The Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act (RIUPA, lead sponsors Rep. Carol McEntee and Sen. Erin Lynch Prata) will update Rhode Island’s 40 year old parentage law so that it is clear, equitable, and provides legal protection for all families, including LGBTQ families.

Victory! On July 21, 2020, Governor Raimondo signed the RIUPA into law with families in attendance and speaking on behalf of RIPE. Read more

Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act: Frequently Asked Questions

The Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act: What You Need to Know Before January 1, 2021


Jessie and Ellen’s Story

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Meredith and Andi’s Story

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Rhode Island families can’t keep waiting for the law to change – learn about their stories here:

Elana Hayasaka in The Providence Journal (May 2020):

My Turn: Elana Hayasaka: Legal security for all families in a crisis

Katie and Aarav 

Katie and Aarav’s daily routine will sound familiar to many couples raising young children. Each day they get up, make breakfast, and get 9-year-old Dhruva out the door for school. Aarav, a transgender man, leaves the house early for his work as a high school teacher.

Katie’s home during the day…

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Denise and Elana 

“Humiliating, invasive, expensive, and discriminatory.” That’s how Denise describes a process she and her wife Elana, the parents of two young children, feel they can’t do – second parent adoption. Instead, the Pawtucket residents want Rhode Island to fully protect their family by modernizing its laws governing parentage…

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Moira and Hillary 

What happened to Moira and Hillary is the nightmare of every pregnant couple whose parental rights are not secured from the moment of birth.

The couple had long planned to have a child and got married as soon as it was legally possible in the District of Columbia…

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Rolfe and Edward 

Since he was very young, Rolfe knew he wanted to be a dad. “Virtually every decision I’ve made in my life has been to enable me to be a good parent,” he says – for Rolfe that included becoming a lawyer so he could make a good living, to marrying Edward.

“Eddie had always thought kids wouldn’t be possible for him,” says Rolfe. “Then we met…”

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Caroline and Ada

Caroline and Ada moved back to the east coast when Ada was pregnant for the second time. The first time that Ada was pregnant, they experienced a life-changing tragedy, the stillbirth of the baby girl they called Button.

“After that, we wanted to be closer to family,” says Caroline. They moved from Arizona…

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Julie and Sabra

Julie, Sabra, and their son Oscar

“We had been trying to have a baby for a year and a half and we were so thrilled to become parents and welcome our precious baby into our lives,” say Julie and Sabra, two educators based in Providence. “We read everything we could get our hands on before and after the baby arrived, and researched nearly every decision we made…”

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Sara and Anna

Sara, Anna, and their son EliSara and Anna experienced the effects of Rhode Island’s outdated parentage law firsthand when they had their child. Their son Eli was conceived using assisted reproduction. “It took my partner and I two and a half years to become pregnant, I signed more consent forms than I can count,” Sara says. “My doctors…”

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Why we need to update Rhode Island Parentage Law

small version of RIUPE fact sheet
Click here for fact sheet

The parent-child relationship is so important in the life of a child. The support and stability that comes from a legally secure parent-child relationship provides the core and foundation of a child’s well-being. In Rhode Island, not every child has equal access to establishing this core legal relationship. Rhode Island family laws are OUTDATED, leaving children vulnerable. With laws that haven’t been updated since the 1970s, there are substantial gaps in protections for Rhode Island children. The Rhode Island Uniform Parentage Act (RIUPA) is legislation designed to fill those gaps, recognize and respect the diversity of Rhode Island families, and ensure that all children in Rhode Island have equal access to family protections.

Recognizing all families in our laws

The RIUPA updates Rhode Island law so that it is constitutional, and protects all children, regardless of the circumstances of their birth. Among other important protections, the RIUPA provides clarity on how to establish parentage for children born through assisted reproduction, surrogacy, and to same-sex parents who aren’t married. As the law stands now, children are not treated equally, with some having to wait six months or longer to establish their parent-child relationship. That is too long to wait and leaves children and families vulnerable.  

Rhode Island families can’t wait any longer for equal access to family protections. Love makes families, and we need our laws to protect them.

Find the press release here.

Coverage of RIPE and Parentage Equality Press

NBC News – Changes to state parenting laws help fill gaps for same-sex couples

Harvard Health Blog – Co-parent adoption: A critical protection for LGBTQ+ families (by RIPE member and parent Sabra L. Katz-Wise, PhD)

Options Feb/Mar 2020 Digital Magazine – Family Planning – Options for LGBTQ Couples (p. 13)

Options RI – Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality Calls for Fixing State’s Outdated Parentage Law

Uprise RI – Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality calls for fixing state’s outdated Parentage Law so children aren’t left vulnerable

Uprise RI – General Assembly considers updating Rhode Island’s out-of-date parentage laws

On Twitter? Follow @RIPE_Parents here. Follow RIPE on Facebook here.

Rhode Islanders for Parentage Equality (RIPE) is a proud coalition of Rhode Island families and these partner organizations:

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys | Adoption Rhode Island | American Academy of Pediatrics, Rhode Island Chapter | Brown College Democrats | College Democrats of Rhode Island | Fertility Within Reach | GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders | LGBTQ Action Rhode Island | National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter | New England Surrogacy | NOW Rhode Island | Providence Human Relations Commission | Resolve New England | Rhode Island Academy of Family Physicians | Rhode Island Coalition for Reproductive Freedom | TGI Network Rhode Island | Thundermist Health Center | WOMXN Project




Providence Human Relations Commission

Rhode Island Medical Society