Yesterday, President Yushchenko signed into law new restrictions on adoptive families. The new law now disallows single parents, and the age difference between the older of the two parents and the adopted child cannot exceed 45 years.
The law went into effect immediately upon signing and Oleg tells us that the SDA will enforce it vigorously. Of course. Wow even if prospective adoptive parents are in-country at this time, they are out of luck*.
Frankly, I'm not all that surprised. A few years back when we were briefly considering Holt to do an international adoption, we were made aware of more restrictions in many countries than even this new Ukrainian law. See, for example, South Korea.
There is a loophole, though, if you are a married couple affected by the new age provision, and the younger of the two parents is within the 45 year limit. The younger parent can do all of the paperwork, with the older parent merely consenting to the adoption. That has always been possible, but now would be required if you're in this situation.
I don't have any doubts that a two-parent family structure is best for kids. The breakdown of families is an American tragedy. However, I don't agree that it would be better for an orphan to be denied a family for this reason. I myself never knew my father and it was not the end of the world.
I do hope that there is one good positive side effect of the age thing, though, and that is that maybe more older kids will get adopted.
See also Kelly Baehr's post.
You can go to the U.S. State Dept. website here to see adoption requirements for many countries.
*Update: Oleg informs us that this is indeed happening. He has personally witnessed tears at the SDA from single women who had already visited their children, and now cannot adopt them. Such pathos.
WBC and Sam!
3 weeks ago