Gov. Dan McKee, seated, signed legislation Tuesday that makes it easier for adopted adult children and their birth parents to find each other. Pictured standing from left are Sen. Cynthia A. Coyne, Sen. Stephen R. Archambault, Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio, Speaker of the House K. Joseph Shekarchi, activists Jack Pitts and Rita Marcella, and Rep. Deborah A. Fellela.
Governor signs bill to provide public with
information on mutual consent adoption registry
STATE HOUSE — Gov. Dan McKee has signed legislation introduced by Rep. Deborah A. Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) and Sen. Stephen R. Archambault (D-Dist. 22, Smithfield, North Providence, Johnston) that makes it easier for adopted adult children and their birth parents and siblings to find each other through mutual consent.
The law (2021-H 5092, 2021-S 0901) directs the Department of Health to provide information regarding the passive voluntary adoption reunion registry on the Department of Health’s website and in the Division of Vital Records.
“The state has long recognized that some adults who are adopted as children want to find their birth parents while others do not. The same goes for birth parents,” said Representative Fellela. “That’s why we created this registry — for mutual consent — for situations where both the biological parents and biological children or siblings may want to find each other. This legislation will help to make that journey of discovery an easier one for all involved.”
Under the provisions of the legislation, the Department of Health would be required to maintain a link on its website to information about how the registry works.
“Many adults who were adopted as children want to reconnect with birth parents,” said Senator Archambault. “With the advent of genealogy websites, such as Ancestry, the interest in reuniting has become even more popular. The registry already exists. This law will make it easier for those who do wish to reunite.”