Rhode Island Makes Adoption Records Available

The following excerpt is from the July 2, 2012 edition of 630wpro.com:

Rhode Island is making adoption records available for the first time to adults 25 years or older.

A state law adopted in September, 2011 has just taken effect, and on Monday, Governor Lincoln Chafee ceremoniously handed birth records to four adoptees, as dozens more looked on at an auditorium at the Rhode Island Department of Health.

“No matter what people find out, adult adoptees now have the access to the truth, and that is a very important step,” said Chafee.

Kara Foley of Providence campaigned for the change in the law that opened the birth records to adoptees.

“It means knowing who I am, it means looking like people, it means belonging to something, and it’s really the joining of both my birth family and my adoptive family, so it’s exciting,” said Foley, 27. Unlike some of the adoptees who were reading non-certified copies of their original birth certificates for the first time, she had already learned the names of her birth parents. She had already signed up on a website and helps adopted children reunite with their families, and within days, had found a sister that she did not know that she had.

“We reunited and it was awesome, and it’s been really good since,” Foley said, adding, “I just participated in my sister’s wedding on Friday.”

Gary Osbrey, 50, of Putnam, Connecticut was born in Providence, and started searching for his birth parents in 1998. He was very nearly overwhelmed with emotion when he opened an envelope to learn his birth name and that of his birth mother.

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