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 or adult siblings, consider registering with the Rhode Island Family Court Voluntary Adoption Reunion Registry or the adoption agency that handled the adoption.