What do Special Needs Look Like in Peru?


In 2017, MLJ Adoptions began working to find families for unparented children in Peru! Most families who enter into our Peru program will end up being matched with a child off of a Special Needs List, which is published monthly. We received our first Special Needs List in January!

A majority of the children in Peru in need of families through international adoption are over the age of six years old, in sibling groups or have significant special needs. Peru’s central authority broke down the list to be helpful to agencies in the following way:

  • Eight children were under the age of six years old.
  • Sixty-five sibling groups, for a total of 140 children.
  • Fifty-seven children were between the ages of 12 and 17 years old.

Families can choose to pursue the adoption children off the Special Needs List once their dossier arrives in-country.

Single children under the age of six years old had been diagnosed with the following special needs: hearing loss, delayed development, spastic cerebral paralysis, leukemia, autism, Down syndrome, Williams’ syndrome, microcephaly, spina bifida, epilepsy and cerebral palsy. If your family is seeking the adoption of children with any of those medical needs, you may want to consider adopting from Peru!

While Peru may not be a good fit for families hoping to adopt a healthy child under the age of six years old, it is an excellent program for families hoping to adopt a sibling group! Many of the sibling groups waiting on families have children without any medical diagnoses. These sibling groups range in size from two children to five children, and there are sibling groups with two children under the age of eight years old.

As with any country program, the more open a family is to special needs, children of different ages and larger sibling groups, the more children they will be eligible to adopt, and usually the shorter the wait times to be matched.

While we do state that families could wait 12-24 months to be matched with children, we anticipate shorter wait times if families choose to pursue the adoption of children off the Special Needs List. It is possible that they could be matched in less than 12 months, depending on what the family is open to.

If your family is interested in learning more about adopting from Peru, contact us.

Photo Credit: Carlos Ebert

Caitlin Snyder works as the Director of Marketing and Outreach for MLJ Adoptions. Working in international adoption has given Caitlin the unique opportunity to pursue both a passion to advocate on behalf of vulnerable people and a profession at the same time.