Stillbirth certificates now available

Published on April 13th, 2012

by Kathleen M. Gallagher

Losing a child — whether unborn, stillborn or live born — is undoubtedly the most painful and traumatic event a parent can endure. Now, finally, parents of stillborn children can find some comfort and healing for their heartache by obtaining a Certificate of Still Birth from the New York State Health Department. 

It took more than eight years of political wrangling, with abortion advocates fearing the law might — God forbid — confer “personhood” onto the fetus, but now it’s official. As of March 21, 2012, these certificates are available for families who’ve lost a child to stillbirth, defined as “the unintended intrauterine death of a fetus that occurs after the clinical estimate of the 20th week of gestation.” 

Information from the State Health Department on how families can apply for a certificate is here.

The actual application is here.

Even family members of still born children from many years ago are eligible for this certificate.  

New York City has their own forms which must be used by parents who delivered a stillborn child in one of the five boroughs.  The city application is here.  More detailed information about instructions for New York City residents is here.

Please spread the word about the availability of these certificates, which will hopefully bring comfort to many who grieve the loss of a child.

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