GESTATIONAL SURROGACY IN RHODE ISLAND
Gestational Surrogacy is permitted in Rhode Island because no statute or published case law prohibits it. All surrogacy petitions are heard by the Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence, so there is more predictability than in most states.
PRE-BIRTH PARENTAGE ORDERS
Do courts grant pre-birth parentage orders? Yes
Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if at least one parent is genetically related to the child?
Can both Intended Parents be declared the legal parents in a pre-birth order if no parent is genetically related to the child?
What are the bases for venue? The county of the Gestational Carrier’s residence, the county of the Intended Parents’ residence, or the county of the child’s birthplace.
Do results vary by venue? No. The Chief Judge of Family Court in Providence presides over all surrogacy matters and petitions.
Is a hearing required to obtain a pre-birth order? Yes, and the parties are not required to attend.
Is a pre-birth order possible in Rhode Island based on a Gestational Carrier’s plan to deliver in Rhode Island, if no party lives in Rhode Island? Yes
Will Rhode Island Vital Records honor a pre-birth order from another state? It is untested as there is no previous case law.
What is the typical time frame to obtain a birth certificate after delivery? 3-5 days
How are same-sex parents named on the final birth certificate? Parent and Parent
Can an international same-sex male couple obtain an initial birth certificate naming the biological father and Gestational Carrier? Yes
Can they subsequently obtain a birth certificate naming only the biological father or both fathers, with no mention of the Gestational Carrier? Yes
Can the non-biological parent in a same-sex couple obtain a second parent adoption based solely on the fact that the child was born in Rhode Island (i.e., neither of the Intended Parents lives in Rhode Island)? No
If no, will Rhode Island Vital Records honor a second parent adoption order from another state and add the second parent to the birth certificate? Probably
SECOND PARENT & STEPPARENT ADOPTIONS FOR RHODE ISLAND RESIDENTS
Note: This situation typically arises if the child is born outside of the state. The parents then return to Rhode Island to obtain a second parent adoption or stepparent adoption in Rhode Island.
Will courts in Rhode Island grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to heterosexual couples living in Rhode Island? Yes
Does the couple need to be married? No
Will courts in Rhode Island grant second parent adoptions or stepparent adoptions to same-sex couples living in Rhode Island? Yes
Does the couple need to be married? No
EGG AND SPERM DONATION
Is there a statute or published case law that addresses the rights of a donor over the resulting eggs, sperm, embryo or child? No
TRADITIONAL SURROGACY IN RHODE ISLAND
The legality of Traditional Surrogacy is unclear in Rhode Island. However, there is some indication that any contract permitting compensation to the Traditional Surrogate would be unenforceable. In addition, the Traditional Surrogate may not terminate her rights until after the child’s birth.
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