Adoptees searching in Rhode Island take note. It was announced yesterday in the Providence Journal that any adoptee over the age of 25 can now request a non-certified copy of their original birth certificate.
According to the article, the certificates will not be released until July. However, the health department is announcing the opportunity now, so that adoptees can send in forms early. There will likely we a deluge of applications, and the sooner you mail in your request the better.
Information on the new law, which takes effect on July 1, 2012, can be found on the State of Rhode Island, Department of Health site. The forms for requesting your original birth certificate are available here as a Word document . The cost of the request is $20.00. From the site instructions, it sounds like you can choose between in-person pickup and mailing of the document. Only the adoptee themselves may receive the document. No other persons will be granted access to the certificate.
Of course, a birth certificate does not guarantee that you will find your birthfamily. However, you will have the correct names to get started. Also, if your birthparent has filed a contact preference form, you will be sent that along with your birth certificate. This could include a contact address.
Kudos to RI legislators, as this is a giant step in the right direction! We can only hope that many more states follow suit.
UPDATE: One of our readers was kind enough to give additional information. He wrote, “Another valuable piece of information for RI adoptees to note is the RIARG group, RI Adoptee Resource Group, which provides support and resources for local adoptees in a variety of ways. This groups can be found at the following link: https://sites.google.com/site/riadopteeresourcecenter/home.” Please see the reply below by rhodeislandadopteeresourcegroup.