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Written by Anita Stevens
on August 03, 2015


In Pakistan, prospective adoptive parents will be obtaining a placement of a child by private means as there are no authorized child placement agencies either foreign or domestic that are licensed, authorized, or accredited in Pakistan.  The choice to identify and accept a child for placement from the country of Pakistan is your choice alone. United States laws and regulations require that any child placed into the home of a US citizen by an adoption or guardianship process is required to meet the definition of "orphan" according to the Immigration and Nationality Act. If the child does not meet the definition, you will not be able to get a visa to bring the child to the United States.  Due to the Pakistan legal/social process, the advice of a knowledgable US attorney is essential to a smooth adoption process.


Given the orphan definition and the Pakistan process, you should understand that there may be little to no social history or medical history regarding any children available for placement in your family as most children that are available and fit the US "orphan" definition are those children whose parents are unknown.  Although the prospective adoptive family is responsible to locate and petition the Family Court for Guardianship of a child on their own, your Primary Provider will be able to assist you by providing known orphanages and/or general guidance and information regarding such things as definitions of a legal orphan or information regarding the Pakistan placement process that complies with the United States laws and expectations.  Family Connections provides an immigration attorney to give you legal guidance with the Pakistan process relative to immigration as part of our Primary Provider services.


Since July 14, 2014, with the implementation of the Universal Accreditation Act, you will have to hire a Primary Provider to supervise all aspects of your adoption process from Pakistan.  A Primary Provider is a Hague Accredited Adoption Agency that is responsible to the US Department of State to make sure that your adoption process is compliant with the US laws and rules for International adoption.  These new Federal laws have added additional expenses to the traditional Pakistan adoption process.  You may be able to obtain guardianship of a child according to Pakistan law but you cannot obtain a US visa for the child unless you have a Primary Provider to supervise your home study process, the Pakistan adoption process, and your post placement process.  Working with a Primary Provider should help you navigate the Pakistan adoption process more efficiently as well as allow you to bring  your child home to the United States and obtain legal citizenship status for the child.


When you find a child that is available for adoption, you need to consult with your Primary Provider to make sure that this child meets the US definition of a legal orphan.  The prospective adoptive family with the help of their Pakistan Adoption Attorney, will petition the Judge in the Family Court where the child is located for Guardianship of the child.  Only the Family Court Judge can make a judicial determination as to the placement of a child and grant you guardianship of an orphan child and give permission for the child to travel to the United States for finalization of the adoption in the US.


Any child who is provided with a US guardian by the Pakistan Family Court enters the United States with an IR 4 visa. The process in Pakistan results in a Guardianship of the child by the Pakistan Family Court and is not considered to be a full and final adoption as defined by the United States.  This legal status of the immigration process will require the family to adopt the child in the family's state/county of residence to achieve a full and final adoption (every state has it's own process).  Prospective adoptive families also have to understand that in order for the child to receive a United States Citizenship Certificate, they must apply to the USCIS after the finalizaiton of the placement of the child in the US as the US court process makes the Guardianship placement of the child a full and final adoption according to the laws of the United States.  You will be essentially going through a second court process in the United States that will result in a US order of adoption in the appropriate court in your state/county of residence.  You will need to retain an US adoption attorney for this process.  Your Primary Provider or Home Study Provider can refer you to an appropriate attorney.  For more information on Pakistan Adoption contact Family Connections, Inc., a Hague Accredited Adoption Agency acting as a Primary Provider for Pakistan at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556


Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State adoption agency who has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. Family Connections, Inc. Family Connections provides home study and post-adoption supervisory services for families adopting internationally.  Family Connections, Inc. also acts as a Primary Provider for families adopting from Pakistan.


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