Peru is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption (Hague Adoption Convention). Therefore, all adoptions between Peru and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. law implementing the Convention.
Peruvian law restricts inter-country adoption to children who have been deemed legally abandoned. A Peruvian court must make a legal finding of abandonment before the child is assigned to prospective parents. In effect, this provision prohibits so-called “direct” adoptions, in which a birth parent gives a child directly (or via an intermediary) to specific prospective parent(s) for adoption. It also prohibits adoptive parents from searching for and locating a child on their own.
Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Learn more.
WHO CAN ADOPT
Adoption between the United States and Peru is governed by the Hague Adoption Convention. Therefore to adopt from Peru, you must first be found eligible to adopt by the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government agency responsible for making this determination is the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn more.
In addition to these U.S. requirements for prospective adoptive parents, Peru also has the following eligibility requirements for prospective adoptive parents:
- Residency Requirements: There is no minimum residency requirement for intercountry adoptions. Prospective adoptive parents can travel to Peru, remain in Peru to complete the adoption, and travel back to the United States without fulfilling a minimum residency period. Although both adoptive parents do not need to be present in Peru for the entire processing time, both must be present for the provisional placement, evaluation, and ratification of the adoption through the court.
- Age Requirements: The age and civil status of the prospective adoptive parents determines the age range of the adopted child:
- Married parents between 25 and 43 years old may adopt children up to the age of three.
- Married parents between 44 and 50 years old may adopt children between three and six years of age.
- Married parents between 51 and 55 years old may adopt children age six and older.
- Single parents between 35 and 50 years old may adopt children age five and older.
- Marriage Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents can be married or single.
- Income Requirements: There are no specific income requirements; however, prospective adoptive parents will have to provide documentation detailing their current income.
- Other Requirements: Prospective adoptive parents must pass a psychological evaluation.
Note: Prospective adoptive parents of dual or mixed American and Peruvian nationality who wish to adopt a blood relative and travel to the United States with the adopted child should ensure that the adoption process complies with the Hague Adoption Convention.
WHO CAN BE ADOPTED
Because Peru is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, children from Peru must meet the requirements of the Convention in order to be eligible for adoption. For example, the Convention requires that Peru attempt to place a child with a family in-country before determining that a child is eligible for intercountry adoption. In addition to Peru’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of a Convention adoptee for you to bring him or her back to the United States.
Learn more about the Convention’s requirements for adoptable children.
- Abandonment Requirements: Peruvian law restricts inter-country adoption to children who have been deemed legally abandoned. A Peruvian court must make a legal finding of abandonment before the child is assigned to prospective parents. In effect, this provision prohibits so-called “direct” adoptions, in which a birth parent gives a child directly (or via an intermediary) to specific prospective parent(s) for adoption. It also prohibits prospective adoptive parents from searching for and locating a child on their own.
- Age Requirements: Peru allows children up to 18 years of age to be adopted. U.S. law requires that the I-800A petition to classify an adopted child as an immediate relative be filed before the child’s 16th birthday.
HOW TO ADOPT
Peru’s Central Authority
Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES)
Because Peru is party to the Hague Adoption Convention, adopting from Peru must follow a specific process designed to meet the Convention’s requirements. A brief summary of the Convention adoption process is given below. You must complete these steps in the following order to meet all necessary legal requirements for adoption.
In Peru, there are two separate processes for adoption. International adoptions are normally processed through the Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES), which is in charge of certifying compliance with the Hague Adoption Convention. In cases involving Peruvian nationals adopting a blood relative, it is possible under Peruvian law to complete the adoption without involving MIMDES. If an adoption process is completed without MIMDES’ prior certification of Hague compliance, it may be impossible for the U.S. Embassy to issue a Hague Convention adoptee visa.
Note: If you filed your I-600A with Peru before April 1, 2008, the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption; it could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for orphan adoptions. Learn more.
1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
3. Be Matched with a Child
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
5. Adopt the Child in Peru
6. Bring your Child Home
1. Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
The first step in adopting a child from Peru is to select an accredited or approved adoption service provider in the United States. Only these agencies and attorneys can provide adoption services between the United States and Peru. Learn more.
2. Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
After you choose an accredited adoption service provider, you apply to be found eligible to adopt (Form I-800A, Application for Determination of Suitability to adopt a child from a Convention Country) by the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Learn how.
Once the U.S. Government determines that you have been provisionally approved as “eligible” and “suitable” to adopt, you or your adoption service provider will forward your information to the Central Authority in Peru. The MIMDES will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Peru’s law.
