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Peru: Loss of Parental Rights and Duties

(Mar. 2, 2008) Law No. 19194 of January 24, 2008 amends article 177 and adds article 181-B to the Criminal Code concerning loss of the "Patria potestas" (parental rights and duties). The new versions of these articles incorporate aggravating circumstances in the conduct of parents and custodians of children including sexual offenses and trafficking of minors. As specified in various articles of the Criminal Code, when the agent is the father or the mother, tutor or custodian, the court shall impose in addition to the pertinent punishment depriving the person of freedom, the loss of parental rights.

This Law also amends article 75 of the Code of the Child and Adolescents. The "Patria potestas" is suspended when the father or the mother is the subject of a criminal proceeding for crimes specified in the articles 173 and following.

Furthermore, Law 29194 amends article 471 of the Civil Code regarding restoration of the "Patria potestas." Parents who have been deprived of their parental rights and duties or were limited in their exercise, can petition for restoration of the rights at the cessation of the determining causes. But this action can be attempted only after three years of the service of the pertinent criminal sentence. The judge can restore totally or partially "Patria potestas" taking into consideration the well-being of the child.

The final article of this new law adopts complementary measures on suspension and loss of the parental rights and duties. (Law No. 29194, Web site of the Congress of Peru, Jan. 25, 2008.)