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UNICEF urges the Government of Ukraine to ratify the Hague Convention

Kyiv, September 15, 2009 - UNICEF urges the Government of Ukraine to ratify the Hague Convention and emphasizes intercountry adoption is one of the options in considering the best interest of each individual child, stated UNICEF Representative in Ukraine Yukie Mokuo during the interview to Associated Press seeking comments on information distributed in media on the intention of Elton John to adopt HIV positive orphan from Ukraine.

“UNICEF believes that all decisions relating to children, including adoptions, should be made with the best interests of the child as the primary consideration. The Hague Convention on International Adoptions promotes transparent processes and UNICEF urges national authorities to follow the guidelines and principles laid down in the Convention,” – said Yukie Mokuo.    

“Lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in the countries of origin, coupled with the potential for financial gain, has spurred the growth of an industry around adoption where profit, rather than the best interests of children, takes central stage. Many countries around the world have recognised the risks, and have ratified the Hague Convention on Inter-Country Adoption to protect the best interests of each individual child” - explained UNICEF Representative in Ukraine. “Ukraine has not ratified it yet, that’s why UNICEF calls on the Government of Ukraine to move forward for the soonest ratification of the Hague Convention and its full implementation,” – she continued.

To protect the best interests of each individual child in Ukraine, UNICEF calls for a child care reform to prevent children to be deprived of parental care, otherwise, within-country adoption, and reuniting abounded children with close kin and family members.

Inter-country adoption is a last option, which may be open to children, and for individual children who cannot be placed in a permanent family setting in their countries of origin, it may indeed be one of the solutions.

UNICEF’s growing concern is that the number of children with HIV is increasing in Ukraine because the number of pregnant women with HIV/AIDS is increasing. Contribution of different stakeholders, including celebrities, is important in raising awareness about the issue of children with HIV/AIDS and children in institutions in Ukraine. It's important for people in Ukraine to understand about this issue since, unfortunately, stigma and discrimination of HIV positive children in Ukraine are still strong in country. UNICEF calls to ensure their social inclusion and implementation of their rights in Ukraine.

Full text of the UNICEF position on Inter-country adoption:


About UNICEF: The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 150 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF opened its office in Kyiv in 1997. More information about UNICEF activities in Ukraine at  



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