Peru Adoption and the Benefits of the Socialization Period


We are thrilled to be recently authorized by the Peruvian government to serve children in need of adoption from Peru! It has been some time since MLJ Adoptions opened a new program, and we are excited to have this new  option available to prospective adoptive families, especially another Hague Convention adoption program in Latin America. Peru offers a more stable and predictable process than many non-Hague country programs, in large part because Peru has a central adoption authority that processes all adoptions. We look forward to guiding our first families through this process!

Similar to our adoption program in Nicaragua, adopting from Peru requires that families travel once they are matched with a child, and spend 6-10 weeks in Peru for the socialization trip. During this time, the child is actually placed with the family. This trip may make the logistics of adopting from Peru more of a challenge for families in the short-term. However, for the families who are able to commit to a long in-country stay, the socialization period can have huge long-term benefits for the child and the family as a whole.

Three Benefits of the Socialization Period in Peru:

  1.  Easier transition – Children adopted from Peru will often be over the age of 6, or children with some additional needs. Children with additional needs may have been going to consistent therapies. To best parent and support their child, it would be a significant benefit for the family to be able to continue the therapies throughout the socialization period, allowing parents to have a fuller and clearer understanding of the child’s progress and needs. For all children matched with families, it is likely that they spent their entire young life in Peru. They will have no idea what to expect from Americans or from the United States. Children will do much better with their transition if they are first able to build a trusting relationship with the parents before traveling to live in the U.S. Building trust takes time, especially for children who may have been given reasons not to trust adults in their past. The socializations allows for the child to first adjust to the parents before having to then adjust to an entirely new country and culture.
  2. Allows family to more deeply experience Peruvian people and culture – Peru is a stunningly beautiful country with so much to offer. It is very often described as a vacation destination, with good reason! The socialization period allows for ample time to see the country and better understand Peruvian culture. A vacation week in a new place may allow a travel to experience a few highlights, but this extended stay allows for a deeper understanding of the people and culture, which will no doubt serve the adoptive parents well. This experience is also more likely to develop a connectedness to the country as a family, which may serve the child well in maintaining a connection to his or her birth culture.
  3. Creates an opportunity to slow down – We are all busy; for most of us there are not enough hours in the day. We are also surrounded by distractions in our daily lives. Even though, as parents, we endeavor to be fully present with our children, the reality is that many of us get distracted and have a hard time being present and engaged. The socialization period can be a beautiful and treasured time because of this; while we have not yet had a family travel in the Peru program, many of our past Nicaragua families reported that this was the greatest benefit of the adoption process, and set the stage for a much smoother transition home.

Please contact us to learn more about MLJ’s newest adoption program from Peru!

Photo Credit: Ian Armstrong

Nicole Skellenger works as MLJ Adoptions’ Chief Executive Officer and Adoption Attorney. Nicole has spent time in orphanages with children who have nothing and are desperate for affection and has committed herself to using her skills to create better futures for these deserving children.