Larkin, Galef Commend Governor for Signing Legislation to Create a Certificate for Stillbirth

September 26, 2011

Senator Bill Larkin and Assemblywoman Sandy Galef announced that Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed their legislation creating a Certificate for Stillbirth.

Governor Cuomo signed this bill on September 23, 2011 (Chapter 552) after the legislation, A8178/S3111, was approved by the New York State Legislature in June. This new law 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 new law is critical to parents who suffer through the trauma of having a stillbirth,” Assemblywoman 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. I believe this legislation will give the families who experience this tragedy one small means to help assuage their grief.”

"It is my sincere hope that this new law will bring families a sense of closure during this difficult time," said Senator Bill Larkin. "I thank the Governor for signing this important legislation into law and for recognizing its importance to the families of New York state."

“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.

The new law goes into effect 180 days after being signed into law and will apply to instances of stillbirth regardless of whether they occurred before or after this date.