New Jersey: an announcement
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CAFIERO "MISSING ANGELS" BILL RELEASED FROM COMMITTEE
** Measure would provide birth certificates for stillborn children **
TRENTON -- Legislation sponsored by Senator James S. Cafiero to establish a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth was released today from the Senate Health Committee.
"I have been contacted by a number of constituents, who, unfortunately, have had babies die at birth, resulting in a stillbirth," said Cafiero. "What has been expressed to me is that the situation is made even more difficult because there is no recognition of the child."
"This ‘Missing Angels’ bill would offer a parent whose child is stillborn the option of getting a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth in addition to a Certificate of Fetal Death. More importantly, it will offer parents some comfort and recognition that their baby existed," added Cafiero.
Specifically, the measure, Senate Bill S-1771, would establish a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth for a fetal death occurring in this State after a gestational period of 20 or more weeks. This certificate shall be offered to the parent of a stillborn child. In many cases, a stillborn child is carried to term, yet the parent is only provided with a certificate of fetal death. This bill will allow parents and families to receive a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth in addition to the certificate of fetal death.
"Similar bills have been passed in several states with the backing of the National Stillbirth Society and The MISS Foundation, both founded by parents of stillbirth babies," noted Cafiero. "New Jersey needs to be next and I applaud the Senate Health Committee’s leadership in passing this legislation."
"Losing a child is hard enough on parents and families and not having the child recognized makes it even harder to grieve," said Cafiero.
"My constituent, Kathy, has been pushing statewide for this bill since her fourth child was stillborn or as she would prefer - born still. She wrote on her correspondence -- ‘Below my heart you lived and died, in my heart you will always be’." "I commend her efforts on behalf of the ‘Missing Angels’ bill and every time I read that saying I just know we have to get this measure signed into law to offer families recognition for their child and the comfort they seek."
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration.