HIV-Positive Ukrainians Gain Rights of Adoption
Albina spent two years suing the Ukrainian Health Ministry. She managed to prove that depriving HIV-positive people of the right to be foster parents is discrimination
Albina’s friend used to live in a house with her son. Her friend had cancer, and before she passed away she Asked Albina to take custody of her 12-year-old son. However, Albina was denied the right to adopt the boy because she is HIV-positive.
“I thought that the law was scrapped. Because this norm was originally adopted in Ukraine in 2008.
I filed an application for custody and was denied,” Albina Kotovych said.
Albina spent two years suing the Ukrainian Health Ministry; eventually she went on to win the case. She managed to prove that depriving HIV-positive people of the right to be foster parents is discrimination.
Lawyer Vitaly Matveyev, said, “So far, the Ukrainian Ministry of Health has not appealed. So I can say that the decision has come into force. That article no longer exists. So HIV-positive people have the full right to take custody and adopt children.”
Albina has been living with HIV for 25 years. Over this time, she has organized and headed an NGO, which specializes in supporting HIV-positive people.
“Before this, not a single HIV-positive Ukrainian citizen ever tried to sue and defend their rights in court, regardless whether there is a child in their family, or if the child has HIV or not. Not until now,” Albina said.
The victory in court came too late for Albina to become a foster mother for her friend’s son. By the time the 2-year court battle was over, the boy was placed with a foster family. Nevertheless, Albina is happy she was able to win the right to adopt for other HIV-positive Ukrainians.