TITLE 15
Domestic Relations

CHAPTER 15-7
Adoption of Children

SECTION 15-7-4


§ 15-7-4 Petition to adopt – Court having jurisdiction.

(a) Any person residing in Rhode Island may petition the family court for leave to adopt as his or her child any person younger than him or herself and under eighteen (18) years of age, and, if desired, for a change of the child's name, but the prayer of the petition by a person having a husband or wife shall not be granted unless the husband or wife joins in the petition; provided, that upon good cause shown and a showing that the granting of the petition for adoption would be in the best interests of the minor child, the prayer of the petition may be granted although the spouse of the petitioner is not a party to the petition.

(b) The family court shall retain jurisdiction over any petition properly filed under subsection (a) when and if the petitioners become nonresidents after the petition is filed, but during the pendency of the action.

(c) Any person not a resident of Rhode Island may petition the family court for leave to adopt as his or her child any person younger than him or herself and under eighteen (18) years of age, and, if desired, for a change of the child's name, if the child is at the time of the filing of the petition in the care and custody of a governmental child placing agency, or licensed Rhode Island child placing agency, but the prayer of the petition by a person having a husband or wife shall not be granted unless the husband or wife joins in the petition.

(d) Petitions for adoptions of persons eighteen (18) years or older shall be heard by the probate court of the city or town in which the petitioners live.

(e) The department shall grant an opportunity for a fair hearing, pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 671(a)(12) and chapter 35 of title 42 to an individual residing outside of Rhode Island who alleges that the department denied or delayed placement of a child for adoption.

History of Section.
(G.L. 1896, ch. 192, § 1; P.L. 1907, ch. 1423, § 1; G.L. 1909, ch. 244, § 1; P.L. 1910, ch. 544, § 1; P.L. 1915, ch. 1197, § 1; G.L. 1923, ch. 288, § 1; P.L. 1930, ch. 1573, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 420, § 1; G.L. 1938, ch. 420, § 2; P.L. 1955, ch. 3483, § 1; G.L. 1956, § 15-7-4; impl. am. P.L. 1961, ch. 73, § 14; P.L. 1970, ch. 132, § 1; P.L. 1982, ch. 300, § 1; P.L. 1998, ch. 87, § 2.)