Pakistan adoption in limbo for Ottawa family
An Ottawa woman waiting for her husband and her adopted son to be able to leave Pakistan and come to Canada says she is frustrated by a lack of communication from immigration officials.
Lisa Paterick and her husband Malik Shafi adopted a baby, whom they named Adam, from Pakistan after he was born in early February.
They travelled to Karachi where he was born but have been unable to return the child to Canada until his visa is processed.
Shafi stayed with the boy while Paterick returned with their daughter, who was adopted from Pakistan four years ago.
'There's no movement'
Paterick said her spirits were lifted when Canadian officials told her a visa, allowing her infant son and husband to return from Pakistan, was ready.
A routine medical exam, the last hurdle in the process, was sent electronically five weeks ago, yet Paterick said the visa office in Islamabad has no record of it.
"We've accommodated everything they've asked for, but that's where it stops," said Paterick. "There's no movement."
She said she fears for the safety of her husband and is also concerned about whether his job here in Canada is at risk.
And she said she also misses her son.
"When I go to put him down or pass him to his dad, he would grab me, and wouldn't want to let me go," said Paterick. "And now he doesn't know who I am."
International adoptions can take up to 32 months
Paterick's MP David McGuinty has been trying to assist her but has told her approval for the visa could still be months away.
International adoptions can take up to 32 months, according to information on Citizen and Immigration Canada's website.
Immigration lawyer Negar Ashtari said delays are part of the international adoption process, but said citizenship and immigration officials could alleviate some of those delays by doing a better job of communicating where things stand to applicants.
"Answers, communication with these visa offices remains a problem and then when we send inquiries, the answers we usually get are boiler plate," said Ashtari.