Information for Adult Adoptees

If you were adopted, were born in Rhode Island, and were 25 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 to the Center for Vital Records. Include a non-refundable $20 search fee. The check or money order should be made payable to the General Treasurer, State of Rhode Island. Do not send cash. Include a copy of a valid government-issued photo identification.
  • Come to the Department of Health's Center for Vital Records. Bring the completed application; a valid government-issued photo identification; and cash, check, or money order for $20.

What Adult Adoptees Should Know

  • According to State law, the Center for Vital Records can only give the pre-adoption birth record to the person who was adopted. Relatives cannot request copies of the record of an adult adoptee.
  • Non-certified copies of pre-adoption birth 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.
  • Sometimes, a person is adopted in Rhode Island but was not born in Rhode Island. If this happens, the applicant will receive a letter stating that the requested record was not found after a search.
  • Information on a pre-adoption birth record is provided by birth parent(s) at the time of the baby's birth. At the time of a child's birth, birth parent(s) may or may not give the child a name. Sometimes, a father's name is not listed on the record. After an adoption is finalized, the birth parent(s) cannot make any changes to the birth record.
  • One or both birth parents may choose to file a contact preference form with the State Office of Vital Records. If there is a contact preference form on file, the applicant will receive it with the birth record. The contact preference form will state if the birth parent(s) filed a medical history form with the Rhode Island Family Court.
  • If you want more information about locating birth parents, consider registering with the Rhode Island Family Court Voluntary Adoption Reunion Registry or the adoption agency that handled the adoption.