PeruLast Updated: December 2013
Hague Adoption Convention Country?YES
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- Hague Convention Information
Peru is party to the Hague Convention on Protection of Children and Co-operation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption(Hague Adoption Convention). Intercountry adoption processing in Hague countries is done in accordance with the requirements of the Convention; the U.S. implementing legislation, the Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000 (IAA); and the IAA’s implementing regulations, as well as the implementing legislation and regulations of Peru.
All adoptions between Peru and the United States must meet the requirements of the Convention and U.S. immigration law.
Peru’s Central Authority for Adoptions is the Dirección General de Adopciones (DGA) in the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP). Only DGA can certify cases as Convention compliant. “Direct” adoptions in which a birth parent places a child directly (or via an intermediary) to specific prospective parents for adoption cannot be certified as complying with the Convention per Peruvian law, and therefore prospective adoptive parents may not search on their own for children to adopt.
Instead children must have been declared legally abandoned and wards of the state, and the adoption must be processed through DGA in order for it to be certified by DGA. Adoptions processed through the Peruvian judiciary, while legal in Peru, cannot be Hague certified. As a result, children adopted through the Peruvian judiciary/family court system rather than DGA cannot be issued Hague Convention visas and generally will be unable to immigrate to the United States. Prospective adoptive parents seeking to adopt a blood relative in Peru should contact DGA prior to beginning the adoption process.
Note: Special transition provisions apply to adoptions initiated before April 1, 2008. Read about Transition Cases.
U.S. IMMIGRATION REQUIREMENTS FOR INTERCOUNTRY ADOPTIONS
To bring an adopted child to the United States from Peru, you must meet eligibility and suitability requirements. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), determines who can adopt under U.S. immigration law.
Additionally, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee under U.S. law in order to immigrate to the United States on an IH-3 or IH-4 immigrant visa.
- Who Can Adopt
Adoption between the United States and Peru is governed by the Hague Convention on Adoptions. 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, parents need to meet Peru’s requirements to adopt a child from there:
- Residency: There are no minimum residency requirements to adopt in Peru. However both prospective adoptive parents, if applicable, must be present to complete the adoption in Peru, including obtaining provisional custody of the child, completing an evaluation with a social worker, and finalizing the adoption in Peruvian court. This process typically takes 4-6 weeks.
- Age of Adopting Parents: The minimum age of applicants is 25 and the maximum is 52.
- Marriage: Single persons and married couples may apply to adopt. Peruvian law only recognizes opposite sex marriages. Thus, there is no provision for same sex spouses to adopt jointly. Single lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgendered, or intersex individuals may also be unable to adopt in Peru.
- Income: Prospective adoptive parents must demonstrate the means to support the physical and emotional needs of the child.
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 adoption may take place only if the competent authorities of Peru have determined that placement of the child within Peru has been given due consideration and that an intercountry adoption is in the child’s best interests. In addition to Peru’s requirements, a child must meet the definition of Convention adoptee to be eligible for an immigrant visa that will allow you to bring him or her to the United States.
- Abandonment: Only children who have been declared abandoned by a judge are eligible for an intercountry adoption.
- Age of Adoptive Child: DGA matches children of all ages. However, DGA prioritizes the adoption of children older than 9 years. The DGA team evaluates the application and expectations of the prospective parents to maximize the well-being of each child.
- Sibling Adoptions: DGA prioritizes the adoption of sibling groups.
- Special Needs or Medical Conditions: DGA prioritizes the adoption of children with special needs or medical conditions.
- Waiting Period or Foster Care: Matching could take several months and sometimes years.
- How To Adopt
WARNING: Peru is party to the Hague Adoption Convention. Do not adopt or obtain legal custody of a child in Peru before U.S. consular officer issues an “Article 5/17 Letter” in the case. Read on for more information.
Peru's Adoption Authority
Peru’s Central Authority for Adoptions is the Dirección General de Adopciones (DGA) within the Ministry of Women and Vulnerable Populations (MIMP). Only DGA can certify cases as Convention compliant.
