Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here to connect with an adoption professional.
International Adoptions must be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. You can learn more about international adoption here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Rhode Island can be completed through the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (401-528-3676).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in Rhode Island?
Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent a home. The process starts when parents obtain an application package. You must submit to a criminal background check. A licensed social care worker will visit your home to conduct a home study. As part of this process the home will be inspected for safety. Parents wishing to foster must attend a 9 week orientation class.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Rhode Island?
Advertising: No agency or person may receive any compensation for giving consent or relinquishment of a child for the purposes of adoption. This does not limit reasonable and necessary agency and attorney fees or birth parent expenses. § 63-9-30(5); 63-9-310(F); 63-9-710(A)(11)
Relinquishment: Consent to an adoption may not be executed sooner than 15 days after the child’s birth. The consenting party may challenge the consent in court within 180 days after the final adoption decree is given. §15-7-6; 15-7-21.1
Birth parent expenses: No laws currently regulate private domestic adoption expenses.
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements in RI are legally enforceable when filed in writing with the court. Birth or adoptive parents may file a petition with the court to compel birth or adoptive parents to comply with the contact agreement. § 15-7-14.1
Birth father rights: While no paternity registry exists, unmarried fathers hoping to receive notice of adoption proceedings may file an acknowledgement of paternity with the family court clerk. § 15-8-3
Finalization: The average time between TPR and adoption finalization in 2014 was 3.4 months.
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Rhode Island?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Rhode Island have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Rhode Island, the maximum monthly amount ranges between $100-110. For more information on adoption assistance please visit NACAC.org.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and may provide the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Rhode Island currently accepts a foreign adoption decree when parents request a U.S. birth certificate for their child.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact:
101 Friendship Street, 4th fl
Bristol, RI 02903
Adoptions in Rhode Island can be completed through the Department of Children, Youth, and Families.
Applicants can be single, married, or divorced. You can own or rent. After an application package is submitted, a licensed social care worker will visit the home. Background checks will be conducted. Parents must complete a home study. Foster parents must attend a 9 week orientation class.
No agency/person may obtain any compensation in exchange for consent to an adoption or placement of a child.
Birth parents must wait at least 15 days after birth before consenting to an adoption. Parents have 180 days after the final adoption decree to challenge consent given in court.
Contact agreements are legally enforceable in Rhode Island. While no paternity registry exists, unmarried fathers may take alternate steps to establish paternity.
Adoption assistance is available in Rhode Island. Parents may use international adoption agencies to adopt a child from abroad.