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TRAVELING TO PAKISTAN


1. Preparing for your New Child

2. Presenting yourself at Edhi or other agency

3. Preparing Court Documents for Pakistan

4. Staying Healthy during your trip

 

 


1. Preparing for your New Child

When preparing to travel to Pakistan for your new child, it is a good idea to make a list of items you would need for the baby's care during your stay in Pakistan.

Zubaida’s Mothershop has several branches in Karachi, and has a good range of items (cots, baby baths, bottles, sterilisers, toiletries, clothes, blankets, wraps etc). Pakistani babies tend to be smaller than in the UK, so their sizes also fit better. There is also a branch of Mothercare in Forum shopping mall in Karachi – but it is expensive compared to Zubaida’s. Items may be more difficult to find in other cities.

Here is a list of things that we recommend:

Item Availability in Pakistan
Lots of sleeveless and full length jumpsuits, especially in the 0-3 month and 3-6 month sizes – you go through several in a day initially Limited range in Zubaida’s Mothershop
Warm anorak/ jumpers/ fleeces in winter Can be found in Islamabad, but may be difficult to find elsewhere
Caps and socks for infants Available in Zubaida’s, may be difficult to find small sizes in other parts of Pakistan
Blankets and wraps Available in Zubaida’s
Muslin burp cloths Not available, but you can get jersey nappy liners which are OK in Zubaida’s
Folding changing mat Bring from UK. Available in Mothercare in Forum. Very useful
Baby grooming kit Nail clippers/scissors, baby brush, nasal aspirator, medicine dispenser – available in chemists
Baby bath cushion/sink liner - makes bathing even a newborn very easy Available at Mothercare
A good childcare book Bring from UK. Penelope Leach’s “Baby and Child” is recommended. You can also ask for a copy of “Birth to Five” from your health visitor, which is a good general guide given to new parents.
List of recommended immunizations from your health visitor or GP in UK. Make sure you get your baby the recommended shots per UK schedule while in Pakistan so that your baby would not need too many shots to get the medical approved for visa.  
Some of the baby essentials like nappies, bottles, formula, nappy rash cream, baby bath supplies etc. are easily available in most big cities in Pakistan. Pampers brand is freely available in Lahore, Karachi, Islamabad and most big cities. Nappy sizes are by weight in kg.  

Emotional Preparation

Becoming new parents is an exciting time, full of many emotions. It a good idea to be as prepared as possible. Speak with other parents about how they felt when they first met their new baby, often you will find the emotions are similar whether they adopted or gave birth to their children. There are great books and websites that deal with the emotional aspect of welcoming a new baby into your family. The book "What to Expect in the First Year" has a great section pertaining to adoption. The website www.babycenter.com is a great resource for expecting parents, it also contains useful tips and information about your newborn (they too have a great adoption section).

Speak openly with your spouse about your expectations of each other and the types of roles each will play. Often due to the time it takes to complete an adoption from Pakistan, spouses have to spend months apart. This separation can be very difficult on both husband and wife, add a newborn that both have been waiting for anxiously and one can see where things might get difficult. Many couples use lots of communication during their separation to support each other. In Pakistan most cities have internet access and international call rates are very reasonable in Pakistan. Having a plan and being prepared will help the time spent apart go as smoothly as possible.

 

2. Presenting yourself at Edhi or other agency

When you arrive in Pakistan, you need to present yourself at the Edhi Office, or other agency to inform them that you are in the country. As soon as they have a baby available they will contact you to come in and see the baby. If you are happy with the match, Mrs Edhi will allow you to take the baby home. The baby is given as ‘Amaanat’ (in trust) to you for a period of three months. In this time, the birth parents have the right to come forward and reclaim the baby. During your time in Pakistan, you are free to stay anywhere in the country and will only need to return to Karachi to finalise the guardianship.

 

3. Preparing Court Documents for Pakistan

While you are getting ready to travel to Pakistan, it is a good idea to get your documents in order to prepare for the adoption hearing in Pakistan. The first step is to contact a lawyer in Pakistan and get an understanding of the court adoption process. If only one of the adoptive parents would be in Pakistan to appear in family court, or you plan to designate a local contact to represent you there, you will need to get a Power of Attorney document prepared in advance of your departure.

The documents you would need for the court process in Pakistan are:

  1. NICOP/CNIC Pakistani Identity Card
  2. Birth certificates for both adoptive parents
  3. Nikah Nama/Marriage certificate
  4. Copies of passports for both adoptive parents
  5. Provisional birth certificate from orphanage
  6. Release of custody by orphanage/no objection certificate from orphanage
  7. Original petition to the court (prepared by your lawyer)
  8. Copy of the advertisement in paper to announce the court hearing for guardianship (lawyer will provide)

It is a good idea to organize all your documents in a binder or expandable file folder, and organize your paperwork so that it is easily accessible when they ask for a particular piece of paper. This information will come in handy later as well when you apply for the baby's birth certificate, passport, immigration approval and visa.

 

4. Staying Healthy during your trip

It is a good idea to consult your doctor regarding immunizations for travel to Pakistan, especially if you will be taking young children with you. Try to see your doctor at least 4-6 weeks before your trip to allow time for the shots to take effect.

Your doctor may recommend the following vaccines:

Hepatitis A Transmission of virus can occur through direct person-to-person contact; exposure to contaminated water, ice, or shellfish; fruits, vegetables, or other uncooked foods.
Hepatitis B Transmission of virus can occur through exposure to blood or body fluids
Typhoid Typhoid fever can be contracted through contaminated drinking water or food, or by eating food or drinking beverages that have been handled by a person who is infected.
Tetanus-diphtheria Booster dose as needed.
Polio A one-time dose for adults may be recommended by your doctor.
Malaria Risk of malaria may be high even in cities. See your doctor for a prescription antimalarial drug.

Do's and Don'ts

Do:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water or a hand sanitizer to help prevent disease transmission.

  • Drink only bottled water from a reliable source, water that has been boiled rigorously for at least 3 minutes, or carbonated soft drinks in cans or bottles. Make sure the cap is factory-sealed on all bottles.

  • Protect yourself from mosquito insect bites:

    • Wear long-sleeved shirts, long pants, and hats when outdoors.

    • Use insect repellents that contain DEET. When using repellent on a child, apply it to your own hands first and then rub them on your child, avoiding the eyes, mouth and ears.

    • If you don't have air conditioning or screens on doors and windows, use a pyrethroid-containing spray in living and sleeping areas during evening and night-time hours; or sleep under bed nets, preferably insecticide-treated ones.

    • Take malaria prevention medication as directed by your doctor.

Don't:

  • Do not drink tap water or beverages with ice.

  • Do not eat food purchased from street vendors.

  • Do not eat uncooked foods or foods that have not been well cooked.

  • Avoid dairy products unless they have been pasteurized.

  • Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to certain waterborne diseases.

  • Do not handle animals, especially monkeys, dogs, and cats, to avoid bites and serious diseases (including rabies and plague). Avoid poultry farms, bird markets, and other places where live poultry is raised or kept.

This information is intended to be a general guideline for staying healthy when you travel to Pakistan. It is very important that you and your family consult a doctor before traveling. Have a safe and healthy trip!

 

 
 
     
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