Pakistan Adoption Network UK Where families come together

Pakistan Process

Pakistan adoption process post panel – guidance notes

This guide is designed to be viewed alongside the process flow ‘Pakistan Adoption Process (Post Panel)’.

This information has been compiled through the first-hand experience of other adopters and is meant only as signposting. It is the responsibility of the prospective adopters to validate the information here, which may have become out of date when going to press. Any timelines and costs are subject to change by Pakistani law and institutions and can only be used as a guide.

 

Application to adopt – edhi foundation

It is advisable to apply to your chosen adoption agency in Pakistan during Stage 2 of the UK Home Study.

Should you wish to apply to the Edhi Foundation in Karachi; the application form can be downloaded from the website (link below). It is advisable to send a few photographs of yourselves with your application. These photographs may assist in the matching process. Send the application to Karachi via recorded delivery. It is not currently possible to send the application via email.

https://edhi.org/index.php/services/children-services/child-adoption-center

It is advisable to keep in touch with the Edhi Foundation over the phone once you have sent your application form; both to confirm receipt and to start to build a rapport and demonstrate your enthusiasm to adopt a child.

Edhi Foundation Address:

Sarafa Bazar, 
Boulton Market, 
Mithadar, Karachi, Pakistan
Telephone – 021 32423995

Further information:

https://edhi.org/children-services/jhoolas-baby-cradles#

Please note that post panel, you will be contacted by the DFE to provide details of where your home study pack should be sent to. It is advisable that the original copy be sent to your chosen lawyer and a photocopy handed to the Edhi Foundation. The reason for this is that you may decide at a later date to apply to more than one organization in Pakistan, and in this scenario it may be difficult to retrieve your home study and document pack back from the Edhi Foundation.

 

Application to adopt – imkaan

The application process for Imkaan mimics the UK home study process which focuses on the parents and their readiness to look after a child. Following completion of the registration form, there is a telephone interview to discuss motivations for adoption, challenges one might face and what preparations have taken place. Imkaan does not expect potential adopters to make regular visits and are happy to keep in touch over the phone.

Imkaan operates slightly differently to other orphanages in that they perform the medical examination on a child before the child is placed with prospective parents. They also employ professional carers to look after the child whilst in care. As a result, one of the conditions for the registration process is that if a couple accept the child they must pay for the costs incurred (50,000 PKR) for both the medical and the professional care. In addition, Imkaan provide the child with clothes, baby bottles, baby milk, blanket, toiletries and a toy. Imkaan request that adopters simply replace these items so that they can be offered to the next child.

Feedback from adoptive parents who adopted a baby boy from Imkaan during 2016:

“We felt this was a wonderful and fair process that gave us both the peace of mind that we knew what to expect from a medical point of view and that our baby was well looked after by all the fantastic staff who had also developed a bond with our beautiful boy.”

 

Matching

Upon arrival in Karachi, prospective adopters will need to visit Bilquis Edhi at the Edhi Foundation in Mithadar, Karachi. Once the Edhi Foundation are in receipt of both the application and home study, they will discuss the adoption with the prospective parents. If Bilquis Edhi is not around, ‘Asma’ is left fully in charge of the initial meeting and the matching process. If the first meeting goes well, the adopters will be officially registered for a small administration cost (approx. 200 PKR) and a receipt will be given. One should question the legitimacy of a request for anything larger than this or anything counting as “alternative payments” or “gifts”. Prospective adopters will be advised to keep in touch by visiting and calling regularly until a match is granted (please note, matching refers to placement and it doesn’t necessarily refer to babies being matched according to colour or race etc). It is advisable to visit every other day if possible.

Matching timeframes vary. In the experience of adopters from the UK, this can vary between a 2 days to 8 weeks (the latter is more common.

On the day of the ‘match’, prospective adopters will be called to collect their baby. Adopters should arrive prepared with a sterilized bottle of baby milk, baby clothes, changing mat, nappies, baby wipes and a blanket.

At this point the baby is released in trust to the adoptive parents and release forms are signed by all parties. The Edhi Foundation will advise that the baby should be taken to hospital immediately so that medical checks may be carried out. The Edhi Foundation advise that the baby may be returned in the event of any serious medical conditions which adopters are unable to manage. There have been cases where this has sadly had to happen, and families have gone onto be matched again with a healthy baby. Of course there will be situations in which a baby may need urgent medical treatment for reversible conditions such as jaundice or chest infection, in which the baby is otherwise likely to thrive.

