SB 850 - certificate of still birth


SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Tue Apr 24, 2007 01:18 am

I wanted to let those of you who might be interested know that there is a bill in the State Senate right now being considered that would provide a "certificate of still birth" to bereaved parents whose babies are stillborn. Right now, the only item that California offers a bereaved parent is a fetal death certificate. The bill, SB 850, is an attempt to offer some comfort to parents and a recognition that their babies were born, even if they were born sleeping. I personally have mixed feelings about the bill, because it has been amended to only offer the certificate if a baby reached 24 weeks gestational age (original text had 20 weeks). Amelia never got that far, so I wouldn't qualify to get a certificate. [In fact, I'm not sure I would even be entitled to the fetal death certificate because of the circumstances of having to induce to save my life.] Still, I wanted to let everyone know that this is happening. The bill passed the Senate Health Committee last week and will be considered by the Judiciary Committee on 04/24. If you are interested in more information you can find it by looking up SB 850 on the web or contacting your state senator.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Wed May 09, 2007 02:00 am

This bill was recently amended in a way that I think would prevent a woman like me, who was forced to induce labor very early because of PE, from getting a certificate of still birth, despite having a child who was still born. It seems like it would leave out a lot of women who get severe PE early. The amendments did, however, take the gestational age back to 20 weeks.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby two_tzu » Tue May 22, 2007 06:28 pm

"This bill was recently amended in a way that I think would prevent a woman like me, who was forced to induce labor very early because of PE, from getting a certificate of still birth, despite having a child who was still born. It seems like it would leave out a lot of women who get severe PE early."

What was the rationale here? It seems to me that you would still qualify for a still birth certificate (and perhaps even more so than someone who delivered a stillborn at, say, 34 weeks due to meth use.. IMHO).

I'm glad to see this bill though. I have 4 other friends who had still borns after 30 weeks and it kills me that they only got a death certificate, considering that Alex got one after being born at 28 weeks, but only living (and barely at that) for 12 days.

Thanks for this info. I'd be curious what other date rules are about stillbirths.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby annegarrett » Wed May 23, 2007 00:05 am

This is an area that I really care about and hope to one day do something more about it. I've heard of similar bills. I know what the "worry" is. But I wonder if they could get around "defining" viability if they just allowed parents to make that call. If you request it--you get it, you know what I mean? It seems like certificate of birth is reasonable and it can note--live or not. But then, I guess that is why I don't work in government. I am sorry that on top of your loss you have this added heartache. Sending you hugs.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Thu May 24, 2007 02:26 am

This has been a real education for me. As it turns out, it looks like the hospital where I had Amelia was supposed to file a certificate of fetal death since she was more than 20 weeks along. They didn't. The certificate of fetal death is something that I can go to court to get an order for (what fun, eh! [xx(]). Part of the court paperwork requires an explanation of why this wasn't done as required by California law. I guess I'd have to say "incompetence" or something like that. I personally think that a certificate of still birth should be available to any parent who asks, regardless of gestational age. I'll update this as it develops.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Wed Oct 17, 2007 01:48 am

Hi there. The Governor signed this bill, the Missing Angels Act, on 10/13/07. As far as I know, the signed version still provides for a certificate of still birth for any baby that has reached 20 weeks gestation, upon request by the parents. I will have to have a fetal death certificate issued retroactively, then I'll be able to get a certificate of still birth for Amelia. Any parent who has a fetal death certificate for their baby can get a certificate of still birth on request and upon paying a small fee.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby rosalinda » Thu Oct 18, 2007 00:06 am

So if I wanted a certificate of stillbirth, what exactly would I have to do to get one? and how soon? (as I run out my door....[xx(])
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Sat Oct 20, 2007 02:55 pm

I'm not entirely sure about the process. I think the bill becomes law as of January, but I need to check that. I think the process will involve going to the county vital statistics office in the county where your child's fetal death is registered, and then asking for the certificate of still birth. There will be a small fee to cover the cost, and I know that it will be necessary for the county to confirm you qualify by verifying the registration of fetal death. It may be difficult at first to get one, since the counties won't necessarily have a certificate developed right away. It might make sense to take a copy of the SB 850 bill along - you can get it off of www.leginfo.ca.gov. I have to do a delayed registration of fetal death for Amelia first, so I figure it may take months before I can get a certificate of still birth. Good luck!
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby dja » Sun Jan 13, 2008 05:54 pm

I just wanted to update this to remind our California group that you can now request the Certificate of Still Birth from your county office of vital statistics (the same place you go to get a marriage license). If anyone does do this, please post and let us know. I will probably give it a shot sometime next month.
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Re : SB 850 - certificate of still birth

Postby rosalinda » Tue Jan 15, 2008 10:51 pm

I got the application today and will hopefully take it in soon. The fee is $9 per certificate.
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