Attorney Grace Kennedy is one of the few attorneys in the United States who routinely handles adoption cases from Pakistan. She is regarded as a national expert on the subject.   Adopting a child in Pakistan can be a long, difficult, and legally-complex process.  The Guardians and Wards Act of 1890 governs the rights and interests of minors in Pakistan.  Pakistani law and Islamic Shari’a law, upon which Pakistan family law is largely based, does not allow for adoptions of Pakistani children in Pakistan.  However, it is possible to obtain an immigrant visa for a Pakistani child if that child is the subject of a guardianship order issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in Pakistan.

All children adopted from Pakistan must fall under the definition of orphan as found in the Immigration and Nationality Act and its corresponding regulations.   The definition of “orphan” is broad and provides prospective adoptive parents with a variety of ways to obtain an immigrant visa for children who do not come from orphanages and for children who have one or even two living parents.  Despite this, the most common reason for denial of the immigrant visa for couples who are not represented by a competent attorney is failure to prove that the child in question falls under the definition of orphan.

The adoption immigration process typically follows the following format:

  1. File Form I-600A, Application for advance processing of Orphan Petition.
  2. Begin your search for a child.
  3. Obtain guardianship of your child in Pakistan.
  4. File Form I-600, Petition to Classify Orphan as Immediate Relative, either in the US or at the US embassy in Islamabad.

Attorney Kennedy is committed to providing thoughtful advice and providing novel solutions in even the most challenging situations.

Resources:  – The Pakistan Adoption group serves as a means of communication for families all over the world who are considering or are in the process of adopting a child from Pakistan.