The following information is from the Rhode Island Department of Health about obtaining adoption records:
If you are an adoptee who was born in Rhode Island and you are age 25 or older as of July 1, 2012, you can request a non-certified copy of your original, pre-adoption birth record from the State Office of Vital Records.
What You Should Do To Request a Non-Certified Copy of Your Pre-Adoption Birth Record
•§ Fill out an application form.
•§ Mail the application form to the address listed on the form. Include your non-refundable $20 search fee as a check or money order made payable to "General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island " (do not send cash). Include a copy of a valid government-issued photo ID.
•§ If you come in person applications are available in the office, or you may bring a completed online application form along with a photocopy of your ID, and cash, check or money order for $20.
What You Should Know
•§ According to state law, we can only release your record to you, the adoptee. Relatives cannot request copies of your record on your behalf.
•§ Non-certified copies of vital records are for informational purposes only and cannot be used for legal proof of identity, citizenship, or as a substitute for an official birth certificate.
•§ There is chance that you were adopted in Rhode Island but not born in Rhode Island . If this happens you will receive a letter stating that we searched our files for your record and it was not found. Your payment was received for the search.
•§ The information on your pre-adoption birth record was provided by your birth parent(s) at the time of your birth. At the time of a child's birth, the birth parent(s) may give the child any name they want, or they may not name the child. Please be aware that a father's name may not be listed on the record. After the adoption was finalized, the birth parent(s) could not make any changes to the birth record.
•§ One or both of your birth parents may choose to file a contact preference form with the State Office of Vital Records. If they do, you will receive a copy of the form with your birth record. The form will also let you know if your birth parent has filed a medical history form with the Rhode Island Family Court.
•§ If you want more information about locating your birth parents, consider registering with the Rhode Island Family Court Voluntary Adoption Reunion Registry. If you know which adoption agency handled your adoption, you may also wish to contact that agency.
What We Do
•§ Maintain sealed files of pre-adoption birth records for all adopted children born in Rhode Island.
•§ Issue non-certified copies of pre-adoption birth records in accordance with the law.
•§ File contact preference forms for birthparents of adopted children.