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What’s Involved in Adopting a Child From Peru?

A Peruvian child must be abandoned in order to be eligible for international adoption. 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 the birth parent gives a child directly (or via an intermediary) to prospective parents for adoption, and prohibits adoptive parents from searching for and locating a child on their own.

The government office responsible for adoptions in Peru is the Ministry for Women and Social Development (Ministerio de la Mujer y Desarrollo Social – called MIMDES). MIMDES is responsible for identifying possible orphans for assignment to prospective adoptive parents, assisting the court's investigation of the child's background, contracting and coordinating with the approved U.S. adoption agencies, and certifying the court-issued adoption decree. They also establish post-adoption controls to ensure the child's adequate development and care in the U.S. For U.S. citizen couples, the U.S. adoption agency is responsible for conducting post-adoption checks for four years after the adoption takes place.

Only MIMDES-approved agencies are permitted to initiate foreign adoptions in Peru. Each licensed agency must designate at least one local (Peruvian) representative. MIMDES reviews each agency's status every two years.


For prospective parents, the process begins when they apply through one of the 14 approved U.S. agencies to MIMDES for permission to adopt. When the dossier of the prospective parents is completed and approved by the MIMDES Board of Directors, MIMDES tentatively assigns a child to those parents and forwards information regarding the assigned child to the parents' adoption agency.

Once you accept the child referral, you must travel to Peru to complete the adoption proceedings. If married, both parents must travel to Peru to bring home their child. Provisional custody is awarded by the Peruvian courts to the adoptive parents shortly after they 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 his/her adoptive parents. If the report is favorable, both adoptive parents must appear in Peruvian court to ratify their adoption request, after which the judge will issue the final adoption decree.

In a Nut Shell

Children Available: Healthy toddlers and older children of both genders are available for adoption from Peru. Special needs children are also available for adoption from Peru.

Parent Requirements: Married couples, single men, and single women may adopt from Peru. Unmarried couples may not adopt. Parents must be at least 18 years older than the child to be adopted. Parents may not be over 55 years old.

Travel Requirements: Travel is required for both parents. Total trip length is three to four weeks.

Time Frame: From the time you complete your initial application until you bring your child home takes an average of 18 months.

Number of Children Adopted by Americans in 2002: 33

Additional Information: The children available for international adoption from Peru live in orphanages.

Credits: The International Adoption Guidebook, Mary M. Strickert

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