State Laws and Legislation

Rhode Island Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
Rhode Island law permits any individual residing in Rhode Island or a husband and wife to jointly petition to adopt. R.I. GEN. LAWS § 15-7-4(a).

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt? No explicit prohibition.
State law provides that a husband and wife may jointly petition to adopt, and does not explicitly provide for joint adoption by other couples.  No state court has heard the issue of whether same-sex couples can or can not jointly petition to adopt.  However, joint adoptions by unmarried couples have routinely been allowed at the Family Court level.

Permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? No explicit prohibition.
There is no explicit prohibition, and some lower courts have allowed second-parent adoptions to proceed.  No state court, however, has heard the issue of whether a same-sex partner can or can not petition to adopt a partner’s child or child of the relationship.


The legal information provided on this page is provided as a courtesy to the public. It is not designed to serve as legal advice. HRC does not warrant that this information is current or comprehensive.



Last Updated: 12/14/2009 

Updated: Mon, December 14, 2009 - 12:00:20