Supporters rally around Saskatoon couple trying to adopt Pakistani child

Published: September 9, 2013

Waheeda Afridi’s adopted son, Ajjab. The StarPhoenix photo.

JASON WARICK
THE STARPHOENIX

Supporters are rallying around a Saskatoon woman stuck in Pakistan with her adopted son.

Nearly 200 people have signed a petition asking the Canadian and Saskatchewan governments to allow Waheeda Afridi to return to Saskatoon with three-yearold Ajjab.

“I don’t understand why this is happening. They need our support,” said Open Door Society board member Norma Sim.

“I can only pray they will be able to come home soon,” said longtime family friend

Arifa Rajput.

Their return is being blocked partly because Saskatch-ewan government officials don’t believe Pakistan’s “guardianship certificates” are sufficient to allow adoption, even though the United States and other countries do.

Afridi has been caring for Ajjab – her ill, widowed sister’s seventh child – since his birth in Pakistan. Afridi’s husband, Ashfaq, has remained in Saskatoon to work as a private security guard, and has not seen either of them in three years.

After trying to conceive a child for years, the Saskatoon couple decided to adopt. When Afridi’s sister became pregnant and her husband died weeks later, everyone agreed it was best for Waheeda and Ashfaq to adopt the baby.

They endured the arduous process to obtain a guardianship certificate from the Pakistani courts. They passed a home study for prospective adoptive parents conducted by the Saskatchewan government.

“They did everything properly,” said Nayyar Javed, family friend and founder of Immigrant Women of Saskatchewan.

“Waheeda and her husband have worked so hard to upgrade their education, to find good jobs and to integrate into Canadian society,” said Javed.

However, provincial officials are blocking any such adoptions. One other issue is the provincial government doesn’t want to allow adoptions from nations which are not party to an international adoption treaty called The Hague Convention, a safeguard against smuggling and other unethical practices.

Supporters say it’s important to have rules around international adoptions, but exceptions are made for similar cases in other jurisdictions. The U.S. allows several dozen Americans to adopt Pakistani children each year, as do other Commonwealth nations.

“This is the furthest thing from child trafficking. They are rescuing this child. It’s a no-brainer,” former Open Door board member Deb Hopkins said.

Rajput, who Afridi refers to as “Auntie,” said it’s understandable Afridi does not want to return without Ajjab, even though she is suffering from a serious medical condition.

“Would you abandon your three-year-old child? Imagine the suffering they are going through,” said Rajput, one of the few Pakistanis in Saskatoon when she arrived in the mid-1970s.

“Canada is my country and Saskatoon is my home. I have to have faith this will work out.”

Their Saskatoon lawyer, Haidah Amirzadeh, has filed a request for a judicial review of the case. She and the supporters hold out hope that provincial and federal government ministers will help them.

She said the best interests of the child should be paramount and it’s obvious Ajjab would be better off with Waheeda and Ashfaq in Saskatoon.

Ashfaq said the support has lifted his mood.

“I am a little bit happy. People are speaking out for us, and I hope it will work,” he said.

“Please do not be afraid about Ajjab. He is just a little helpless boy.”

Related Stories:


Tags: , , , , ,





Featured

dead man walking

Man declared dead by hospital wakes up two days later

CEN AGENCY An Indian hospital who declared a man dead discovered he was actually still alive when police turned up an incredible two days later…
Continue Reading »

B.C. courts

NRI who did not have sex with his wife for 8 years gets her charged for adultery, having an illegitimate child

IANS Dubai – An Indian man filed a case in a court in the UAE against his wife, who gave birth to a child in…
Continue Reading »

Pakistan Parliament emergency Nawaz Sharif

Pakistani lawmakers back embattled premier Nawaz Sharif amid anti-government protests

REBECCA SANTANA And MUNIR AHMED THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s lawmakers rallied behind the country’s embattled prime minister Tuesday in an emergency session,…
Continue Reading »

LOCAL NEWS

babe SEXY BOLLYWOOD desi

B.C.’s Miss India Canada pageant contestant sues ex-boyfriend to pay for tuition for failed class after breakup

KAMLOOPS THIS WEEK KAMLOOPS — A 22-year-old B.C. woman is suing her ex-boyfriend to pay tuition for a class she says she failed due to distress…
Continue Reading »

Longtime Surrey politician and former mayor Bob Bose is pictured here near his south Surrey home on Monday, November 21, 2011. Jenelle Schneider/PNG

Former Surrey mayor Bob Bose backs Barinder Rasode, says no Surrey Matters slate coming

AMY REID SURREY NOW SURREY — Though Coun. Barinder Rasode has yet to officially announce her intentions to run for the city’s top job, she’s…
Continue Reading »

A Pakistani-Canadian blogger has released Pakistan's first-ever anti-homophobia children's book. Submitted photo/Nicemangos.blogspot.ca.

Toronto-based blogger releases Pakistan’s first anti-homophobia children’s book

VANCOUVER DESI A Toronto-based Pakistani blogger has written and released Pakistan’s first-ever anti-homophobia children’s book. Blogger Eiynah, known for her site Nice Mangos where she…
Continue Reading »

Don't Miss...

jail sex

B.C. Supreme Court to decide if Kamloops Mountie watching women have sex in jail is a crime

THE CANADIAN PRESS KAMLOOPS, B.C. — A judge wants to hear arguments from lawyers about the legality of the charge against an RCMP corporal accused…
Continue Reading »

Rice Bucket India poverty

India’s Rice Bucket Challenge gives a ‘meaningful twist’ to ALS ice bucket challenge

VANCOUVER DESI India has created its own “desi” version of the ALS ice bucket challenge that has swept the globe. While the original icy cold…
Continue Reading »

India

Man proudly wears world’s largest turban weighing in at 100 pounds and 645 metres long unwrapped

VANCOUVER DESI A 60-year-old devout Sikh in northern India appears to be the proud owner of the world’s largest turban – weighing in at 100…
Continue Reading »

Elephant headed god

Gallery: India prepares to welcome elephant-headed Lord Ganesha

VANCOUVER DESI Preparations for Ganesh Chaturthi, a festival marking the birth of the elephant-headed god, have taken off in India as Hindus prepare to welcome…
Continue Reading »

Witches Burned Victim Alive In Front Of Family

Witches burn Indian dad alive in a bizarre ritual in front of his wife and 10-year-old son

CEN AGENCY Witches who burned a man alive after chopping off his arms in a bizarre ritual have been seized by police in central India….
Continue Reading »


Bollywood Latest

Newly-elected Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Member of Parliament and Indian Bollywood actor Paresh Rawal arrives in Parliament in New Delhi on May 20, 2014. India's Narendra Modi is expected to formally declare his intention to form the next government May 20, days after his Hindu nationalist party won the first parliamentary majority in three decades. PRAKASH SINGH/AFP/Getty Images

No one else can play the role: Paresh Rawal on Modi biopic

IANS Mumbai  – Versatile actor Paresh Rawal, who will soon start shooting for a biopic on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, says he is the right…
Continue Reading »

hot photos desi actress bollywood sex

Gallery: Deepika Padukone photo shoot

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood beauty Deepika Padukone, who is creating a lot of buzz with her upcoming film Finding Fanny, poses for the camera. Related Stories:…
Continue Reading »

Bollywood desi boobs sex

Bollywood’s bold babe Sherlyn Chopra strips for Playboy

VANCOUVER DESI Bollywood actress Sherlyn Chopra marks the first-ever Indian model to pose for Playboy magazine, according to eonline.com. While the 30-year-old announced she’d be…
Continue Reading »