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How long does it take to adopt a child from Pakistan?

If you are adopting an infant from Edhi, the whole process from the time you submit an application to when you can bring the baby home takes 10-15 months in most cases. This time is based largely on the agency from which you are adopting and their referral times. It typically takes 3-6 months for the in-country process, from the time you receive custody of the baby till you get the immigration paperwork completed and get the child’s visa.

I am in the US wanting to adopt a child from Pakistan, where do I start?

Can the Application to Edhi be filed before we get an I-600A approved?

How would we move forward after doing the home study and I-600A form to actually get a baby?

How does Edhi determine the interest and commitment of an adoptive family?

Once in Pakistan, do you choose a baby or does a baby somehow get assigned to you?

The State Dept. document stated that the I-600 could be filed in Islamabad. Is there a consulate in Karachi these days that can accept the application?

Does Edhi typically place newborns? If so, is there an additional wait to get a newborn child? (I can't imagine they have enough newborns at any one time).

How much is the typical cost for the entire process, including expenses there and here (for families adopting and bringing children to US)?

Are the babies in Pakistan healthy? If moms are living in poverty, do they have adequate nutrition and prenatal care?

Once we get a baby, what is the paper work that needs to be done in Pakistan?

I am interested in adopting a child orphaned by the October 8, 2005 earthquake in Pakistan. Are these children available for adoption?

Any other advice to help expedite the process in Pakistan?

When is the best time to let a child know they are adopted?

This is not an easy question to answer as every child and every situation is different. We believe it is important for the child to know who they are and where they came from right from the very beginning, in age appropriate ways, of course. I want my daughter to know that she was chosen as a loved and cherished child, before she finds out from others that she was abandoned by her birthparents and adopted by you through Edhi. There are a lot of resources on adoption, Here is alink to some books that discuss the subject.

Do discuss among yourselves the way you are going to tell your child she was adopted from the Edhi Foundation or elsewhere. The main concern is to make sure she knows how much you wanted her and how she filled a void in your hearts no one else could. That is why you decided to name her what you did because

of what her name means to you. Sometimes people assume there in an emotional distance between adopted children and their parents that isn't an issue among birth parents and their biological children. Our view on this is that heart not helix makes a family. You want to instill in your child that adoption and procreation are TWO routes that lead to the SAME place--a complete family. The variables are different, but EQUAL just as 2+2=4 and 3+1=4. You want your child to fully understand that she by no means holds an inferior status on the "how much we love you" scale because you didn't give birth to her. When the situation presents itself, plan to give a short and sweet answer to a "short and sweet" little girl/boy. "Allah makes mommies and daddies two ways. Some babies are born to them and some babies are adopted. Babies who are born grow under their mommies' hearts. Babies who are adopted grow in their mommies' hearts. Do you want to see how you grew in our hearts?

It is a good idea to keep a photo journal or scrapbook of your adoption journey to share with your child when you discuss this with her. Sit down together with her and show her the photo journal of each step of the way in her adoption. Take pictures of yourselves mailing the adoption papers to the Edhi Foundation, snapshots of meetings with social worker, and pictures of you talking to Mrs. Edhi on the phone, etc. Under each photo, have simple captions like,

We are telling Mrs. Edhi how much we love you", "We are getting our home ready for you" and so forth. It is always very important to maintain good communication with children, whether adopted or not. And communication is really the key in this situation as well. You want your child to have the confidence that you love her very much, before you broach this subject with her. She will probably not comprehend much of it till she is 4-5 years old, but it is important for that "story" to be consistent. It is important to let her know that she is your gift from God. We believe that nothing good ever came from a lie, so plan to be as honest as possible with her from the beginning but use age appropriate terms. You don’t your child to come to you with tears streaming down her face because she overheard a friend or relative saying something that should have come from her parents in a loving way. After all, we don't live on an island and many people are aware of her adoption. It would be silly to tell one lie after another her entire life. The way she joined your family is a blessed event to be celebrated, not hidden or apologized for. "He has given you everything you have asked Him for. If you tried to number Allah's blessings, you could never count them all.." (Ibrahim 34).

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