New R.I. law allows access to birth certificateEffective JULY 2, 2012! (With conditions, of course!)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Rhode Island is for the first time allowing people who were adopted to see their birth records. The state Office of Vital Records on Monday will allow adoptees age 25 and over to get copies of their original birth certificates. For some of them, it will be the first time they learn the names of their biological parents.
Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY'-fee) was on hand to personally hand over records to four people. More than 200 certificates are being mailed and 55 have been preordered for pickup.
The new policy is the result of legislation passed last year designed to give adult adoptees more information about their birth parents and health history.
Birth parents are allowed to submit forms stating they do not wish to be contacted.
From the Norwich Bulletin:
"...Formal implementation of the law, signed in 2011, was held off for a time to enable the state to inform birth parents about the legislative change. Paul Schibbelhute, executive director of the American Adoption Congress, said Monday’s ceremony was a big step in the evolution of adoptees’ rights.
“It is a basic human right to have access to a birth certificate,” he said. “All of us have the right to know who our families are.”
Schibbelhute, who reunited with his birth son in 1998, said his group has lobbied for years to loosen access to adoptive records. Rhode Island is the third state, after New Hampshire and Maine, to allow an adoptee to view their birth certificates. He said his group “continues to struggle” to get the same law passed in Connecticut..."