Posted by: William Bistransky, Consul General, U.S. Embassy in Ukraine
Throughout November, U.S. Embassy Kyiv celebrated National Adoption Month by partnering with stakeholders in Ukraine and the United States to spread the message that all children deserve the chance to live in a permanent home with a loving family. We strongly believe that all adoptions should be in the best interests of the child and conducted in an ethical and transparent manner that protects children, birth parents, and adoptive parents.
We saw many positive reactions to our Facebook and Twitter posts, which were retweeted, shared, and commented on throughout the month as part of an ongoing positive dialogue about our shared values and desires to forge mutually beneficial new partnerships.
In mid-November, our government’s highest-ranking consular official, Acting Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs Michele Bond, traveled to Kyiv to celebrate National Adoption Month with us. She attended Ukraine’s National Day of Prayer for Orphans, hosted by President Poroshenko and his wife. The fact that such a broad spectrum of people attended that event – including priests and pastors from many denominations – underscored the unique place this issue has in the hearts and minds of Ukrainians.
Acting Assistant Secretary Bond met many of those who work so hard on this issue from the Government of Ukraine, NGOs, the religious community, and civil society. We discussed the importance of joining the Hague Adoption Convention, and the ways in which the Convention can help protect the rights of adopted children.
Acting Assistant Secretary Bond was moved by the people she met; there are many opportunities to work together to protect and care for children. She spoke about her experiences in an interview with Facts and Commentary:
As Consul General, I am proud that Americans and Ukrainians deeply respect the same kinds of values, and that both can provide loving homes to a vulnerable population, while building bonds not only between children and parents, but also between our two countries.