For Pakistani-American couples, adopting from an orphanage in Pakistan can be a wonderful option for adding a child to their family. Although it is still somewhat expensive (as all adoptions are), adopting from Pakistan is one of the more affordable options open to Pakistani-Americans.
Who is available for adoption?
The children available for adoption in Pakistan are newborn babies to young children. All of the children who are legally available have been abandoned or relinquished by their parents. If you adopt from a reputable orphanage, such as the Edhi Foundation, the orphanage will give you all of the necessary paperwork for the child upon placement that will help you get through the visa process. This will enable you to bring your child home to the United States without unnecessary delays and help you avoid the possibility of not getting your child through the immigration process at all. Orphanages will only place Muslim children with Muslim families and Christian children with Christian families. If the child was abandoned with no proof of religion, the child is assumed to be Muslim.
Pakistan adoptions are less expensive than the average international adoption, but you should still expect to pay somewhere between $23,000-$30,000 for the entire process. This includes your home study fee, travel costs, primary provider fees, attorney fees (both in the US and in Pakistan) and costs for finalization. We are a fees-for-services agency, so we will only charge you for the services you use. You can see all of our fees here. Our fee schedule includes estimated costs for any expense you might incur in the course of your adoption, even the fees that have nothing to do with us (like plane tickets).
What should I do before travelling to Pakistan?
Before travelling to Pakistan to be matched with a child, you will need to complete your home study and get I-600A approval. You can read about the home study process here. Your US attorney will help you through the I-600A process. These two things take time, so you will need to be patient while you wait to get the OK to travel. I can be hard to wait, but having these two things completed before you travel will help you avoid unnecessary and lengthy delays after you go to Pakistan and become the guardian of a child. The country of Pakistan is not a Hague Convention country, so you will have to do an independent adoption by yourself in Pakistan. Family Connections, Inc. and the immigration attorney we retain for you can provide you with guidance while you are travelling and completing the guardianship process in the Pakistan courts. In addition, there is a large community of families who have adopted from Pakistan which you can ask for advice and support while you are going through the process.
How long does it take?
Most of the families that we have been primary provider for have completed their adoptions in roughly a year. Families usually spend about 3 months in the country of Pakistan completing the guardianship and visa processes, and then finalize rather quickly once back home in the US. Finalizing an adoption is different in every state, but it usually takes about a month. You should not set yourself a timeline based on other peoples experiences, however. Adoption rarely goes 100% smoothly and there are often bumps in the road and unexpected delays. It is important to stay patient and stay flexible, as adoption is a process which rarely follows a set time line. It is different for every family and every child. If you make plans to have something done by a certain date, you will feel like you failed when you missed that self-imposed deadline. If you stay flexible, you can avoid feeling like you failed when things take longer than you thought.
What if I have more questions?
Please feel free to give us a call! This post is a very condensed version of the Pakistan adoption process, and there is a lot more to learn. We would love to talk to you about the Pakistan adoption process and answer any questions you may have. We have helped many families complete their Pakistan adoption process and would love to help you get on the path to building your family through adoption.
At Family Connections we keep our costs as low as possible and at the same time provide you with excellent services for your Pakistan adoption. The agency hires an attorney to monitor the legal aspects of your adoption and our social work staff helps with the social side of adoption. Please call Anita Stevens at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556 for more information.
Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State adoption agency who has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. Family Connections, Inc. 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.