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Interesting Facts about Ukraine
  • The official name of the country is Україна (Ukrayina).
  • Etymology. Many contemporary Ukrainian historians translate the term "u-kraine" as "in-land", "home-land" or "our-country". Other researchers think the name Ukraine may have come from the Old East Slavic word "ukraina" meaning "borderland" or "march". Or, etymologically it may be related to the Russian word "krai" meaning "cut", which was related to the word for vast territories located along the periphery of Russia - "a place of the cut-off".
  • Geography: Ukraine is the largest country entirely within Europe. Ukraine is about the size of Texas.
  • Steppes. Much of Ukraine consists of vast plains, called steppes.
  • Location: It is bordered by Russia to the east and northeast; Belarus to the northwest; Poland, Slovakia and Hungary to the west; Romania and Moldova (along the Carpathian Mountains) to the southwest; the Black Sea to the south; and the Sea of Azov to the southeast.
  • Climate: Ukraine is mostly a temperate continental climate. A subtropical Mediterranean climate is prevalent on the southern portions of the Crimean Peninsula. 
  • Language. Ukrainian is an Eastern Slavonic language closely related to Russian and BelarusianUkraine may have been the site of the origin of the Proto-Indo-European languages. 
  • Pre-History. The lands of Ukraine have been inhabited for at least 44,000 years. Ukraine was a motherland for one of the world's most ancient civilizations, the Trypillian Civilization. This was a Neolithic culture which existed between 5500 BC and 2750 BCE.
  • History. The medieval state of Kievan Rus was probably established by the Varangians in the 9th century as the first historically recorded East Slavic State. It was a very powerful nation in the Middle ages, but later came under the rule of invading forces. Ukraine became independent again in 1991
  • Horses. Horses were first domesticated in the grasslands of Ukraine 6000 years ago.
  • The National University of Ostroh Academy is the successor of Ostroh Slavic, Greek and Latin Academy, the first higher educational establishment of the Eastern Slavs. It was founded in 1576 by Prince Vasyl-Kostiantyn of Ostroh.
  • Khreshchatyk Street in Kiev is the shortest yet widest main city street in the world. It is 130 meters (426 feet) wide wide, but only 1.2 km long! 
  • Agricuilture. Throughout its history, Ukraine has been one of the leaders of agriculture in the world because of its fertile black soil. As of 2011, Ukraine was the world's third-largest grain exporter.
  • Minerals. Ukraine boasts approximately 5 per cent of the world's total mineral resources
  • Government. As stated in the Ukrainian Constitution: "Ukraine is a sovereign and independent, democratic, social, legal State."
  • Industry contributes more than 40 per cent of GDP and accounts for more than one-fourth of total employment.
  • Arsenalnaya Metro Station located in Kiev. It is reportedly the deepest in the world, at 105 meters, with one of the longest escalators in the world. According to some reports, the tunnels near Arsenalnaya house secret shelters built for the political elite.
  • Pysanky egg writing has long roots in Ukraine. This tradition is thousands of years old, and precedes the arrival of Christianity to Ukraine



Statistics for Ukraine





44,573,205 (July 2013 est.)

Life expectancy at birth:


total population: 68.93 years 
male: 63.41 years 
female: 74.8 years (2013 est.)

Total fertility rate:


1.29 children born/woman (2013 est.)


Ukrainian Orthodox - Kyiv Patriarchate 50.4%

Ukrainian Orthodox - Moscow Patriarchate 26.1%

Ukrainian Greek Catholic 8%

Ukrainian Autocephalous Orthodox 7.2%

Roman Catholic 2.2%

Protestant 2.2%

Jewish 0.6%

other 3.2% (2006 est.)


Ethnic Groups

Ukrainian 77.8%

Russian 17.3%

Belarusian 0.6%

Moldovan 0.5%

Crimean Tatar 0.5%

Bulgarian 0.4%

Hungarian 0.3%

Romanian 0.3%

Polish 0.3%

Jewish 0.2%

other 1.8% (2001 census)


GDP - per capita (PPP):


$7,500 (2012 est.) 


definition: age 15 and over can read and write 
total population: 99.7% 
male: 99.8% 
female: 99.7% (2011 est.)


School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):


total: 15 years 
male: 15 years 
female: 15 years (2011)


Adoption Facts about Ukraine


Ukraine is one of the largest countries in Eastern Europe, and one of the poorest. Tough social and economic situations have resulted in abandonment of many children. In 2013 there are reportedly about 103,000 children in institutions in Ukraine. Countless more children live in manholes, basements, under bridges, or on top of hot water pipes. In Odessa alone there are up to 4000 homeless children. International adoptions began in 1992, with numbers coming to the USA mostly in the triple digits since 1993. The international adoption procedure was overhauled in 2011.  Last year 395 children were adopted to the USA.







inter-country adoption of children from Ukraine


Regulating Body: The State Department on Adoption and Children's Rights (SDA) is Ukraine's adoption authority. 


