Monday, April 28, 2008

MISS Foundation

States are finally grappling with decisions about whether or not to issue a birth certificate in the case of stillbirth. When I gave birth to Seth, there was nothing to take home with me. A death certificate was issued and we had to come up with money to pay for the delivery and bury the baby, yet, no recognition of life was ever offered. In fact, at that time things were so bad they wouldn't even let me spend much time with the baby at all - he was whisked away to the morgue and when I asked if I could see him again a few minutes later, the staff looked at me like I was crazy. There was no emotional support for me. They adhered strictly to the hospital policy of only one visitor in the labor room (my husband) even though circumstances were vastly different (he was also grieving and not able to be the support I needed) - forcing my mother to wait in the waiting room rather than being with me and helping me get through the difficult labor that would have no happy result.

Politically, what is happening is that some states are afraid to allow a birth certificate because abortion activists worry this will jeopardize that cause. If they acknowledge life, how can they support voluntary death? Allowing a grieving parent a certificate that indicates the mother gave birth to a baby does not interfere with anything. It is irrational fear. Fortunately many states have acknowledged this and offer the parents a "certificate of birth, resulting in still birth."

There is a terrible sense of unreality about this kind of experience. Everyone expects you to go on as though nothing happened and nobody wants to talk about it. Everyone, that is, except the family. The mother who carries the baby never forgets it and knows the baby once lived, kicked, and moved. The heart did beat and the mother bonded with the baby. Most hospitals now give mementos, even take photographs (my son Jon is a volunteer photographer for such work) and the staff is more understanding. This is a good thing.

I can never get a certificate of birth for my lost baby (although how can you have a death certificate if you never had a birth?). But many other parents could have this document to verify the nine months that really happened. It doesn't jeopardize anything for anyone but it can do much for the parents.

Here is a good video that recorded a couple's recent experience

Alaska and Connecticut are the most recent states to refuse to enact the Missing Angel Bill that would allow this, due in part to opposition from "pro choice" legislators who failed or refused to understand that his is not a "choice" vs "life" issue. This is an important video created by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore.

If you know one of the millions who have experienced such a loss as this, you may want to tell them about the MISS foundation at Additional help and support for stillbirth can be found here -


  1. Mom, I'm crying so hard right now... Do you mind if I copy the text from this (and the videos) and pass them on? I want to help.

  2. Thank you so much for sending this out. The MISS Foundation link you have posted is actually incorrect. Our link is

    Thank you again!

  3. are you certain you cannot get a CBRS for Seth. most states that enacted these bills made them retroactive. and UTAH was like the second state to pas this legislation. IF he was born there you might be able to to contact the legislative learned through the MISS site. the link is on my daughter blog you you can copy and paste this.

  4. Thanks Olive, but yes, I have checked with the State and they don't go back that far - they do retro but not as far as 1980! Interesting though that the memory is still so vivid after all these years - I have grandchildren now and yet I remember everything about that sad experience as if it was yesterday. I can only continue to try for other women now. Sad that this has become a political game at the expense of grieving parents in states such as New York.


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