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Adopting in Rhode Island

Adoption in Rhode Island

There's so much to love about charming Rhode Island - beaches, small towns, lighthouses. Their adoption laws are pretty great, too. Though adults must be a resident of Rhode Island, out-of-state adoption is possible with an agency involvement. Adoptive Families may pay for medical expenses related to pregnancy for the Birth Mom, as well as legal expenses for the adoption process, and often counseling. Fun fact: Rhode Island is the smallest U.S. state.

Home Study Providers in Rhode Island

PairTree Home Study

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A happier home study awaits! PairTree Home Study is the only online home study process tailored to State and provider requirements - streamlining the important process for Adopting Families and Adoption Professionals.

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Traveling For Your Adoption in Rhode Island

Length of ICPC
in Rhode Island

1-30 days


Rhode Island participates in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) – a statutory agreement between all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the US Virgin Islands. The agreement governs the placement of children from one state into another state. It sets forth the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state. The Compact ensures prospective placements are safe and suitable before approval, and it ensures that the individual or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement.

Adoption Law FAQ in Rhode Island

Advertising Law Info

Adoption Law Info

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-11
    All home studies shall be based on a minimum of two home visits by the agency conducting the home study. All prospective siblings and any other household members shall be interviewed during a home visit. The following information shall be included in all home studies:
    • Identifying information on all household members, including minor children and the current needs of each child
    • Information regarding the prospective adoptive parent(s)’ motivation and reasons for the adoption
    • Current background information on the prospective adoptive parents, including a written self-assessment
    • Child care experience and parenting philosophy
    • Information regarding past and present marriage and/or partnership relationships
    • Current medical and psychological conditions, including addiction to drugs or alcohol, that may be seriously detrimental to the health and welfare of children
    • A description of the home and local community, including any health and safety concerns regarding the home
    • Information regarding finances and employment
    • Reference letters from at least three individuals at least two of whom are nonrelatives
    • Results of background checks with DCYF and clearance checks regarding State and Federal criminal records conducted on the prospective adoptive parents
    • Information related to the prospective adoptive parent’s willingness and ability to accept and cooperate with adoption support services, including their level of understanding regarding openness with the birth family
    • Information related to the match between prospective adoptive parents and the child, including attitudes and capabilities of prospective adoptive parents and the child’s characteristics and background
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Rules § 03-000-015
    The agency shall deny approval of an adoption application if the applicant:
    • Has been convicted of, or is serving an active probationary sentence for, a disqualifying criminal offense
    • Falsifies or omits facts on an application form or during an adoptive home study
    • Impedes an adoptive study
    • Has a documented history of substantiated child abuse or neglect
    • Has a past or current history of agency or departmental intervention deemed detrimental to the care of a child
    • Has a documented history of chemical or alcohol-related problems
    • Would not provide satisfactory parenting for a child
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Gen. Laws § 15-7-11
    The report of the investigation shall be submitted within 60 days.
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Rules § 03-000-015
    The social service worker shall visit the adoptive family at least twice after the placement of a child and prior to the final decree. A summary of the observations made during the visits shall be recorded and used in making final recommendations as to the finalization of the adoption.


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