Adoption Rhode Island advocates for systemic changes that further the interests of waiting children and adoptive families by supporting legislation, speaking out on adoption issues, forming partnerships and collaborations within the community and promoting the voice of the children themselves.

Adoption RI, as a member of a coalition of child welfare advocates, has been diligently working with a number of legislators to lead the charge on the state level for the passage of the Young Adult Extension of Care Act. This Act will give foster youth the ability to request ongoing assistance and support between age 18-21 so they can finish high school, enroll in post high school educational opportunities, gain employment and receive other supports to keep them from homelessness and other challenges they currently face. This will be a game changer for so many youth who need the extra help and support while they transition to adulthood.

We are happy to say that, with the help of Senator DiPalma, Representative Ruggiero, additional legislators and so many community members, the legistlature voted UNANIMOUSLY to pass this important bill. We continue to advocate for youth who face aging out at 18 years old and work to develop the safety net they deserve.

Among our current collaborations are:

Adopt Well-Being Rhode Island
An ACF-funded partnership between Adoption Rhode Island, RI Dept. of Children Youth and Families, and Family Service of Rhode Island that seeks to improve the overall standard of care in the child welfare and mental health systems in Rhode Island. To learn more, contact Wendy Sousa at Adoption RI or Sarah Kelly-Palmer at Family Service of Rhode Island.

Court Liaison Project
Advocacy, tracking, and consultation to the RI Family Court and Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA). Made possible by the Together Forever Project, an ACF-funded grant in partnership with Family Service of Rhode Island and DCYF, the Court Liaison Project will allow a part time Adoption Rhode Island staff member to meet with RI Family Court staff, discuss any barriers to timely permanency for youth, and continue to build upon the strong partnership and collaboration between Adoption RI, the courts and DCYF.

Reducing the Dangers of “Re-Homing”
Adoption Rhode Island is committed to ensuring that all children impacted by foster care or adoption are safe and that families have the support they need to care for their foster and adopted children. We have worked with the RI Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and RI Congressman Jim Langevin to address the dangers of “re-homing.”  We stand behind Congressman Langevin’s legislation to protect children from “re-homing.”



Addressing Child Trafficking and Exploitation
Youth in foster care are at significant risk for human trafficking. Providing comprehensive support services pre- and post-ad
option, such as those available at Adoption Rhode Island, help families stay resilient and connected, even during challenging times and reduces the risk of families “re-homing” their children or dissolving their adoption/placement. Supports and enrichment programs for youth like those at Adoption Rhode Island keep youth hopeful and help them heal from their traumas, improving their well-being and reducing risk of re-traumatization.










August 2015 – We were excited to be present as Governor Gina Raimondo signed a bill adding non-discrimination language to the Children’s Bill of Rights.  We worked with the bill’s sponsors and advocates in the community on this important issue.  Read more here.









May 2015 – Darlene Allen & Family Finding expert Kevin Campbell meet with Congressman Jim Langevin to discuss the importance of permanency for children and families.








July 2013 – Rhode Island passes groundbreaking Temporary Caregivers Insurance law. This landmark law allows parents to use their TDI benefits to take paid leave from work to help with adjustment and bonding when a child is placed in their home through foster care or for adoption.








September 2011 – Then-Governor Lincoln Chafee signing  legislation allowing adult adoptees access to their original birth certificates.

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