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Ukraine: Lvov doctors to go to prison for authorizing illegal adoption of babies


Original Source: Interfax news agency, Moscow

BBC Monitoring International Reports

Text of report in English by Russian news agency Interfax

Ivano-Frankovsk, 10th September: Court proceedings have been completed in the Ukrainian city of Ivano-Frankovsk on the illegal adoption of children by foreigners. Several doctors from Lvov [Lviv] were sentenced to two to four years of imprisonment, an Interfax-Ukraine correspondent reports. The former deputy head of the Lvov Region administration, Yuriy Zyma, has to serve a three-year term of imprisonment. However, the presidential decree "On amnesty to honour the first anniversary of the constitution" was applied in several cases and the implementation of some verdicts was suspended.

The court hearings started on 24th December, following a twenty-month investigation conducted by the Lvov prosecutor's office. Twenty-nine volumes on the illegal adoption of children were submitted for court deliberations. The suspects were charged with forgery, negligence, and abuse of power. The doctors were also accused of setting up criminal schemes involving false notifications of mothers of the newly born children being dead, forging documents on giving up babies and transporting them abroad.

The Ukrainian Supreme Council issued a resolution on 26th July 1994, banning the adoption of orphans by foreigners, after identifying violations in Lvov Region. The resolution was in force for two years and was cancelled last July, after the parliament had passed changes and amendments to the Civil Procedure Code and the Family and Marriage Code. Over 800 children were adopted in breach of the ban, the parliamentary commission on human rights estimates. From Lvov Region alone, 130 children were taken abroad. After the ban was lifted, foreigners adopted 130 sick Ukrainian children, the adoption centre under the Ukrainian Ministry of Education said. At present, 5,400 children put up for adoption have been registered at the centre. Approximately 300 foreigners have expressed their wish to adopt a child from Ukraine.

Original Language: English

1997 Sep 10