Lake County

U.S. lawmakers push to ease adoption process for orphaned Ukraine children

CLERMONT, Fla. — Federal lawmakers, including both Florida senators, are pushing the secretary of state to work with Ukraine to make it easier for orphaned children to be adopted by U.S. families.

WATCH: 3 Ukrainian brothers to be adopted by Central Florida family separated as attacks continue

Families in Central Florida have been watching the war and worrying about the children they are in the process of adopting.

Channel 9 spoke with a Clermont family who said at least one of the boys they are adopting is getting help in Poland.


However, they said it was a scary situation because he and other kids with him had bombs exploding around them at one point.

Though they made it over the border into Poland, the other two boys the couple is adopting are still somewhere in Ukraine.

As the war ravages lives in Ukraine, in Clermont, Breanna and Aaron Andrews continue to keep a close eye on 9-year-old Daniil, a Ukrainian orphan who stayed with the family in Florida over the holidays.

WATCH: ‘Can this be real?’ Orlando woman worries as family waits out Russian invasion in Ukraine

“Every day he was here, he asked us if we would please be his family,” said Breanna Andrews. “He wanted to move to America. He wanted to have a mom and dad.”

Channel 9 reported last month that Daniil bonded with them and their three children – a bond so strong that they decided to adopt Daniil and his two younger brothers.

Now with the war, every new update has more importance.

WATCH: Brevard County nonprofit reaches Poland-Ukraine border to deliver portable water purifiers

“Exponentially harder, you know, it’s the anticipation dragging and dragging,” said Aaron Andrews.

All adoptions from Ukraine have been put on hold. So this week, 39 federal lawmakers signed a letter, including Florida senators Rick Scott and Marco Rubio, urging the secretary of state to get involved in convincing Ukraine to make it easier for children to come to welcoming families like the Andrews.

See more in the video above.

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Jeff Deal

Jeff Deal,

I joined the Eyewitness News team as a reporter in 2006.