Galef Commends the Passage of a Bill That Will Allow Certificates of Still Birth to Be Issued

June 28, 2011

Assemblywoman Sandy Galef is pleased to announce that the New York State Legislature has passed legislation that will provide a certificate for stillborn babies.

Bills A.8178/S.3111 was approved by the New York State Legislature on June 16, 2011 and will be delivered to Governor Cuomo for his signature in the next few weeks. The legislation offers parents the option of requesting a certificate of still birth from the Health Department if they so choose, and they would be able to record a name for their stillborn fetus on the form. Currently, parents who experience one of the more than 1,700 still births per year in New York are only given a fetal death certificate.

“This legislation is critical to parents who suffer through the trauma of having a stillborn fetus,” Galef said. “The bill validates their loss, providing them with a formal acknowledgement of the process of gestation and labor. It will help to ease parents’ pain and aid them in the healing process.”

“Thanks to Ms. Galef’s leadership, thousands of New York families will now get the respect for their stillborns they should have had at the time they needed it,” said Jeff Tieger, co-founder of Daniel’s STAR, (The Daniel Ian Tieger Fund for Stillbirth Awareness and Research), a foundation advocating for still birth awareness and research. “This bill is about providing comfort to families through recognition of the birth process. They were born still, but they were still born,” added Tieger.

“It is humane to provide acknowledgment from the state to a parent who has experienced the tragedy of a stillbirth. New York should be a leader in the fight to provide this acknowledgment to parents,” said Assembly Member Richard N. Gottfried, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Health.

"To families who have suffered this terrible loss, the Certificate of Still Birth will help them to begin the healing process," said Senator Bill Larkin who sponsored the bill in the State Senate. "My heart goes out to everyone who has endured this tragedy and I hope this acknowledgment of their stillbirth will allow them a form of closure during this difficult time. I look forward to the Governor signing this bill into law in the very near future."

Galef concluded, “I know this legislation will really give the families who experience this tragedy one small means to help assuage their grief.”