Note: If any of the following occurred prior to April 1, 2008 (the date on which the Hague Adoption Convention entered into force with respect to the United States), the Hague Adoption Convention may not apply to your adoption: 1) you filed a Form I-600A identifying Peru as the country where you intended to adopt; 2) you filed a Form I-600; or; 3) the adoption was completed. Under these circumstances, your adopted child’s visa application could continue to be processed in accordance with the immigration regulations for non-Convention adoptions. For more information, read about Transition Cases.
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. Adoptions completed out of order may result in the child not being eligible for an immigrant visa to the United States.
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 (or Obtain Legal Custody) of 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. Please note that in order to provide services in Peru, adoption service providers must further be authorized to work in Peru by the DGA. To obtain updated information regarding which U.S. adoption service providers are authorized by DGA, prospective adoption parents should contact DGA directly. DGA also publishes the list of authorized providers through the “Organismos Acreditados”.
2. Apply to USCIS to be Found Eligible to Adopt
After you choose an accredited or approved adoption service provider, you must apply to be found suitable and eligible to adopt by the responsible U.S. government agency, the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), by submitting Form I-800A. Read more about Suitability and Eligibility Requirements.
Once USCIS determines that you are “suitable” and “eligible” to adopt by approving the Form I-800A, your adoption service provider will provide your approval notice, home study, and any other required information to the DGA in Peru as part of your adoption dossier. The DGA’s Board of Directors will review your application to determine whether you are also eligible to adopt under Peru’s law.
Note: Peru has stringent requirements for the psychological and social history information that must be provided as part of your dossier. If the information supplied is not detailed enough, DGA will ask for additional information, and this will delay the review process by several months.
3. Be matched with a Child
If both the United States and Peru determine that you are eligible to adopt, and the DGA has determined that a child is available for adoption and that intercountry adoption is in that child’s best interests, the DGA may provide you with a referral for a child. The referral is a proposed match between you and a specific child based on a review of your dossier and the needs of a specific child in Peru. DGA will provide a background study and other information, if available, about the child to help you decide whether to accept the referral or not. Each family must decide for itself whether or not it will be able to meet the needs and provide a permanent home for a particular child. If you accept the referral, the adoption service provider communicates that decision to the DGA. Learn more about this critical decision.
4. Apply for the child to be found eligible for adoption
After you accept a referral, you will apply to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for provisional approval for the child to immigrate to the United States (Form I-800). USCIS will make a provisional determination as to whether the child meets the definition of a Convention Adoptee and will be eligible to enter the United States and reside permanently as an immigrant.
After provisional approval of Form I-800, your adoption service provider or you will submit a visa application to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Lima which is responsible for issuing immigrant visas to children from Peru. A consular officer will review the Form I-800 and the visa application for possible visa ineligibilities and advise you of options for the waiver of any noted ineligibilities.
Note: For both petition and visa processing, all documents in Spanish must be submitted both in original form and with an official English translation.
WARNING: The consular officer will send a letter (referred to as an “Article 5 Letter”) to Peru’s Central Authority in any intercountry adoption involving U.S. citizen parents and a child from Peru where all Convention requirements are met and the consular officer determines that the child appears eligible to immigrate to the United States. This letter will inform Peru’s Central Authority that the parents are eligible and suited to adopt, that all indications are that the child may enter and reside permanently in the United States, and that the U.S. Central Authority agrees that the adoption may proceed.
Do not attempt to adopt or obtain custody of a child in Peru before a U.S. consular officer issues the Article 5 Letter in any adoption case.
Remember: The consular officer will make a final decision about a child’s eligibility for an immigrant visa later in the adoption process.
5. Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of Child in Peru
Remember: Before you adopt 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 obtaining legal custody) in Peru generally includes the following:
- Role of Adoption Authority: Only DGA can certify adoptions as Convention compliant. DGA has jurisdiction over intercountry adoptions for children who have been declared legally abandoned by the court and are wards of the state.