 

Medical examinations

The Edhi Foundation advise the adopters to take the baby to hospital immediately after matching so that a physical medical examination and blood tests are carried out. Two hospitals have been recommended by previous adopters:

1. Aga Khan Hospital, Karachi

2. South City Hospital, Karachi

Recommended Consultants:

Dr Syed Tahir Ali - South City Hospital - Consultant Pediatrician and Neonatologist

“We found Dr Tahir Ali to be very thorough in his approach with a good bedside manner also. He has lived and studied in the U.K. and is a fluent English speaker which made it easier to communicate for us as non-Urdu speakers. He understood the unknown nature of not having any medical history for the baby and he recommended a few additional tests not on the BAAF Form which I felt was thorough, caring and cautious”.

Depending on the time of day when matching takes place, it may not be possible to have the blood tests completed on the same day as the physical medical examination. During the evenings, you may be asked to return the next morning for the blood tests. Blood test results can take between 1-5 days to come through, and sometimes within 4 hrs. The consultant can influence the timings of these on occasion. All the recommended tests are listed on the BAAF Medical Form for Intercountry Adoption. A completed form is required for the matching meeting with the UK Adoption Agency and also for the UK Settlement Visa Application. The form can only be completed once blood test results have been received. You may wish to consider additional tests, such as an ultrasound to check normal brain activity. The Consultant may guide you as to which additional tests are required.

Based on the medical report from the hospital in Pakistan, the UK adoption agency Medical Advisor will write his own medical report summary. This report will also be included in the baby’s UK settlement visa application.

The below table is a demonstration of medical costs for illustration purposes. The prices are correct as of October/November 2016. Private medical care in Pakistan is considerably cheaper than in the UK. 

South City Hospital - Karachi

£20

Medical check-up with Paediatrician, 2500 PKR

South City Hospital - Karachi

£20

Ultrasound on skull to check brain activity 2500 PKR

Aga Khan Hospital

£135

Blood tests including torch, 17,500 PKR

South City Hospital - Karachi

£27

Vaccines from Birth - BCG-OPV, HBV-1, 3500 PKR

South City Hospital - Karachi

£20

Completion of Medical Report, 2500 PKR

South City Hospital - Karachi

£16

Dermatologist Appointment, 2000 PKR

Hearing Centre - Karachi

£20

Hearing Test, 2500 PKR

Reliance Hospital, Bahria Rawalpindi

£11

Hospital Check Up 1000 PKR

Reliance Hospital, Bahria Rawalpindi

£80

2 month vaccinations and consultation

 

Guardianship process

Once the adopters have received the Abandonment Certificate from Edhi/Other, the guardianship process can commence. Please note that this can be started in parallel to obtaining identity documents for the baby (Birth Certificate, Pakistan Identity Card, Passport).

There are two recommended lawyers based in Karachi:

1. Tahera Hasan – www.taherahasan.com (Also Director of Imkaan)

2. Shahida Khatoon - +923082601981

There is a significant price difference between these two lawyers. Quotes as of June 2017 are as follows; Tahera charges 150,000 PKR plus 15,000 PKR expenses. Shahida charges 40,000 PKR including expenses.

Tahera Hasan speaks fluent English which is an advantage for adopters who are unable to communicate in Urdu. She has a very professional persona and office set up. She is very knowledgeable and experienced on adoption matters which gives reassurance to overseas adopters. However, due to the volume of cases she appears to be dealing with, families have experienced delays in service. It is worth noting that cases are often delegated to other colleagues following the initial meeting. Tahera Hasan is also Director of a Welfare Organisation – Imkaan.

Shahida Khatoon does not speak English which may be an issue for some, however she comes highly recommended also, described as ‘’very responsive’’ and ‘’efficient’’. Recent turnaround times of processing a guardianship case have been speedy, which is an advantage if there are time constraints on staying in Pakistan.

Feedback on Shahida Khatoon: “We used Shahida and liked her a lot – very efficient, warm, knowledgeable and good value for money”

“Shahida is very quick at getting court hearings done. Mine was completed within 10 days”

To file guardianship, adopters must appear in court alongside two witnesses. It is possible to get power of attorney if only one adopter can be present. Following this hearing, the Edhi Foundation will be contacted to provide a ‘No Objection’ letter to the Court. Once the letter is received, the ‘No Objection Hearings’ can take place. Adopters do not need to be present in Court for these. This is to give the public a chance to come forward, should there be any objections to the advert placed in the local newspaper advising of the forthcoming adoption. Providing there are no objections, adopters attend Court for a Final Hearing with the child. Two witnesses must be present. It is at this final hearing that the Judge will grant a Guardianship Order. Adopters will receive two important documents; Guardianship Certificate and Guardianship Order. Both of these are required in order to apply for the UK Settlement Visa.

