California Begins Offering Certificates of Stillbirth
Under a new law that took effect this month, California counties are required to issue certificates of stillbirth to parents upon request, the Modesto Bee reports.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) signed the measure (SB 850) by Sen. Abel Maldonado (R-Santa Maria) into law at the end of last year.
The law allows parents of a stillborn to receive a certificate through a county office of vital records or the Department of Vital Statistics.
To qualify for a certificate, the death must occur after a fetus reaches 20 weeks gestation. The document costs $20.
California has joined 20 other states that issue certificates of stillbirth. State lawmakers failed to approve a similar bill in 2002 for fear it could lead to reduced abortion rights and interfere with the state's birth records (Carlson, Modesto Bee, 1/16).