How to Adopt from Peru
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 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.
- Choose an Accredited Adoption Service Provider
- Apply to be Found Eligible to Adopt
- Be matched with a Child
- Apply for the child to be found eligible for adoption
- Adopt (or Obtain Legal Custody) of the child in Peru
- 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.
- 1. Original birth certificates for parent(s) and other children in the family;
- 2. Marriage certificate, if applicable;
- 3. Divorce certificate(s), if applicable;
- 4. Death certificate if the prospective adoptive parent is a widow or widower;
- 5. Legalized copy of the passport(s) of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
- 6. Police reports from the place of residence of the prospective adoptive parent(s);
- 7. Medical exam results;
- 8. Photographs;
- 9. Job letters; and
- 10. 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.
To learn more about the Child Citizenship Act please read The Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
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