Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Flip Side

We American PAP's moan and groan about how long it takes to adopt Ukrainian orphans. Anybody that has followed Ukrainian adoptions since the NAC days, then the SDA, knows that the adoption process has several times been halted as the Ukrainians review the process, make adjustments, and start up again.

From my perspective, the SDA is kind of this black hole, doing things that are difficult to understand. Today, I was glad to find this surprisingly candid forUm post from 2006 that featured Yuri Pavlenko, the Minister of Sport, Youth and Family, which is the parent organization over the SDA.

He gives interesting tidbits of information, such as (paraphrasing):
  • They are not sure what happened to all of the missing reports by American families that Americans claimed were filed, but Ukrainians didn't have them. (One of the reasons that foreign adoptions were halted was because the SDA was complaining that foreign families weren't sending their reports they committed to).

  • In 2000, there were 2,200 domestic adoptions. In 2005, there were 1,500.

  • 18% of Ukrainian families want to adopt.

  • 3,000,000 Ukrainians want to become adoptive parents for 93,000 orphans.

  • The problem is not the Ukrainian people, it is the government that is not letting them adopt, taking up to 6 years.

  • Pavlenko would like Ukraine to ratify the Hague Convention. The banning of middlemen in the adoption process is their workaround for now.

  • They have a 10-year plan to move kids from larger orphanages (300 kids) to smaller orphanges (50 kids) in their area of birth.

  • 3,000 Ukrainian families have applied to form family homes, but the government has only approved 600.

  • Orphanage directors support orphanage reform.

  • The government is turning to the private sector (business) to help with orphanage reform.

  • The government regularly performs inspections of the orphanages. Pavlenko says that the number of violations is decreasing.

  • 10 to 15 kids living in a room looks horrible to foreigners. And "it is horrible."
I'm sure many would argue with him over his views, but I thought it was interesting anyway.

Ukraine's Minister for Sport, Youth and Family Yuri Pavlenko on Current Situation in the Orphanage System and the Adoption
October 5, 2006


MamaPoRuski said...

That is interesting, we know a Ukrainian family that adopted an infant about four years ago and it took them four weeks from the time they started their paperwork to bringing him home. They got to go to the infant house and "pick" their child. He is doing great!

Kevin & Pam said...

I enjoyed your blog. Thanks for posting our site. I don't know how you were able to track all those people! I am constantly amazed when I see what can be done.