has become a nightmare for the adoptive families from foreign countries. Thus we were searching for legal ways to shorten the paperwork process for our clients. And we found one.
Initially it was suggested just for one adoptive family, but then other families started to successfully use it and this has become quite popular.
If you want to find out the details of this process and its impact on the timing of adoption, please keep reading.
The process before the court hearing point is the same: the family gets registration at the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine, obtains a referral for a child, meets the child and wants to go to the court to finalize the adoption. To get your case to the court adoptive parents compose a petition for adoption, in which they usually (I mean 99,9% of the cases) as for the following:
– To Grant the adoption
– To Record adoptive parents in the birth record of the child
– Make amendments to the name of the child, recording the new name of the child without a patronymic.
– To leave the date and place of birth of the child without amendments.
What do you have after court? An adopted child with new parents, same birth date and a new name. Your newly adopted child needs new birth certificate, new ID card (if 14 y.o.), new International Passport (I bet he/she already had one for an original name).
Composing your petition certain way can make a big impact on the time frame after the court hearing. There is a legal way to skip the new ID and the new passport procedures and by getting just a new birth certificate for an adopted child, follow through to the visa procedure and go home to finish everything there.
In order to save time, instead of asking the court to give your child a New Name and your Surname you need to leave your adopted child’s name and Surname without amendments.
It means that after the court, granting this adoption you will be recorded the parents in the birth record of the child. The child will be yours officially, but will have his or her original name and surname.
After getting a new birth certificate for the newly adopted child, you will already have an ID and an International Passport which the child most likely had already, especially if the child is 14 and older and you met this child during a hosting program. Thus you can go right to getting a VISA for the child and go home.
This advice is mostly for the families – citizens of the United States of America, as the laws of other countries may vary, please check with your country of residence.
Getting back home to the USA you will need to get an adoption certificate for the child, where you can change the name of the child according to your wish and the child will finally get your Surname. Every state has a slightly different process of getting an adoption certificate, so it may take some time, but you will be at home and in your home land with the child who is also at home and a family surrounding.
I have described the legal way of saving some significant time in the adoption process, and I hope it will be helpful for some of the families. Its just a little short-cut which you can use and beat up the bureaucracy. Good luck to any and all of you.


Q: My Home Study was notarized on 7/11/2017 and I know it should be valid for a year, but commission of the notary who notarized it expired on 8/20/2017. Does it mean my Home study expired too?

A: No, it does not expire this way. Your Home Study will be valid for a year from the date it was signed. Notary’s commission validity matters on the day when your document is signed.

Q: My Home Study will be still valid for a year. My Home study agency’s license expires in two weeks. Will the expiration of this license make the home study expired too? Should I get a new license from the agency?

A: No, it will not. The principle is the same as with the notary’s commission. The agency’s license should be valid on the date when your home study is signed. If it expires in a week after, it will NOT make your Home Study expire.

Q: How long are my adoption documents are valid for? Are there those which last longer?

A: Documents for adoption in Ukraine are valid for a year from the date they are issued/signed. Each particular document matters. The documents are sewed in one big file-which makes your dossier for adoption. The date of the earliest document in your dossier will be the date your dossier expires. There is one exception of the document which is valid for 18 months from the date it was issued. It is I-171H form, which is issued by the Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Please NOTE: on the day of submission of your dossier in Ukraine, your documents can not be older than 6 months old.


I have had multiple requests for legal advice from adoptive families concerning adoption of the children from foster homes. They applied for adoption of such children and were denied with such possibility at the very first appointment. With frustration and sadness they sought legal help as the children they wanted to adopt had international adoption status.

How come they are not available for international adoption then?Read more


Yes, and in fact these are different things.

DISSOLUTION of adoption takes place in cases when adoption, being legally performed and adjudged, did not work out for the child, for the family or both. If the child did not establish a bond to the family and shows disrespect to the adoptive parents and there is no way to improve the situation, dissolution of adoption can take place. Dissolution of adoption is a different from adoption type of legal process. It is not a constitution or confirmation of a fact, it is a dispute. Dissolution to adoption is to be adjudged by the same court which passed the verdict for adoption. Adoption dissolution may be performed after the verdict comes to force.

After adoption dissolution the child may chose which name to keep, the name before or after adoption. If the child was

There is a certain difference from ANNULMENT of adoption. If adoption case was tried based on falsified documents or if the parties of the case did not have the features of adoptive parents (were not allowed to become those) or if there were any illegal features to this adoption, unknown before the verdict was passed, such adoption shall be annulled by the same court which tried the adoption case.

Mistakes in the Documents. What if it happened?

Image of two business partners discussing documentsMistakes in the documents

Every person working with documents knows how easy it is to make a mistake. Sometimes they are simply inevitable. It is always a preference to redo it right away. But what if you cannot redo or retype an already notarized document and you need it to be corrected?

There is a special procedure of correcting mistakes in the documents. … Read more

This summer my family hosted an orphan from Ukraine. We are really thinking of adopting her. How do I know that she is adoptable? Where do I start?

I have to admit that not all orphans, who come through hosting programs, are adoptable. Some of them lack certain legal features, which make them eligible for adoption. Features that make a child eligible for adoption are as follows: … Read more