The Rhode Island Department of Health (HEALTH) announces that as of today, Rhode Island-born adoptees age 25 and older may request non-certified copies of their original, unaltered birth certificates from the State Office of Vital Records. While the State Office cannot release requested certificates until July 2012, adoptees are encouraged to mail their request forms ahead of time for faster service. HEALTH expects a heavy volume of requests during the first week of July.
The State Office of Vital Records maintains sealed files of pre-adoption birth certificates for all adopted children who were born in Rhode Island. Amendments to state law (R.I. Gen. Laws §15-7, 23-3-1, 23-3-15) passed in July 2011 will allow the release of non-certified copies of these certificates to adoptees age 25 and older starting July 2012. 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.
HEALTH reminds birth parents that they can continue to submit contact preference forms with the State Office and/or medical history forms with the Rhode Island Family Court's Voluntary Adoption Reunion Registry. Adoptees will receive this information, as available, with their pre-adoption birth certificates.
For information on how to request a pre-adoption birth certificate, see www.health.ri.gov/records/for/adultadoptees. To download contact preference and medical history forms, see www.health.ri.gov/records/for/parents