Referrals: Unlike many other countries, Ukraine does not permit pre-identification of children. The child identification process is done during adopting parents' visit to the country. The SDA allows only 2 referrals, and 3 appointments to look at children’s files. Parents will have the chance to meet the child and examine his or her medical records before deciding whether to accept.   


Travel required: Parents may make 1 or 2 trips. Both parents must travel; each trip may last from 2-6 weeks.


2012 Adoptions: 395 children


Hague Accredited: No. When the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force for the United States on April 1, 2008, intercountry adoption processing for Ukraine did not change.


Estimated Total Cost (2013): $25,000 to $40,000+


Ages of Children: Children must be at least five years old before become available for intercountry adoption expect children with certain special needs, relative adoptions, and sibling adoptions.  48% are five to 12 years old. 26% are between 13 and 17 (2011). Children available for adoption include toddlers from 15 months of age and older.


Sex of Children: Girls and boys


Ethnicity of Children: Caucasian and Roma (gypsy)


Available Children: These children reside in orphanages. Children with special needs are waiting. As of 2008, the SDA can refuse to register a dossier if there are no children on the central database that comply with the recommendation in a home study. According to the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv there are currently no healthy children (or children with minor, correctable health problems) under three, and very few under six years old.  Therefore, dossiers recommending a healthy child or a child with minor/correctable health problems under six years of age are very likely to be refused.


Parent Ages: Parents must be at least 21 years old, and must be between 15 and 45 years older than the adoptive child. If only one parents complies with these age requirements, the adoption can be completed in the eligible parent's name only. 


Family Status: Singles were permitted to adopt until 2007, when the regulations changed. Only married couples may adopt at this time. 


Timeline: Generally between 4 and 18 months.


Note: Alcoholism is a serious problem in countries of the former Soviet bloc. Many IA doctors report seeing a higher incidence of FAS in Ukraine than with other placing countries. One report estimates the FAS rate in Ukrainian orphanages as 8 times the worldwide average; approximately 15 per 1000 births (Aronson 2003b). Ukrainian orphans are at an increased risk for FAS and FASD. 


Post Placement Registration: Adopted children must be registered with the local Ukrainian Consulate within 30 days of arriving home. If you change your place of residence you also must inform the Consular office. For more information click here.


Post Placement Reports and Supervision: Families are required to send a report to the Ukrainian Consulate office once a year for the first 3 years after adoption, then send a report every 3 years thereafter, until the child’s 18th birthday. This applies to all families, no matter when the adoption occured. The reports supply information about the adopted child’s living conditions and educational progress. Adoptive families submit the reports to their agencies for translation.  Under Ukrainian law, an adopted child remains a citizen until he/she turns 18 years old.  At that time, he/she can decide whether or not to remain a Ukrainian citizen. Reports can be forwarded to  For more information click here.



We strongly urge you to comply with the requirements established by the government of the country you are adopting from and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner.  Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process and/or provide you with more specific guidelines.  


If your agency is unable to help you with this, or no longer has an active program, it is suggested that you enlist the assistance of another agency that is able to help you complete the post-placement reports.  If all else fails, filing the report directly with the embassy or Minister of Education of the country adopted from may be acceptable.


In Fall 2006, the following advice was obtained by Karen's Adopiton Links for all families who needed to file their own Post Placement Reports:

  1. Use a Licensed Social Worker to do the Post Placement Report 
  2. Translate report with a Certified Translator. 
  3. Get the Post Placement Report apostilled.
  4. Include 5 pictures
  5. Suggested Sample form 
  6. Send directly by DHL or FedEx to the Minister of Education in the country or region of adoption. 

click here for more Information on Post-Placement Reports in general 







Helpful Links




Resources below are presented for information purposes only. Unless noted specifically as a FRUA INC group, FRUA INC does not endorse, nor have any connection with the following.


FRUA INC Ukraine Chat 

Ukraine Adoptive Family Support Group

Ukrainian Adoptions (U.S. Department of State)


Ukraine Adoption Agencies & Other Services

25 Facts to Consider When Adopting From Ukraine

US Embassy in Kiev

Ukrainian Embassy - Adoption of Ukrainian Children

Ukraine (Wikipedia)

Ukraine (CIA Factbook)

Ukraine (Info Please)  

FRUA INC Facebook Page


Karen's Adoption Links


InterCountry Adoption Service Provider Search


International Adoptive Medical Clinics & Physicians


Child Welfare Gateway


North American Council on Adoptable Children


Hague Accreditation and Approval


Post Adoption (US Department of State)


Intercountry Adoption (US Department of State)


PEAR (Parents for Ethical Adoption Reform)




 There may also be other online parent support groups, lists and forums related to adoption from this country on Yahoo GroupsFacebook, the EEACAdoptive FamilesAdoption Services Support Groups, and

FamilesAdoption Services Support Groups, and





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