Viche 2008 1

1, 2008

About those who are found in a cabbage

Among many international statuses Ukraine has one more - state-donor in the process of intergovernmental adoption. That is the country that allows adoption of children citizens of Ukraine abroad.

International association has made mechanism, which is recommended for realization of adoption of children outside a country in which they were born, Hague convention about defense of children and collaboration on the questions of intergovernmental adoption from May, 29, 1993. Though Ukraine which annually gives 2 thousand children for adoption abroad did not join this convention, the primary aim of which is to provide collaboration between the states for the sake of observance of the greatest interests of children, prevention of thefts, sale, and their illegal export. The way the adoption of children beyond the bounds of Hague (the workers in the sphere of adoption name this convention so) takes place, Lyudmyla VOLYNETS, a candidate of political sciences, former director of the State department of adoption and defense of rights of child, and presently one of the heads of Allukrainian public organization Children defense service tells:


Procedure of intergovernmental adoption operating in Ukraine needs improving (that is acknowledged by officials, national deputies and international organizations). There are a lot of reasons for that, and the first is that the norms of legislation, which regulate these questions, have many meanings.

 For example, foreigners, who want to adopt a child in Ukraine, need help: translation, consultations, and accompaniment. Actually all that an ordinary man, who is in a foreign country, requires. Such helpers exist in Ukraine, and they help foreigners. But who are they? How can one define the type of their activity? What profession do they have? Do they get salary for their services and how big is it? It is difficult to answer these questions.

The problem is that operating Civil code of Ukraine (article 244) calls these people representatives by proxy, who arent supposed to get payment. If they get fees, then it is a commercial representative office. And the article 216 of the Family code determines that intermediary, commercial activity in relation to adoption of children in families of citizens of Ukraine, foreigners or people without citizenship is forbidden. Consequently, mediators are forbidden by the law, but representatives are permitted. What is the difference between these concepts? What is forbidden? We are giving the answer: agencies are forbidden, but the representatives of families are permitted.


Our children are being adopted mainly in 8 countries of the world. Most in Italy, from which 12 agencies work in Ukraine, then Spain, Israel, Germany, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland. All of them have ratified the convention. From the USA (which also has to ratify it to the end of the year) the representatives from 101 agencies work in Ukraine. About 200 people also operate in this field, who do not represent agencies, but rather remind private entrepreneurs, who provide services to the foreigners and get fees for it. By the way, the latter ones account for the quality of the process neither before, nor after adoption. But, from the point of view of Ukraine, all representatives are the same. Because as soon as they even virtually cross the border and address to the state department, they at once acquire the status and rights of natural person, become the representatives of adopters by proxy, so their rights are protected by the laws of Ukraine About the appeal of citizens and About status of foreigners in Ukraine and the Constitution. And the State department of adoption - legal entity has responsibilities, terms, complaints and court claims. Can the rights of natural person and responsibilities of legal entity be equal under such conditions? I assert: no, they cannot.


Consequently, it is documented: agencies have their representatives in Ukraine. If we accept, acknowledge and permit the activity of agencies, there has to be a law. If we forbid, it has to be forbidden by law, but so that it is forbidden.

We addressed to people who adopted children from Ukraine, and asked: what for and how much money they spent in the process of adoption. It turned out that in 20022003 years the Kyiv fee was paid to the helpers for documents and was from $ 550 to 00 (I mark once again: services of the state department are free of charge for adopters). Charges in courts are from ,000. A fee in a region (it is usually paid wherein a boarding school is located) is about ,000.



VHO Children defense service has developed the project of decree of the Cabinet of Ministers About registration of organizations of the foreign states that deal with adoption of children and control after their activity in Ukraine, where the basic requirements are offered to activity of agencies.


First and foremost officials, national deputies, other authorized people need to admit that in Ukraine the procedures, which regulate adoption of children abroad, are imperfect.


Second: tough control after implementation of imperfect legislation only makes the problem worse, because it paralyses the will of civil servant in the state department and in the district state administration to search the decision and choose between the first and the second parts of the articles 210, 213, 216 of Domestic code and so on. New procedures are needed to be worked out, instead of compel to execute imperfect ones.


Third: it is possible to continue to ignore realities, but under such conditions the probability of reiteration of situation of 1994 1996 years in relation to adoption increases considerably. We need to overcome the Lviv syndrome that still psychologically hangs over legislators and in some places makes the acceptance of extremely necessary decisions impossible. The search of spies for the sale of children in every initiation of bill and declinations of such initiatives make ground for the real cases of sale of children, now in the form of substitute maternity, so called Kharkiv matter, failure to return of children after enhancement abroad...


P. S. During three convocations in succession national deputies do not hear the suggestion of executive branch of power to ratify Hague convention. Last time it happened on December, 12, 2006, when the bill given by the President of Ukraine and the Cabinet of Ministers did not collect the necessary amount of voices.


Illogical situation. In 1996 the legislature charged executive power to carry out intergovernmental adoption in Ukraine. Now, 11 years later, a performer (in this case the Cabinet of Ministers) suggests perfecting this practice and inculcating new procedures. And in reply: it is said no. Three times.


 It is not difficult to forecast: the just now formed Verkhovna Rada of the sixth convocation will be forced to get back to consideration of this question...