When a child is born in Ukraine, parents are required to register the birth at the local Civil Registry Office. Copies of birth certificates will only be issued to the actual person, parents, adopted parents or legal guardians. Generally speaking, there are three ways of obtaining a birth certificate copies. The first entails travel to Ukraine. The second is submitting a request to a Ukrainian consular office in your country. The third is hiring a third party to act on your behalf.
Collect and make copies of passports and all documents pertaining to the person's place and date of birth and names of birth parents.
Translate all documents that are not in Ukrainian. These may require certified translation by a notary public at a later stage.
If you are the person's parent, adopted parent or legal guardian, make copies of the documents that confirm your status. Make sure any foreign language documents are translated into Ukrainian.
Obtaining Copies in Ukraine
Determine address of local Civil Registry Office. Ukraine is divided into 24 "oblast" (provinces), the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the cities of Kyiv and Sevastopol. These are further divided into 490 secondary administrative units called "raion" (district) and "misto" (city). Each of these has its own Civil Registry Office, known by their acronyms "RATS" in Ukrainian and "ZAGS" in Russian. The Ministry of Justice provides the addresses and telephone numbers to all of these offices on its website.
Make travel arrangements and go to Ukraine with the originals and copies of documents. You may need a travel visa to enter Ukraine. Consult the Ukrainian diplomatic mission in your country for entry requirements.
If necessary, hire a translator. If you do not know the language, you will find it difficult to navigate Ukraine's bureaucratic waters. Many university students know English and are willing to earn some extra money.
Go to the Civilian Registry Office for the place where the person was born and submit your request. You will have to fill out forms in Ukrainian, submit supporting documentation and pay a small fee. Documents may have to be translated and notarized. It may take several visits before your request is fulfilled. Bring a box of chocolates and some flowers for the staff to show you appreciate their efforts.
File Request through Ukrainian Consulate
Determine Consular Office. Ukraine's four consular offices are responsible for different states. For example, the consulate in New York will process requests from the state of Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont. Ukraine also has consular offices in Chicago, San Francisco and Washington, DC.
Call or visit the appropriate Ukrainian Consular Office and ask about procedures, fees and processing times for obtaining birth certificates as these are subject to change. Ukraine operates four consulates across the U.S.:
Consular Office of the Embassy of Ukraine 3350 M St. NW Washington, D.C. 20007 202-333-0606
Consulate General of Ukraine in New York 240 East 49 St. New York, NY 10017 212-371-5690
Consulate General of Ukraine in Chicago 10 East Huron St. Chicago, IL 60611 312-642-4388
Consulate General of Ukraine in San Francisco 530 Bush St., Suite 402 San Francisco, CA 94108-3623 415-398-0240
Fill out a special form called a questionnaire in the Ukrainian language in triplicate. An English language version of the form is available online, but the form must be submitted in Ukrainian. See the translation of the form at: ukrconsul.org/consular/blanky/vytreb_en.html.
Submit three copies of the forms and supporting documentation in person or via mail. If you are submitting via mail or third person, then the questionnaire will need to be certified by a notary public. Mail-in applicants must also provide a self-addressed stamped envelope.
Include fee with application. In 2008, the fee was $50 per document request, with no expedited service available. Only postal money orders payable to the Consulate General of Ukraine in [City Name] were accepted as payment. Call the consulate to determine exact payment requirements and processing times as they are subject to change.
Find a reliable firm. A number of translation agencies, legal firms and consultancies advertise official document retrieval services from Ukraine. Use these at your own risk.
Check the websites of the American Chamber of Commerce in Ukraine and the U.S. Ukraine Business Council for a list of legal firms, translation agencies and consultancies in good standing. Generally speaking, the members of these organizations have good business reputations.
Contact the firms to see if they offer document retrieval services or can recommend a reliable service.
- Russian versions and spellings of names differ from Ukrainian. Make sure to include the different versions and spellings if you do not have the exact names of children and parents.
- A child whose birth was not registered by the parents or whose parents were not known was probably registered by court order or local government officials.
- If you're looking for a birth certificate for a long-deceased person, your search may require work in the state archives.
- Western Ukraine came under the Soviets only after WWII; prior to the Soviets, records such as baptismal and marriage certificates were kept by churches.
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