Adoption is not a good way to help in war-torn Ukraine − there are other means of helping children
It has come to the attention of the Adoption Board at Valvira that Finnish adoption service providers are being asked whether adoption could be a way to help children in Ukraine. It is the considered opinion of the Adoption Board that Ukraine does not, in the current circumstances, have in place the child welfare or administrative structures that are required for adoption, and that it would therefore not be possible to safeguard the rights of the children. Adoption cooperation requires a stable administration, a functioning child welfare system and legislation that protects the rights of children and is conducive to international cooperation.
“International adoptions should not be pursued in cases of disaster or other exceptional circumstances when there is a high risk of children being separated from their parents for a variety of reasons. We should also remember that even under stable circumstances, international adoption is a measure of last resort for helping a child”, says Irene Pärssinen-Hentula, Chair of the Adoption Board.
“At the moment, the priority is to use all available means to prevent children from being separated from their parents − whether in Ukraine or on the way from there to safety. Finns should channel their natural inclination to help through aid organisations that provide humanitarian aid. It is also important to support the families fleeing Ukraine in securing the immediate assistance needed in everyday life.”
“If a Finn wishes to adopt a child, they should proceed through the domestic adoption process or through Finnish adoption service providers that work with well-established countries of origin”, says Pärssinen-Hentula.
The adoption service providers in Finland are Save the Children Finland and Interpedia.
Read the whole press release in Ukrainian: Adoption is not a good way to help in war-torn Ukraine (pdf) (in Ukrainian).
Irene Pärssinen-Hentula, Chair of the Adoption Board, tel. +358 (0) 29 520 9247
Further information on adoptions:
Unaccompanied and separated children fleeing escalating conflict in Ukraine must be protected (unicef.org)
Save the Children Finland (pelastakaalapset.fi)
HCCH´s Information note Children deprived of their family environment due to the armed conflict in Ukraine (hcch.net)
Child Identity Protection´s statement: Ukraine and other affected countries : protecting all rights of children, including their right to identity (child-identity.org)