Joint Council staff and Board of Directors met with the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services last Monday in conjunction with our quarterly Board meeting. The following update was supplied to us by DOS:
As the caucus is aware, the Ukrainian State Department for Adoptions and Protection of the Rights of Children (SDAPRC) began accepting new adoption dossiers from American families on December 19, 2006, two weeks ahead of schedule. DOS is pleased that despite the resignation of former Minister of Family, Youth & Sports, Pavlenko, this reinstatement of American adoptions stayed on track. Lyudmila Volynets, the Chief of the SDAPRC, was reported several weeks ago to have resigned as well, but DOS now understands that she has agreed to stay in her position under the new Minister, Viktor Korzh. The Ukrainian government continues to be concerned about what it views as an insufficient level of compliance with American parents’ post-placement reporting obligations, and DOS is hoping to launch another strong push for PPR compliance in the coming weeks, so that these concerns on the Ukrainians’ part do not derail the forward progress of the new applications. Meanwhile, the SDAPRC is continuing to work through legacy cases left over from the period of the former National Adoption Committee (NAC).
Embassy Kyiv had a very successful, pro-adoption program in honor of National Adoption Month in November, and Assistant Secretary Maura Harty addressed a number of Ukrainian news reporters via DVC. DOS office director, Ellen Conway, is traveling to Ukraine in February. We look forward to her update and will continue to make new information available to the caucus as it is received by our office.