The 5 Rhode Island Adoption Laws You Need to Know

Adoption laws vary in each state. Everything from a birth father's rights to open adoption can be different from state to state. We've gathered the five most important Rhode Island adoption laws you need to know about when considering this for your family.

Top 5 Rhode Island Adoption Laws

Birth Father's Legal Rights

Does my baby's father have to agree to the adoption in Rhode Island?

Consent to adoption is required of both parents unless the court terminates a parent’s parental rights because the parent has willfully abandoned the child, the parent is unfit by way of conduct, or the child was placed with the department for 1 year.

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 15-7-5, 15-7-7, 15-7-10 (2021)

Rhode Island does not have a putative father registry, but a father may file an acknowledgment of paternity with the clerk of a family court and the acknowledgment may be admissible to establish paternity.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-8-3 (2021)

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Expectant/Birth Mother Living Expenses

Can I get help with my living expenses during my pregnancy in a Rhode Island adoption?

This issue is not addressed under Rhode Island law.

Separate Legal Representation

Will I be offered my own Rhode Island adoption lawyer?

This issue is not addressed under Rhode Island, but you still need to make sure you have your own attorney paid for by the agency or adoptive parents. Any family you choose from AdoptMatch will make sure you have your own attorney.

Open Adoption

How does Open Adoption work in Rhode Island?

A postadoption contact agreement must acknowledge that failure to comply with the agreement are not grounds for setting aside an adoption and that the parties have a right to enforce the agreement. A court may grant postadoption privileges if it finds that the best interest of the child are served by granting the privileges; there is a significant attachment between the child and birth parent; the adoptive and birth parents jointly negotiate an agreement that is approved and filed with the family court; the department, agency, or guardian ad litem, recommend the privileges; and consent is obtained from a child over 12 years old. Either party may file a petition to enforce the agreement. Either party may petition to modify or terminate the agreement and the court may do so if it finds that it is necessary to protect the best interests of the child.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-7-14.1 (2021)

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How does Consent to Adoption work in Rhode Island?

How does the legal process for adoption work in Rhode Island?

A petition for adoption may not be filed until fifteen days after the birth of the child and must be in writing and signed.

R.I. Gen. Laws §§ 15-7-5, 15-7-6(2021)

How long will I have to change my mind about adoption in Rhode Island?

Consent may be revoke with 180 days of a decree of adoption if the court finds it is in the best interest of the child.

R.I. Gen. Laws § 15-7-21.1 (2021)

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