- Role of the Court: Provisional custody is awarded to the prospective adoptive parents shortly after their arrival in Peru. After 10-15 days, a designated social worker will issue a report attesting to the compatibility and bonding of the child and the prospective adoptive parents. The prospective adoptive parents will then appear in court to finalize the adoption, and a judge will issue the final adoption decree.
Note: Peruvian law mandates that both prospective adoptive parents, if applicable, must be physically present to obtain provisional custody of the child and complete an evaluation with a social worker for ratification of the adoption in court.
- Role of Adoption Agencies: Because Peru is a Convention country, adoption services must be provided by a Hague accredited agency or provider.
- Time Frame: Once in country following the issuance of the Article 5 letter, the process generally takes 4-6 weeks. Prospective adoptive parents are awarded provisional custody shortly after arrival in Peru. After 10-15 days, a designated social worker issues a report attesting to the compatibility and bonding of the child and the prospective adoptive parents. The prospective adoptive parents then appear in court to finalize the adoption.
- Adoption Fees: In the adoption services contract that you sign at the beginning of the adoption process, your agency will itemize the fees and estimated expenses related to your adoption process.
Some of the fees specifically associated with adopting from Peru include: lodging expenses, translations, court fees, and fees for getting new birth certificate, national ID card, and passport, which can add up to $2000-$4000. Please note that once the adoption is finalized, the new birth certificate listing the adoptive parents can only be issued in the place where the child was originally registered. This may be in a remote location, which may entail additional time and expenses.
Note: Prospective parents are advised to obtain detailed receipts for all fees and donations paid, either by the parents directly or through their U.S. adoption agencies and to take appropriate measures to verify that the payments are not contrary to the Convention, U.S. law, or the law of Peru. Improper payments may have the appearance of buying a baby, violate applicable law, and may put all future adoptions in Peru at risk. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, for instance, makes it unlawful to bribe foreign government officials to obtain or retain business. Further, the IAA makes it unlawful to improperly influence relinquishment of parental rights, parental consent relating to adoption of a child, or a decision by an entity performing Central Authority functions.
- Documents Required: The following documents are required by DGA to adopt in Peru:
- Original birth certificates for parent(s) and other children in the family;
- Marriage certificate, if applicable;
- Divorce certificate(s), if applicable;
- Death certificate if the prospective adoptive parent is a widow or widower;
- Legalized copy of the passport(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
- Police reports from the place of residence of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
- Medical exam results;
- Job letters; and
- Tax returns.
Note: Additional documents may be requested. For more details on the required documentation, you may visit the DGA’s website
- Authentication of Documents: You may be asked to provide proof that a document from the United States is authentic. If so, the Department of State’s Authentications Office may be able to assist. Read more about Authenticating U.S. Documents
Note: The United States and Peru are parties to the Hague Apostille Convention. U.S. public documents may be authenticated with Apostilles by the appropriate U.S. Competent Authority.
6. Bring Your Child Home
Now that your adoption is complete (or you have obtained legal custody of the child for the purpose of adopting the child in the United States), there are a few more steps to take before you can head home. Specifically, you need to apply for three documents before your child can travel to the United States:
You will firstneed to apply for a new Peruvian birth certificate for your child, so that you can later apply for a Peruvian passport. Your name will be added as the parent(s) on the newbirth certificate.
Your child is not yet a U.S. citizen, so he or she will need a passport from Peru to enter the United States. Peruvian authorities require that a Peruvian passport be issued to the child in the child’s new name after the adoption proceedings are completed. Passports issued to a child prior to the final decree of adoption are not valid for travel purposes under the new identity of the child. You may need to first get a Peruvian national ID (DNI) for your child before being able to get a passport.
U.S. Immigrant Visa
After you obtain the new birth certificate and passport for your child, you also need to finalize your application for a U.S. visa for your child from the U.S. Embassy in Lima, Peru. After the adoption is granted, visit the U.S Embassy in Lima for final review of the case, issuance of a U.S. Hague Adoption Certificate or Hague Custody Certificate, final approval of Form I-800, and to obtain your child’s immigrant visa. 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. Read more about the Medical Examination. Once you have your child’s passport in the new name, you will also need to complete the electronic immigrant visa application, the DS-260 form, online at ceac.state.gov before the interview.