3. Be Matched with a Child
If both the United States and the MIMDES Board of Directors determine that you are eligible to adopt, and a child is available for intercountry adoption, the MIMDES will tentatively assign a child to the prospective adoptive parent(s) and forward information regarding the assigned child to the parent’s(s’) adoption service provider. MIMDES assigns the U.S. adoption service provider a specific amount of time (usually 15-20 working days) to confirm the prospective adoptive parent’s(s’) intention to adopt the child. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs of the particular child and provide a permanent family placement for the referred child.
Provisional custody is awarded to the prospective adoptive parents shortly after their arrival in Peru. After 10-15 days, a social worker assigned to the case will issue a report attesting to the compatibility and bonding of the child and the prospective parents. If the report is favorable, both of the prospective adoptive parents appear in court to ratify their adoption request, after which the judge may issue the final adoption decree.
4. Apply for the Child to be Found Eligible for Adoption
After you accept a match with a child, you will apply to the USCIS for provisional approval to adopt that particular child (Form I-800, Petition to Classify a Convention adoptee as an Immediate Relative). USCIS will determine whether the child is eligible under U.S. immigration law to be adopted and enter the United States. Learn how.
After this, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to a Consular Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Lima. The Consular Officer will review the child’s information and evaluate the child for possible visa ineligibilities. If the Consular Office determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States, he or she will notify MIMDES (Article 5 letter). For Convention country adoptions, prospective adoptive parent(s) may not proceed with the adoption or obtain custody for the purpose of adoption until this takes place.
Remember: The Consular Officer will make a final decision about the immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
5. Adopt the Child (or Gain Legal Custody) in Peru
Remember: Before you adopt (or gain legal custody of) a child in Peru, you must have completed the above four steps. Only after completing these steps, can you proceed to finalize the adoption or grant of custody for the purposes of adoption in Peru.
The process for finalizing the adoption (or gaining legal custody) in Peru generally includes the following:
- Role of The Central Authority: The MIMDES Board of Directors approves the prospective adoptive parents’ completed dossier and tentatively assigns a child to them. Information concerning the child is forward to the adoption service provider. When the adoption is completed, the adoption is entered into a national adoption registry maintained by MIMDES.
- Role of The Court: Provisional custody is awarded to the prospective adoptive parents shortly after their arrival in Peru. After 10-15 days, a social worker assigned to the case will issue a report attesting to the compatibility and bonding of the child and the prospective parents. If the report is favorable, both of the prospective adoptive parents appear in court to ratify their adoption request, after which the judge may issue the final adoption decree.
Note: If married, Peruvian law mandates that both prospective adoptive parents must be present for the provisional placement, evaluation, and ratification of the adoption through the court.
- Role of Adoption Service Providers: The adoption service provider assists the prospective adoptive parent(s) with completing the dossier. It will also notify the prospective adoptive parent(s) when a child has been assigned. The provider responds to the MIMDES within the mandated timeframe (usually 15 – 20 working days) of the parent’s(s’) intention to adopt the child.
- Time Frame: Intercountry adoptions from Peru can be time consuming. The total time (from the initial inquiry with an approved adoption agency until the child arrives in the United States) can take many months and often over a year. Both prospective adoptive parents do not need to be present in Peru for the entire time; however, they must be present for the provisional placement, evaluation, and ratification of the adoption through the court. Prospective adoptive parents should expect to stay in Peru for approximately eight weeks (and sometimes longer) to complete an adoption.
- Adoption Application: The adoption application is filed with the Ministry for Women and Social Development (MIMDES).
- Adoption Fees: There are no specified adoption fees for intercountry adoptions from Peru.
Note: The U.S. Embassy in Peru discourages the payment of any fees that are not properly receipted. “Donations,” or “expediting” fees, which may be requested from prospective adoptive parents, have the appearance of “buying” a baby and put all future adoptions in Brazil at risk. Any expected expenses should have been itemized in the fees and estimated expenses section of your adoption services contract.
- Documents Required: The following is a list of some of the documents necessary to complete an intercountry adoption in Peru:
- Original birth certificates for each parent and for other children in the family;
- Marriage certificate, if applicable;
- Divorce certificate(s), where applicable;
- Death certificate in cases where the prospective adoptive parent is a widow or widower;
- Legalized copy of the prospective adoptive parent’s(s’) passport(s);
- Police reports from the prospective adoptive parent’s(s’) place of residence;
- Medical exam results;
- Job letters; and
- Tax returns.
