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UNICEF urges Ukraine to ratify the Hague Convention

© UNICEF/UKRAINE/2011/G.Pirozzi

Kyiv, January 16, 2013 – UN Children’s Fund in Ukraine supports President Yanukovych’s initiative and urges Ukraine to ratify the Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Inter-country Adoptions (the Hague Convention). 

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.    

“Lack of regulation and oversight, particularly in 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.

The procedures that the Hague Convention foresees are key elements in ensuring that inter-country adoptions take place in a way that safeguards the rights and best interest of the children involved and that combats illegal acts at all points in the process. The Hague convention is designed to ensure ethical and transparent process and sets out obligations for the authorities of countries from which children leave for adoption and those that are receiving these children. It specifies that inter-country adoption may be envisaged when no appropriate solution exists for a child, but it does not say that inter-country adoption must be considered.

“UNICEF calls on Ukraine to move forward for the soonest ratification of the Hague Convention. It is long overdue and it is not the first time the draft law is submitted to the Parliament. I really hope this time this convention will be ratified in the interest of children in Ukraine. UNICEF is ready to partner with the government to ensure effective and full implementation of the Convention in Ukraine,” – she continued.

To protect the best interests of each individual child in Ukraine, UNICEF calls for a child care reform to prevent children from being deprived of parental care, as a priority action.  When separation is in a child’s best interest, UNICEF advocates for first exploring options for in-country (national) 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.  Nonetheless, it is also an important solution for some children. Full text of the UNICEF position on Inter-country adoption:
For further information, please contact: Veronika Vaschenko, UNICEF Kyiv,, Tel: +38 044 254 2450.

About UNICEF: UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The Fund operates in over 190 countries and territories to protect and support children from an early age through adolescence. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. UNICEF office in Ukraine was opened in 1997. More information at: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook and ВКонтакте.



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