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Kostyantyn Yakubenko

Interview with Kostyantyn Yakubenko – International Adoption Consultant

GO2KIEV: Can you please explain your role as an International Adoption Consultant?
I facilitate Ukrainian adoptions of orphaned children for United States and Canadian parents. I provide adopting families with the required forms and documents for the adoption dossier package. This work includes providing the families with the most recent and accurate information about regulations and accurate information about adoption. As we work with human services, truthfulness of this information is precious. The submission for an adoption dossier can vary in days or weeks, though I will “move mountains” for those children who are over thirteen years old and for disabled or special-needs children.

GO2KIEV: Is there an adoption story that has been imprinted in your memory?
It is when a prospective parent NEVER anticipated adopting an older or special needs child. It is truly the appreciation and love for the child that forevermore changed their minds. For example, I have a client who is patiently waiting to adopt a child with cerebral palsy*. This prospective mother understands that she may have to wait over one year for this particular child but she has, in the meantime, gone ahead and adopted two other children from the same orphanage and is waiting patiently for the full completion of her family. This mother declares, “The biggest blessing in my life is to see a child become a functioning person of society.”

GO2KIEV: Describe the life of an orphaned child.
There are two paths that an orphaned child’s life will take them: either to live in an orphanage until the appropriate age of dismissal of which their soul literally withers and dies OR a child can be adopted in which there is vibrancy of life because they feel loved and wanted. This truly creates miracles that cannot be described.

GO2KIEV: Which agencies do you collaborate with?

International Family Services in Texas - this agency is running an excellent hosting program called Family Hope (web).

Building Blocks Adoption Service in Ohio (web).

Mandala Adoption Services in NC (web).

Hope for Children in Altanta, GA (web).

GO2KIEV: Tell us about your charity work.
Help Us Help the Children is a project of Children of Chernobyl Canadian Fund which is dedicated to improving the quality of life of children living in orphanages in Ukraine. Also, Father’s Houseis an organization that helps those children, who for various reasons, have been left to survive on the street.

GO2KIEV: Why are you in this profession?
I simply love being with children. When I was younger I was a teacher in school. At the present, I feel that I am a teacher of life.

GO2KIEV: Have you met any political figures through your profession?
Yes, through my prior work experience with USAID as a social sector specialist, I had the pleasure of meeting former President Bill Clinton of the USA. I have also met Ukrainian President Victor Yuschenko and Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. My social service work at the American Embassy provided me with a badge that opened a lot of doors – it was an invaluable experience.

GO2KIEV: What are your interests in your free time?
My wife and I love to spend time together with sports; such as, swimming, skiing and swimming. Spending time with our parents and enjoying their company in their villages is a relaxing pastime. As well, we have enjoyed our holidays outside of Ukraine when we traveled to exotic Nicaragua and to the United States.

GO2KIEV: Please share an interesting life experience.
In 1995, when I was a student at Lancaster University in the Czech Republic, I spent a month as a hitch-hiker and I traveled from Prague to Manchester, England and back. I rode in approximately 40-50 cars in a one month time period. It was a very positive experience of which I learned a great deal about human behavior. In fact, I still share over an eleven year friendship through email correspondence with a former motorist.

* Cerebral palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a general term for a group of non-progressive, non-contagious conditions that cause physical disability. CP is caused by damage to the motor control centers of the young developing brain and can occur during pregnancy, during childbirth or after birth up to about age three. There is no known cure for CP. Improvements in pre-natal care help reduce the number of babies who develop cerebral palsy, but they also mean that babies with very low birth weights survive, and these babies are more likely to have cerebral palsy. There are on average 2.3 babies that develop CP per 1000 live births.

Kostyantyn Yakubenko

Kostyantyn has studied at Lancaster University (UK), Central European University (CZ) and Kyiv State Pedagogical Linguistics University. His Majors were Child Psychology and Pedagogics. Additionally, Kostyantyn received professional training in Norway and at various locations in the USA.

His outstanding efforts were awarded:

 2001   U.S. Embassy/USAID On-The-Spot Award for remarkable dedication to management of humanitarian assistance project in Donetsk region
 2001   Superior Performance Group Award for Extraordinary Assistance Management (Certificate by U.S. Ambassador C. Pascual)
 2000   Official Recognition of Commitment for supporting the most vulnerable citizens of Ukraine and strengthening ties between American and Ukrainian people (Certificate by U.S. Ambassador S.Pifer)
 1999   Recognition for Outstanding Coordination and Leadership in Guiding USAID/Kyiv’s Emergency and Humanitarian Assistance Program (Certificate by U.S. Ambassador Steven Pifer)
 1993   Best Scientific Report at Sociological Conference of KSPLU titled “Ukrainian Mentality”


  Winner of annual tuition waivers to KSPLU based on academic achievements and extra curricular activities

If you are interested in the process of adoption, see this document (PDF file).


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