Providence, RI asked in Adoption, Family Law and Gov & Administrative Law for Rhode Island

Q: Which Rhode Island court do I petition to unseal documents related to my paternity?

I was born outside of marriage, and then my father signed an "affidavit of legitimation" after he married my mother. Per Rhode Island law, this document is sealed and Vital Records will only issue copies of it with a court order. I am applying for recognition of inherited Italian citizenship through my father's family line, and the relevant authority has said I must provide proof that my father acknowledged my paternity. (My birth cert will not suffice, the Italian Consulate needs that affidavit). It's been a wonderful journey these past couple years, gathering the family's vital records and naturalization docs, and learning about them.

But now I am left wondering: which is the appropriate RI court to issue that order? Is it likely to be granted? Does my not being an adoption case help? --I know courts notoriously don't like to unseal adoption records. What are my chances of success *carefully* preparing my own petition, and going to court in pro se for this? Thank you in advance,

1 Lawyer Answer
Neville Bedford
Neville Bedford
  • Licensed in Rhode Island

A: Dual citizenship is a special status and probably worth investing with an attorney to assist you. Your chances of success will be much better with a professional advocating on your behalf.

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