January 29, 2010
California Court Rules that Judgment of Ukrainian Adoption Cannot be Vacated in the United States
A California Court of Appeals has ruled that a family adopting a Ukrainian child who turned out to have severe physical and mental disabilities may not vacate the Ukrainian adoption using a California statute which allows adoptive parents to set aside adoptions of children with certain disabilities. The court held that the statute applies only to California adoption orders, and thus may not be used by a family with a judgment of adoption from a foreign court.
The facts raise a number of interesting issues (most not discussed in the case) about the recourse of adoptive parents and the fate of children adopted abroad when the adoptive parents are no longer willing to maintain the relationship. In this case, the adoptive parents placed the child in foster care several years before seeking to vacate the judgment of adoption. Should such children be returned to their home countries? Should their adoptive parents bear the burden of their support, particularly when the adoptive parents have a means of escaping the support obligation for similar adoptions perfected in the United States?
Read the opinion here.
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