Ukrainian deputy prime minister says Kyiv stands ready to take back its deported orphans
Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk says that Ukraine stands ready to take back its deported orphans. “As an official,” she said, “I am stating our official readiness to take back all of our orphaned children.”
Vereshchuk added that, with the assistance of international organizations like the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, Ukraine is prepared to pick up its unlawfully deported children on any of Europe’s borders with Russia, including Estonia’s.
At the moment, she said, retrieving Ukrainian children is a lengthy and complicated process. While parents will actively advocate the return of their own children, orphans can only be retrieved by the state, and the procedure often takes months.
On March 28, Vereshchuk addressed prospective adoptive parents in Russia on her Telegram channel, urging them not to adopt orphans illegally removed from Ukraine.
According to the Ukrainian project Children of War, there have been over 19,000 cases of coercive deportation of minors from Ukraine. Only slightly more than 300 children have since been successfully retrieved.