Important: The Consular Section in Lima is using the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) 2007 Tuberculosis Technical Instructions (TB TIs) for the TB medical screening for all immigrant visa applicants from Peru, including adopted children. The 2007 TB TIs include requirements that affect the pace at which some adoption cases can be concluded. Please visit the CDC’s website for further information regarding the 2007 Technical Instructions for Tuberculosis Screening and Treatment for Panel Physicians.
Note: Visa issuance after the final interview generally takes at least 24 hours. It is not normally possible to provide the visa to adoptive parents on the day of the interview. Adoptive parents should verify current processing times at the U.S. Embassy in Lima before making final travel arrangements.
Adoption interviews can be conducted any working day from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Adoptive parents are encouraged to keep the U.S. Embassy informed on the progress of their process and to let the U.S. Embassy know when they are ready for their final interview.
Child Citizenship Act
For adoptions finalized abroad prior to the child’s entry into the United States: A child will acquire U.S. citizenship upon entry into the United States if the adoption was finalized prior to entry and the child otherwise meets the requirements of the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
For adoptions finalized after the child’s entry into the United States: An adoption will need to be completed following your child’s entry into the United States for the child to acquire U.S. citizenship.
*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.
- Traveling Abroad
Applying for Your U.S. Passport
U.S. citizens are required by law to enter and depart the United States on a valid U.S. passport. 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 a Visa to Travel to Peru
In addition to a U.S. passport, you may 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 affixed 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.
Staying Safe on Your Trip
Before you travel, it is always a good practice to investigate the local conditions, laws, political landscape, and culture of the country. 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 enroll with the Department of State. Enrollment makes it possible to contact you if necessary. Whether there’s a family emergency in the United States, or a crisis in Peru, enrollment assists the U.S. Embassy in reaching you.
Enrollment is free and can be done online via the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP).
- After Adoption
Post-Adoption/Post-Placement Reporting Requirements
Peru requires post-adoption reports every six months for four years after the adoption. This requirement applies even if the child turns 18 during the four year period. Your adoption agency may be able to help you with this process. Your cooperation will contribute to the country’s history of positive experiences with American parents. Peru takes reporting requirements very seriously and has withdrawn accreditation of adoption agencies due to missing reports. We urge you to complete all post-adoption reports in a timely manner.
Many adoptive parents find it important to find support after the adoption. There are many public and private nonprofit post-adoption services available for children and their families. There are also numerous adoptive family support groups and adoptee organizations active in the United States that provide a network of options for adoptees who seek out other adoptees from the same country of origin. Take advantage of all the resources available to your family, whether it is another adoptive family, a support group, an advocacy organization, or your religious or community services.
Here are some places to start your support group search:
- Child Welfare Information Gateway
- North American Council on Adoptable Children
- Adoption Services Support Groups for adopting Persons
Note: Inclusion of non-U.S. government links does not imply endorsement of contents.
If you have concerns about your adoption, we ask that you share this information with the U.S. Embassy in Peru, particularly if it involves possible fraud or misconduct specific to your child’s case. The Department of States takes all allegations of fraud or misconduct seriously. Our Adoption Comment Page provides several points of contact adoptive families may use to comment on their adoption service provider, their experience applying for their child’s visa, or about the Form I-600 petition process.
- Contact Information
Peru’s Adoption Authority
Ministerio de la Mujer y Poblaciones Vulnerables (MIMP)
Dirección General de Adopciones (DGA)
Av. Benavides 1155
Miraflores, Lima 18 Peru
Tel: (51) (1) 416-5431
Note: PERU has consulates in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Hartford, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, Paterson, New York City, and San Francisco.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
For questions about immigration procedures, contact the National Customer Service Center (NCSC) at 1-800-375-5283 (TTY 1-800-767-1833).