Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality

February 12, 2020

Amanda Johnston, GLAD | 617-417-7769 | ajohnston@glad.org
RIPE Coalition Member Wendy Becker | 401-477-4154

The Rhode Island Senate voted unanimously yesterday to pass S2136 Sub A, the Rhode Island Parentage Act (RIPA). RIPA, introduced in the Senate by lead sponsor Erin Lynch Prata, would update Rhode Island’s outdated parentage law to provide all Rhode Island children equal access to the protections of legal parentage. The bill provides clear standards for determining parentage; improves access, efficiency and consistency in the courts; and ensures state law is constitutional, complies with federal law, and reflects the full diversity of Rhode Island families.

Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality, a coalition of families and organizations working to ensure Rhode Island parentage law protects all children, issued the following statement on the Senate vote: 

“We are thrilled to see the Senate’s strong support for Rhode Island children and families, and for the necessary, best practice parentage reforms contained in S 2136 Sub A. Rhode Island’s parentage law was last updated over 40 years ago – only Kentucky and Mississippi have laws that are as out of date. The law has not kept up with the reality of children’s lives and needs today. All our children deserve the security of a legal tie to their parents. We are grateful to the Senate for working to ensure we have model legislation in Rhode Island that promotes our children’s health, safety, and well-being. We look forward to working next with the House to finally pass the Parentage Act this year so that all Rhode Island children are protected.”

RIPA establishes clear paths to parentage in Rhode Island that reflect the many ways contemporary families are formed, including children born through assisted reproduction and surrogacy. The bill is drawn from model, best practice legislation, and incorporates the input of key stakeholders, including experts on child support, vital statistics, and the Family Court.

In addition to numerous parents and community members, the Rhode Island Parentage Act is supported by the Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, Adoption Rhode Island, the American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter, Fertility Within Reach, GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders, LGBTQ Action Rhode Island, the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter, New England Surrogacy, NOW Rhode Island, the Providence Human Relations Commission, Resolve New England, Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians, Rhode Island Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, the Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom, The Rhode Island Medical Society TGI Network Rhode Island, Thundermist Health Center, and the WOMXN Project.

For more information including a fact sheet on the Rhode Island Parentage Act, stories from impacted families, and an updated supporter list visit www.glad.org/ripe



Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality is a coalition of Rhode Island families and partner organizations working to ensure Rhode Island parentage law protects all children.