Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Legislation Providing Certificate of Birth for Stillborn Infants Passes Ohio House

COLUMBUS—State Representative Brian Hill (R-Zanesville) has announced that the Ohio House of Representatives today passed House Bill 95, which revises Ohio law to provide the issuance of a “certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth” for stillborn babies.

House Bill 95 codifies existing practices of the Ohio Department of Health (ODH), which has changed the title of the certificate from “Certification of Stillbirth” to “Certification of Birth” in response to feedback from grieving parents regarding the previous wording. The legislation requires the ODH or the state registrar to reissue any certificates “recognizing the delivery of a stillborn infant” as a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth. It also requires the local registrar, upon the issuance of a burial permit, to inform the parent or parents of a fetus of at least 20 weeks that suffers a fetal death about the option to apply for a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth, as well as the application process.

“This legislation attempts to show more respect and sensitivity to grieving parents who have suffered a loss of an infant,” said Rep. Hill, who sponsored House Bill 95. “I believe that by retitling the certificate to reflect our understanding of the heartbreak these parents are facing, we can more appropriately show respect for these parents as well as the young life that was lost.”

House Bill 95 passed with unanimous support on the House floor. It will now move to the Ohio Senate.