UkraineOfficial Name: Ukraine
Embassies and Consulates
4 Igor Sikorsky St.
Telephone: +(380) (44) 521-5520
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(380) (44) 521-5000
Fax: +(380) (44) 521-5425
Ukraine and the United States have been treaty partners under the 1980 Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (Hague Abduction Convention) since September 1, 2007.
For information concerning travel to Ukraine, including information about the location of the U.S. Embassy, the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program, entry/exit requirements, safety and security, crime, medical facilities and health information, traffic safety, road conditions and aviation safety, please see country-specific information for Ukraine.
The U.S. Department of State reports statistics and compliance information for individual countries in the Annual Report on International Parental Child Abduction (IPCA). The report is located here.
Hague Abduction Convention
The U.S. Department of State serves as the U.S. Central Authority (USCA) for the Hague Abduction Convention. In this capacity, the Department's Bureau of Consular Affairs, Directorate for Overseas Citizens Services, Office of Children's Issues facilitates the submission of applications under the Hague Abduction Convention for the return of, or access to, children located in countries that are U.S. treaty partners, including Ukraine. Parents are strongly encouraged to contact the Department of State for assistance prior to initiating the Hague process directly with the foreign Central Authority.
United States Department of State
Bureau of Consular Affairs
Office of Children's
SA-17, 9th Floor
Washington, DC 20522-1709
Outside the United States or Canada: 1-202-501-4444
The Ukrainian Central Authority for the Hague Abduction Convention is the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine. The Ministry of Justice takes measures to locate the child and taking parent; approaches local authorities to arrange a meeting to attempt a voluntary return of the child, if appropriate; and makes arrangements with the local children's welfare office (Custody and Care Office) to check the child's living conditions. The Ukrainian Central Authority can be reached at:
The Ukrainian Central Authority can be reached at:
To initiate a Hague case for return of, or access to, a child in Ukraine, the left-behind parent must submit a Hague application to the Ukrainian Central Authority. It is extremely important that each document written in English be translated into Ukrainian. Please note, however, that certified translations are not necessary. The USCA is available to answer questions about the Hague application process, to forward a completed application to the Ministry of Justice of Ukraine, and to subsequently monitor its progress through the foreign administrative and legal processes.
There are no fees for filing Hague applications with either the United States or Ukrainian central authorities. The Ukrainian Central Authority provides legal representation at no cost to left-behind parents; however, the parent or legal guardian who has submitted the application may hire a private attorney in Ukraine. A privately hired attorney should contact the Ukrainian Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the Ukrainian Central Authority.
Additional costs may include airplane tickets for court appearances and for the return of the child, if so ordered.
A parent or legal guardian may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for return to the United States of a child abducted to, or wrongfully retained in, Ukraine. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand whether the Convention is an available civil remedy and can provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
A person may file an application under the Hague Abduction Convention for access to a child living in Ukraine. The criteria for acceptance of a Hague access application vary from country to country. The U.S. Department of State can assist parents living in the United States to understand country-specific criteria and provide information on the process for submitting a Hague application.
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Retaining an Attorney
In a Hague Abduction Convention case, it is not mandatory for a petitioner to retain a private attorney because the Ukrainian Central Authority provides legal representation at no cost to left-behind parents. However, the parent or legal guardian who has submitted the Hague application may hire a private attorney in Ukraine to follow up on the case and to provide information directly to the court. A privately hired attorney should contact the Ukrainian Central Authority as soon as possible after the Hague Abduction Convention application has been filed with the Ukrainian Central Authority.
Ukraine offers legal assistance to Ukrainian citizens who qualify.
The U.S. Embassy in Kyiv, Ukraine posts a list of attorneys including those who specialize in family law.
This list is provided as a courtesy service only and does not constitute an endorsement of any individual attorney. The Department of State assumes no responsibility or liability for the professional ability or reputation of, or the quality of services provided by, the persons or firms included in this list. Professional credentials and areas of expertise are provided directly by the lawyers.
The Ukrainian Central Authority states that there are no governmental or non-governmental organizations that offer family mediation services in child custody disputes in Ukraine. Parties who wish to pursue mediation as an alternative to formal court proceedings will have to seek private resources.
We strongly discourage taking matters into your own hands. The measures could be illegal and may delay your child’s return. Attempts to re-abduct your child from the United States may:
- Endanger your child and others;
- Prejudice any future judicial efforts you might wish to make in the United States; and
- Could even result in your arrest and imprisonment.
Finally, there is no guarantee that the chain of abductions would end with the one committed by you. A parent who has re-abducted a child may have to go to extraordinary lengths to conceal his or her whereabouts, living in permanent fear that the child may be re-abducted yet again.
If you are contemplating such desperate measures, we advise you to consider the emotional trauma inflicted on a child who is a victim of an abduction and a re-abduction. We discourage re-abduction not only because it is illegal, but also because of possible psychological harm to the child.
DISCLAIMER: The information in this flyer is provided for general information only, is not intended to be legal advice, and may change without notice. Questions involving interpretation of law should be addressed to an attorney licensed in the relevant jurisdiction.