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Riabchuk Oksana

Specializes in family law and inheritance matters

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Returning a child to parents from social services abroad

Specializes in family law and inheritance matters

Contact now

Parental rights are fundamental and important for every person, but sometimes there are circumstances in which a father or mother can be deprived of these rights due to a court decision.

After the introduction of martial law on the territory of our country, many Ukrainians had to leave their homes and go abroad – mostly those who have minor children.

Trying to adapt to everyday life outside of Ukraine, a large number of our citizens faced the problem of the removal of children by foreign social services.

The Office of the Ombudsman recorded several dozen such cases, the main reason being the existence of differences in the legislation of Ukraine and other countries, in particular: an expanded list of possible grounds for deprivation of parental rights, many nuances regarding proper upbringing and treatment of children.

In this article, we clarify what parents or other relatives need to do to return a child from social services abroad.

The procedure for renewing parental rights may differ significantly depending on the legislation of the country in which it takes place:

  • The first and most important step is an appeal to a qualified lawyer specializing in family law and international affairs, the consular department or the Office of the Commissioner for Human Rights to inform about the circumstances of the case and clarify all the details in accordance with the current legislation of the country, international agreements and diplomatic issues related to the case;
  • An important stage is clarifying the reason for the child’s removal by the social service — this will help form a further plan of action. In general, the reasons can be diverse: manifestations of violent behavior, careless treatment of children, irregular attendance of children at educational institutions without valid reasons, parents being in a state of alcohol intoxication, leaving a minor child at home without supervision, failure to provide the child with the necessary medical care, etc.;
  • Creation of an evidence base and availability of documents confirming the ability to raise a child in a safe and stable environment. These can be testimony of witnesses, medical certificates, confirmation of the possibility of financial provision of the child’s needs, and other important information;
  • Cooperation with services for children and readiness to do everything possible to improve the situation;
  • Compliance with all legal procedures and court decisions that apply to your situation – you must carefully follow the instructions of your lawyer, social services, and the court.

Summarizing the above, it should be remembered that each situation is individual and has its own characteristics, which makes it impossible to create a single algorithm for solving this issue.

If you have a similar situation, you should immediately seek legal help from lawyers who will analyze all the circumstances in accordance with current national and international legislation, will be able to represent your interests in communication with representatives of the social service, and participate in court hearings, and will formulate the most effective approach to solve the problem of child removal.

Lawyers and attorneys of the legal company “Prikhodko and Partners” have experience in supporting this category of cases, and provide qualified legal advice and support both in Ukraine and abroad.

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Is your child abroad with one of the parents?


2 question

Did you take peaceful measures to return or communicate with the child?


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Have you contacted the relevant bodies or lawyers with your question?

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