Ukrainian Brothers Set for American Adoption Separated in Heavy Attacks

Three brothers in Ukraine set to be adopted by a family in Florida have been separated as the attacks from Russia continue to escalate.

A full week has passed since Russia initially launched an invasion into Ukraine, and attacks in both bigger cities and smaller villages across the country have been shellshocked as Russian forces continue to invade.

Three brothers are set to be adopted by Aaron and Breanna Andrews in Clermont, Florida, and Breanna told local news station WFTV that 9-year-old Daniil, the eldest, was moved west to a safer area of Ukraine, separated from his two younger brothers.

"We're very happy that he's moving to safety. I mean, that's our goal. We want that for all three of them, though," Breanna Andrews said.

CCAI Adoption Services' Judy Winger told WFTV that they have 45 families waiting to adopt nearly 81 children, but because of the current climate, there are concerns about limited resources, and communication has been erratic at best.

"There are many orphanages that are not in the middle of that, but some of their ability to get resources are going to be challenged because roads have been blown up," Winger told WFTV.

Winger, the director of adoptions at CCAI, told Newsweek, "The Ukraine crisis is having a particularly devastating impact on almost 100,000 vulnerable orphans. Our primary concern is the children's safety."

While working with several organizations and officials to provide safety for these children, "CCAI is trying its best to support prospective adoptive families in various stages of the adoption process," she said.

The adoption agency told WFTV that some children have been successfully moved out of the country, but for the three brothers, even if they were to make it out of Ukraine, there would be more legal immigration complications before the Andrews family would be able to adopt the boys.

"We are praying our boys will be home soon! We will be their forever family!" a PayPal fundraiser site for the Andrews family reads.

Diane Kunz, executive director for the Center for Adoption Policy, told Newsweek, "My heart breaks. The problem for internationally adopting parents is that you are always at the mercy of country risk. Foreign policy matters to your family formation, and you are helpless. We don't know what's going to happen in Ukraine."

She added, "It's such a tragedy. I wish I had more reassurance. If the children could get out to a safe country, then there are procedures that they could take to get here. But the question is: 'Can they get out?'"

Adoption processes for other families in the U.S. have been put on halt amid the conflict in Ukraine. For a family in Indiana who already has one Ukraine-born adopted son, the process to adopt brothers Misha, 16, and Andrii, 17, has been at a complete stop.

Joe and NaTosha Hansome have been trying to adopt Misha and Andrii since 2021.

"If you can just imagine what it's like to have your kids in another country when a war is going on. It's really difficult, and then not knowing if they will ever get to be with us again," NaTosha told WXIX.

Ryan Hanlon of the National Council for Adoption told Newsweek that safety is the main concern right now. "Recognizing that most adoption cases will not be able to be completed at this time, the focus has been on finding safe conditions until the adoption process can be resumed," Hanlon said.

He also added that some American adoption agencies have received an increased amount of inquiries about adopting Ukrainian children during this time.

"While we believe this is coming from well-intentioned, caring Americans, this is not the time to begin pursuing the adoption of these children," Hanlon said. "When children are displaced due to war or other events, we still must take appropriate steps to ensure there is an understanding of their legal, social, and familial status before making such determinations."

Amid the fighting, a Catholic charity Caritas Poland announced on Monday that it would be taking in 2,000 children from Ukrainian orphanages, the first 300 expected to arrive on Wednesday.

According to the Polish Press Agency, charity director Marcin Iżycki announced, "Our eastern neighbors are talking about a humanitarian catastrophe that is approaching fast. We have decided to respond to the crisis in Ukraine and provide shelter to the most vulnerable in our country."

For live updates on the Russia-Ukraine conflict, click here.

Update, 03/03/2022, 6 p.m. ET:This story has been updated to include comments from CCAI Adoption Services, the National Council for Adoption and the Center for Adoption Policy.

Polish Border Towns Receive Mass Influx Of
A family in the U.S. awaits three brothers who they are in the process of adopting from Ukraine, but the brothers were separated recently as attacks from Russia continue to escalate. Above, women and children who have fled from war in Ukraine rest at a temporary shelter set up in a former shopping center on March 3 in Przemysl, Poland. Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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