Note: For an up to date list of documents required by MIMDES please see MIMDES’ adoptions website at http://www.mimdes.gob.pe/sna/faq.htm#5. All U.S. documents must be translated into Spanish by an official translator and legalized by the Peruvian Consul in the United States. For additional information please contact the MIMDES via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website at www.mimdes.gob.pe/sna/proceso.html.
6. Bring Your Child Home
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents for your child before he or she can travel to the United States:
You will first need to apply for a new birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a passport. To do this, you must register the child in the municipality where she or he was born and obtain a birth certificate listing you as the child's parent(s).
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he or she will need a passport from Peru.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After the adoption (or custody for purpose of adoption) is granted, visit the U.S Embassy for final review and approval of the child’s I-800 petition and to obtain a visa for the child. The adopted child must appear in front of the Consular Officer along with at least one of the adoptive parents. This immigrant visa allows your child to travel home with you. As part of this process, the Consular Officer must be provided the Panel Physician’s medical report on the child if it was not provided during the provisional approval stage.
Note: The Panel Physician's examination is designed to comply with specific visa regulations, and is not intended to be a fully inclusive physical examination. If adoptive parents wish to consult a pediatrician for a more complete physical exam, or for any health problems, the U.S. Embassy can provide a current list of doctors and sources for medicines.
Interviews are scheduled every weekday except Fridays during January-March, and every weekday except Wednesdays during April-December. Interviews are not scheduled on U.S. and Peruvian holidays. The Immigrant Visa Unit will try to schedule an interview as quickly as possible, but adoptive parents should allow up to five working days for the visa interview to be scheduled and the process to be completed. Adoptive parents should not make final, non-refundable travel plans to return to the United States until they have their child's visa in hand. A Consular Officer is required to review an adoption case carefully and make an independent determination of the child's eligibility for a visa. This includes another review of the case’s Hague compliance and the child's medical information.
Note: All court documents related to the child's abandonment and adoption must also have an official English translation. A list of translators is available at the U.S. Embassy in Lima.
In addition to the complete adoption file presented to USCIS for the I-800, adoptive parents will need the following at the visa interview with the Consular Officer:
- A medical exam completed by a designated panel physician along with the exam fee;
- The child's Peruvian passport;
- One photograph of the child, 5cm x 5cm, on a white background, facing directly at the camera. The photo cannot be in profile and should cover 50% of the photo; and
- Fee for the visa application and issuance fees (U.S. Dollars, Peruvian currency, or credit card).
Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least 24 to 48 working hours from the interview. It is possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the embassy before making final travel arrangements.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to acquire American citizenship when he or she enters the United States as lawful permanent residents.
For adoptions to be finalized in the United States: The Child Citizenship Act of 2000 allows your child to typically acquire American citizenship when the U.S. state court issues the final adoption decree. We urge your family to finalize the adoption in a U.S. State court as quickly as possible.
*Please be aware that if your child did not qualify to become a citizen upon entry to the United States, it is very important that you take the steps necessary so that your child does qualify as soon as possible. Failure to obtain citizenship for your child can impact many areas of his/her life including family travel, eligibility for education and education grants, and voting.
Learn more about the Child Citizenship Act.
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
A valid U.S. passport is required to enter and leave Peru. Only the U.S. Department of State has the authority to grant, issue, or verify U.S. passports. Getting or renewing a passport is easy. The Passport Application Wizard will help you determine which passport form you need, help you to complete the form online, estimate your payment, and generate the form for you to print—all in one place.
Obtaining Your Visa
In addition to a U.S. passport, you also need to obtain a visa. A visa is an official document issued by a foreign country that formally allows you to visit. Where required, visas are attached to your passport and allow you to enter a foreign nation.
To find information about obtaining a visa for Peru, see the Department of State’s Country Specific Information website.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it's always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. The State Department is a good place to start.
The Department of State provides Country Specific Information for every country of the world about various issues, including the health conditions, crime, unusual currency or entry requirements, and any areas of instability.
Staying in Touch on Your Trip
When traveling during the adoption process, we encourage you to register your trip with the Department of State. Travel registration makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Peru registration assists the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in reaching you.
Registration is free and can be done online.
What does Peru require of the adoptive parent(s) after the adoption?
Peruvian law also imposes post adoption reporting requirements for international adoptions such that parents who leave Peru with their adopted child are required to report on the well-being of the child to the Peruvian Government for a set period of time after returning to their home country.
We strongly urge you to comply with the wish of Peru and complete all post-adoption requirements in a timely manner. Your adoption service provider may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to the country’s history of positive experiences with American parents.
What resources are available to assist families after the adoption?
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family -- whether it’s another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some good places to start your support group search: