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TRAVELING TO PAKISTAN


1. Preparing for your New Child

2. Making Travel Arrangements

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.

Here is a list of things that we recommend you take from US:

  1. Onesies, especially in the 0-3 month and 3-6 month sizes
  2. Footed pajamas/jumpers, those are hard to find in Pakistan
  3. Caps and socks for infant, sometimes the smallest sizes are hard to find in Pakistan
  4. Receiving blankets, or swaddles
  5. Bibs and burp clothes, although you can find bibs in Pakistan
  6. Baby carrier, very handy for traveling with an infant
  7. Fold-n-go changing station for changing diapers, very handy
  8. Baby grooming kit, including nasal aspirator, nail clippers, baby brush, medicine dispenser, etc.
  9. Baby thermometer, ear thermometers are less invasive
  10. Baby bath cushion/sink liner. It makes bathing even a newborn very easy
  11. Mylicon drops
  12. Motrin for infants
  13. "What to Expect the First Year", an excellent book that lays out the child's development month to month
  14. List of recommended immunizations from your pediatrician in US. Make sure you get your baby the recommended shots per US 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 diaper bags, diapers, formula, diaper 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. Diaper 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 moms about how they felt when they first meet 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 calling cards purchased in Pakistan are very reasonable. Having a plan and being prepared will help the time spent apart go as smooth as possible.

Childcare

Finding quality childcare is one of the big issues you'll face as a parent. In essence, you're looking for a mommy or daddy substitute - someone who will nurture, love, cuddle, play with, and care for your baby in your stead. If you're returning to work, start thinking about childcare well before you bring your baby home. Once you receive that all important phone call from your NGO there will be so many immediate things that will need to be taken care of, future childcare often takes a backseat. It takes time to find the right situation for your baby, and competition to hire the best providers can be intense.

First, decide what kind of care you want for your child: daycare center, home daycare, nanny care, preschool, relative care, and staying at home. Then weigh out the pros and cons of each paying special attention to the financial situation each option will create for your family.

Choosing a Pediatrician

Selecting a Doctor when you receive a referral allows for an informed choice. If you're unfamiliar with local doctors, you may feel overwhelmed by the task of finding the perfect doctor for your new baby. With a little homework and legwork, you'll find one you trust and respect.

Rather than just gathering names from people, try asking a few probing questions such as these:

  • How does your child respond to the doctor?
  • Does the doctor really seem to enjoy working with children?
  • Does the doctor seem to know about the latest medical advances?
  • Does the doctor welcome questions?
  • Does the doctor take time to discuss problems and listen to parents' concerns?
  • If it's a group practice, do you know and like the other doctors?
  • Is the office staff patient and helpful?
  • How long do you usually have to wait?
  • Is the waiting room pleasant and kid-friendly?
  • Is parking plentiful and close by?
  • Is there anything you don't like or wish was different about your child's doctor or her practice?

Once you have narrowed the list to a few candidates make sure the Doctors you chose to interview accept your health insurance and are conveniently located.

When you are ready to conduct face to face interviews be sure to go armed with questions about the things that are most important to you. Here are some possibilities:

  • Do the doctor's hours suit your schedule? You might prefer one who works certain days of the week, or offers evening or Saturday morning hours.
  • How does the office handle phone inquiries? Does it set aside specific times for parents to call in with questions or is there an open advice line during office hours? And if staff members handle the inquiries, do they dispense their own advice or relay the doctor's?
  • Does the doctor accept and answer questions by e-mail?
  • How are appointments handled for children who are sick? Is there good chance your child will get to see his own doctor?
  • How do you reach the doctor if your child gets sick after hours? When your doctor is not on call, who covers? (Practices vary: Some send patients to urgent care clinics, for example, while others will meet you at the office even at night.)
  • How does the practice handle payments, billing, laboratory charges, and insurance claims?
  • Pay attention to such intangibles as the doctor's style. Do you want a doctor who offers choices and lets you decide which one works best for you? Or would you be more comfortable with one who gives a lot of direction?
  • Make note of the overall atmosphere of the office and the ease of parking.
  • Discuss adoption and pay attention to the Doctor's views on the subject and note any experiences or knowledge he/she has with children who have been adopted internationally.

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2. Making Travel Arrangements

You may want to make travel arrangements through an agency that specializes in adoption-related travel. These agencies often provide special provisions such as discounted fares, flexible tickets with no penalties for changes, special last minute trips, etc.

Some airline carriers also offer discounted fares for adoptions. It is important to note, however, that regular fares are often much more cost-effective than adoption-fares even when penalty charges for changing the ticket are included.

Airline Toll Free # Special Offer
British Airways 1-800-AIRWAYS 65% off for adults and adopted child is 1/2 off discounted fare
Delta 1-800-241-4141 check with airline
Northwest Airlines/KLM 1-800-322-4162 65% off for adults, penalty-free changes, extra luggage at no charge
United & Lufthansa 1-800-538-2929
ref code S^UAL/INTL-Adopt
check with airline

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3. Preparing 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 recommended to have the following documents at hand for your court process or for the adoption agency in Pakistan, although they may not be necessary:

  1. Home study
  2. I-600A approval letter (I-171H)
  3. Proof of home ownership/mortgage
  4. Proof of financial standing/bank statements, etc.
  5. Copies of tax returns for previous 3 years
  6. Photos of your family and home
  7. a letter from your doctor as proof of infertility
  8. conversion certificate if you and/or your spouse has converted to Islam
  9. if you or your spouse converted to Islam, a letter from your local Imam stating that you are Muslims in good standing and intend to raise your child as a Muslim

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.

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4. Staying Healthy during your trip

Although the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention does not require immunizations for travel to Pakistan, it is a good idea to consult your doctor 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 contamination 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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