Senator Kennedy, WNYPBN Announce Parents Can Now Access Certificate of Still Birth

 

Perinatal Bereavement Network, Senator held outreach event Sunday to help families complete application to obtain certificate

BUFFALO, N.Y. – March 21, 2012 was a day that bereaved parents throughout New York State had long been awaiting. After fighting for nearly a decade to secure state recognition for the children they lost to stillbirth, New York families finally got the State Legislature to pass a bill to create the Certificate of Still Birth with the support of Senator Tim Kennedy and other state lawmakers.

The law went into effect Wednesday, March 21. Senator Kennedy and the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network (WNYPBN) held an outreach event Sunday at Mercy Hospital to help families obtain the Certificate of Still Birth.

At the event Sunday, Senator Kennedy and the WNYPBN commemorated the now-available Certificate of Still Birth and the work that went into passing the law. With applications and notary services available, they also helped about 25 local families complete their applications for a Certificate of Still Birth.

The law takes effect retroactively, so parents who have lost children to still birth in the past are eligible to secure a Certificate of Still Birth. Applications are available online at http://www.health.ny.gov/forms/doh-5056.pdf. Applicants must sign before a notary public.

“So many families worked hard for such a long time to finally see this day. It took nearly a decade for families to finally get Albany to budge on this issue, and I was proud and honored to help push the Certificate of Still Birth law through the Legislature and onto the Governor’s desk for his signature. On March 21, 2012, the wait was finally over for bereaved parents who fought for state recognition of the children they lost to stillbirth,” said Senator Kennedy. “With so many families experiencing such tragic loss every year, the Certificate of Still Birth was the least we could do to help heal the pain that families endure after a stillbirth. I thank the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network and Still Parents NY for all of their hard work and advocacy.”

“I am so honored not only as a bereaved mother but also as the executive director of the Western New York Perinatal Bereavement Network to celebrate this bill officially becoming a law,” said WNYPBN Executive Director Christine Scott. “So many determined families came together as a dedicated team across New York State for years and together made a difference to give thousands of parents validity to the birth of their baby born still but still born. We will finally be able to receive this state-issued document that acknowledges the birth of our precious babies gone too soon and to heal yet another piece of our hearts.”

For more information on the Certificate of Still Birth, visit: http://www.health.ny.gov/vital_records/fetal.htm. You can also contact Senator Kennedy’s office a 716-826-2683 or kennedy@nysenate.gov, as well as the WNYPBN at 716-626-6363, if you have any questions or if you need help obtaining an application through the mail.