Saskatchewan writes letter for couple trying to get adopted son into Canada

Published: June 5, 2014

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Ajjab Afridi (left) and Waheeda Afridi are shown in a handout photo. Afridi was proud when she became a Canadian citizen nearly a decade ago, but now feels only anger and frustration over a bureaucracy that she says has abandoned her and her adopted son overseas.THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO

THE CANADIAN PRESS

SASKATOON — The Saskatchewan government has signed a letter that says it does not object to a Saskatoon couple bringing their adopted son home from Pakistan.

Ashfaq and Waheeda Afridi have been trying to get Ajjab to Canada ever since he was born in 2010.

In 2012, after nearly two years of trying, Canada denied the couple’s application for a permanent residence application for their child.

Ottawa had since said the Afridi family would need a letter of non-objection from Saskatchewan to let Ajjab into the country.

Saskatchewan Social Services Minister June Draude says that letter has been forwarded to the federal government.

She says she hopes that means the Afridi family will soon be reunited.

Waheeda Afridi has been in Pakistan waiting to bring the boy to Saskatoon for 3 1/2 years.

Ajjab was born to her sister, who was widowed with six other children and hard-pressed to care for him. The Afridis, who are Canadian citizens, got paperwork done in Pakistan to assume guardianship of Ajjab in 2010.

Draude said she had been hesitant to sign the letter because it is meant for inter-country adoptions and the province believed this was a matter of guardianship. But the government got more information this week that assured it that signing the letter wouldn’t break Canadian adoption rules, she said.

“Every night I was thinking and praying so God accepted our prayer,” Ashfaq Afridi said with tears in his eyes.

He said he will throw a party when his wife and son come home.

Related stories:

(CKOM)

18:16ET 05-06-14

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