Please note that since 2016 it is standard procedure for the Judge to ask for a ‘Personal Bond’ to be signed by the adoptive parents. This Bond stipulates that the adopted child must be presented to the Court in Karachi, Pakistan within 3 years. The lawyer should negotiate that there is no financial penalty or clause associated to this Bond.

 

Identity documents

Birth Certificate – Once adopters are in receipt of the Abandonment Certificate from Edhi Foundation/Other, they can apply for the baby’s Birth Certificate from the Registry Office of Births and Deaths in Karachi. The adoptive parents should register themselves as the baby’s birth parents on the certificate. This can be done within 1 day. For an additional cost, the lawyer Tahera Hasan can arrange for a Birth Certificate on behalf of the adopters.

Note for single adopters – a recent single adopter (November 2017) has had difficulty registering herself as birth mother on the birth certificate because she is unable to provide a name for birth father. She was advised to obtain legal guardianship first, so that she may be registered as mother on the birth certificate.

Cost – 5000 PKR (price correct as of November 2017)

Documents required: Abandonment Certificate, NICOP card(s) of at least one adopter, NICOP card of grandparent(s),

Smart Card (CNIC) – This is the Pakistan Identity Card which is obtained from NADRA. This can be obtained within 7 days.

Documents required: NICOP Cards, Baby’s Birth Certificate

Passport – This can be obtained within 4 days. Cost is 8000 PKR for the urgent service (price correct as of December 2016).

Documents required: NADRA/NICOP Cards and Baby’s Birth Certificate, Baby Passport Photo, Signatures of Adoptive Parents

 

Uk settlement visa application

When legal guardianship has been obtained and the adopted child has received all of his identity documents, it is time to apply for the UK Settlement Visa. The cost of this is £1200 (price correct as of January 2017). This is initiated online. As part of the application, it is a mandatory requirement for the adopted child to be tested for Tuberculosis at a TB Test Centre and a certificate will be granted. This TB test can be done within a day.

Here is a brief guide to get you started with the UK Settlement visa application. First, you need to register via the link below and start an online application for Settlement visa :

https://www.visa4uk.fco.gov.uk/home/welcome

You will not be able to submit it until you have the baby’s passport number, but you can start completing the application without submitting.

There is a ‘’Fast Track’’ option available at an additional cost (£450 as of January 2017) which will speed up the processing time on the visa delivery. Turnaround times are currently between 5-8 weeks, however even with the Fast Track option, timeframes are not specified. If you do not pay for the fast track service, you can expect to wait a minimum of 12 weeks for a decision. Some families have experienced delays and waited longer than this due to complications with their application, such as missing paperwork or a rejection for other reasons. It is possible to write to your local MP in England to ask for support in circumstances where there is a need to escalate.

Once the online application has been submitted and payment made, you will need to attend a Biometrics appointment at the Gerry’s Centre. This is scheduled online as part of the application. An employee will take a photograph of the baby and will take the baby’s passport. This will be returned to you once the visa decision is ready to collect.

There is a guide available online to the supporting documents required for Settlement Visa. Supporting documents should be sent recorded delivery to Sheffield, U.K. This will be a mixture of originals and photocopies. You will need to complete the relevant forms - Appendix 1, Personal Details Form and Sponsorship Undertaking Form.

You need to write a cover letter to support your application. This should explain that the adopted baby was abandoned with no known information on birth parents and give information on the organization you adopted from, explaining that it is a reputable, well known organization, operating ethically and legally. It should specify that the baby has been living with you permanently since the date of the match. It could include that adopters are in full time employment and therefore will not need access to public funds / are financially stable.

Please see below examples of what could be included (the list is non exhaustive):

  • VAF4A Personal Details Form 
  • Appendix 1 of the VAF4A 
  • Sponsorship Undertaking Form SU07/12 
  • Cover Letter
  • Bank Statements – 6 months’ worth
  • Land Registry Document
  • Mortgage Statement
  • Council Tax or Utility Bill
  • Proof of Employment
  • Payslips – 6 month’s worth
  • P60’s
  • Copies of Identity Documents – Passports, Birth Certificates, NICOP Cards
  • Baby’s TB Test Certificate
  • Baby’s Medical Reports
  • Marriage Certificate
  • Legal Guardianship Documents
  • Certificate of Eligibility to Adopt from DFE
  • Matching Meeting Report
  • Photographs of time spent together as a family in Pakistan with the adopted child or other evidence such as flight tickets

 

You will be notified that the visa decision has been made by email and asked to collect the passport from the Gerrys Centre. Note that the email itself will not contain the decision; you will receive the decision letter with the passport and the visa will be printed inside the baby’s passport.

 

 

София plus.google.com/102831918332158008841 EMSIEN-3