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Call for Stillborns to be Issued More Than Death Certificates

There's nothing harder than losing a child. But, what about the devastation parents endure when their baby dies in utero? When I came across a post on Jezebel about the politics behind getting grieving parents stillborn birth certificates, I was aghast that just 23 states offer the families more than a death certificate.

A recent report in the New York Post, talked about the current bill that advocates hope will pass in the Big Apple. Outside of City Hall, one New Yorker shared his story. He said:

"The first time I held my son, Daniel, was the single saddest moment of my life," said Staten Islander Jeff Tieger, whose first child was stillborn on Feb. 8, 2007. ". . . Not another minute should go by before [this bill] is passed."

His raw words reminded me of a heart wrenching piece that former San Francisco Chronicle reporter, Suzanne Pullen wrote about the experience of delivering her first child who had passed away. She said:

You don't plan for the doctor to tell you your future has no heartbeat. You don't plan to deliver a baby who will never open his eyes. You don't plan on coming home with an urn of ashes instead of a bag of diapers. Before my son died, I had every hope -- and worry -- of being a good mother.

It's these emotions that make one wonder why national legislation has not been passed.

Join The Conversation
cheekyredhead cheekyredhead 7 years
It may seem caustic to not issue a birth certificate to a stillborn...however the medical/legal interpretation of a birth certificate is "the documentation of a "live" birth." piece of paper...can make the loss of a child less painful or traumatic. I am puzzled when I see those "in memory of" citations on the back of cars. I could not mourn the loss of my baby that was very personal and private. I suppose we all mourn in different ways.
lickety-split lickety-split 9 years
this is a total lack of compassion. these parents went to the hospital expecting to come home with their baby. instead they came home with something that reads "dead". the child was in fact born, and even if it never took a breath it is still their child. just having something in the memory book that they expected to have, anything, makes the baby more "there" to the parent. i think this must be an old law, rule, whatever, when such things were not talked about. we're past that now. we have support groups and people wear ribbons and have bumper stickers about things that have moved them. we have learned that talking about it and acknowledging hurtful things leads to healing.
SuzieQ3417 SuzieQ3417 9 years
If you click on the Jezebel link it seems the debate centers around whether issuing birth certificates for still-born babies would affect mothers who have abortions after 20 weeks gestation - whether they need to be issued birth certificates as well, and what impact that would have on abortion rights. Nothing is ever straight-forward in the world of politics - the law of unintended consequences always rears it's head.
CaterpillarGirl CaterpillarGirl 9 years
This just seems to me like an issue that doesnt need to be fixed, granted i have never had a child born dead, but do you really need a birth AND a death certificate? Do they really feel like the baby never existed if it doesnt have some piece of paper? I dont get it.
foxie foxie 9 years
Um... so what WERE the politics surrounding the issue? This post is a little one-sided. Surely there's some sort of reason they're not being issued something as seemingly simple as a birth certificate?
Liss1 Liss1 9 years
I don't get why they can get a birth certificate. yes, technically they were born dead but the were still born and deserve a birth certificate.
Courtney82 Courtney82 9 years
i would say if you are issuing a death cert than a birth cert should be given also. i would want it, much more than the death cert. how very sad that it cant be given when someone wants it.
Mystofflyn Mystofflyn 9 years
Snarkypants: they want their child issued a birth certificate too. Something that acknowledges that their child they loved existed. I completely agree. There's no harm in issuing a birth certificate. If something that easy would comfort parents I would be more than happy for a increase in my taxes to pay for it.
snarkypants snarkypants 9 years
i don't get it. what do they want?
katedavis katedavis 9 years
Oh! BIRTH certificate. I was wondering the whole time what the NY legislation was for.
Gabriela14815884 Gabriela14815884 9 years
You might want to change "gift certificates" to BIRTH certificate.
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