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PETITION

Adoption of Earthquake Orphans in Pakistan

Through this petition we would like to bring a proposal to the attention of the authorities in Pakistan about the future of the children orphaned and displaced by the earthquake that hit northern Pakistan in October, 2005.

  • We represent over 100 families, with at least one of the two spouses of Pakistani origin, living all over the world. Most of our members are families who are interested in adopting these children and providing them a loving home and family. Quite a few of us have already adopted children from Pakistan and are providing them the love and care a child deserves with his or her family.

  • In order to help people interested in adopting from Pakistan, we started Pakistan Adoption Yahoo group, a support group to help families interesting in adopting children from Pakistan. This group has become a major source of information and support for families looking to adopt from Pakistan. We had a major increase in our membership with people wanting to help out the victims of the October 2005 earthquake by welcoming one or more children into their homes. Here's the link to our page: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pakistanadoption/ We now have over 150 members and most of us are concerned about the plight of children orphaned by the earthquake last October.

  • We have the desire, means and love to provide a happy and loving home for a child, and would like to adopt the children affected by the earthquake. At least one spouse among the prospective adoptive parents has to be of Pakistani origin to meet the NADRA requirement for getting the child's Pakistani passport. As such the child's Pakistani heritage and identity will be reinforced, rather than compromised by being placed in these homes. We have been carefully screened by adoption and immigration agencies in the United States, United Kingdom and other countries, as well as child placement agencies like Edhi Foundation, Kashana-e-Itfal-o-Naunihal, and SOS Village in Pakistan.

  • We understand and respect the Pakistan Government's desire to protect the children from un-necessary displacement and exploitation at the hands of child traffickers and opportunists, as well as to maintain their religious, family and cultural heritage. We share the desire to protect these children and also their long term future. We are pained to see thousands of innocent children who lost their families and loved ones due to the earthquake and would like to appeal to the government to lift the ban on their adoption/guardianship. These children have already suffered a tremendous loss; it would be a shame to deprive them of a chance at a positive and happy future with a family of their own due to a mandatory ban on their adoption.

  • We understand that quite a few of these children are part of sibling groups and recognize the importance of keeping them together as a family, rather than tearing up whatever family they have left. We also realize that some of the older children may need a lot of reassurance and counseling in order to help them overcome with the trauma they have suffered due to the earthquake and ensuing transition into a new environment. The post-placement reviews by licensed social workers that are a part of the adoption process also ensure that the family is adjusting well after the child/children have been placed with them.

  • Edhi Foundation has a wonderful "Jhoola" program that places orphaned and abandoned children for adoption with carefully screened prospective adoptive families; most of our members are working with Edhi in pursuing the adoption of their children. Kashana-e-Itfal has a very well-organized program that places children with families only after they have satisfied strict criteria and gone through child care training through them. SOS Village also has a similar program for placing infants in the care of adoptive families who have been approved. These agencies are providing an invaluable service to the community by taking care of the children who do not have any other means of sustenance and at the same time bringing the joy and love of children to families who are willing and able to care for them.

  • Some of us who have been fortunate enough to have already adopted our children through Edhi and other organizations in Pakistan have gone through a rigorous screening process and have been providing regular updates with pictures of our children to the agencies that placed them in our care. Families often wait for several months, in some cases, over a year, after approval to be matched to a child after they have gone through home studies with a licensed social worker in their countries of residence, fulfilled the initial immigration requirements, and submitted their paperwork with background checks, medical exams, reference letters, finger prints, home safety visits, and proof of financial and emotional stability. In addition they have satisfied the requirements of the child placement agencies in Pakistan. Typically there is a long waiting list of parents wanting to adopt, and not enough children available for placement with these families.

  • We would like to make a concerted effort to open up the possibility of adoption for children of all ages orphaned by the earthquake, and would be more than happy to work with the government in this regard. We are willing to work with the government in establishing screening criteria to make sure that only genuine families who will provide a stable, loving home for a child are able to adopt these children, and offer to provide follow up reports on the progress of these children to designated authorities.

We hope our sincere request will be given due consideration and we will be happy to provide further information if needed.

For signing this petition, please go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pakistanadoption/

 

 
     
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