Law establishing commemorative birth certificate for miscarriages takes effect

July 18, 2018, 3:17 a.m. ·

Families in Nebraska who have experienced a miscarriage will now have the option to purchase a state-issued, commemorative birth certificate under a new bill that recently went into effect.

The bill, which was introduced by state senator Joni Albrecht and signed into law by Governor Pete Ricketts on April 17 and went into effect this week, allows any family who have lost children prior to 20 weeks gestation to apply for the certificate.

Nebraska Family Alliance policy director Nate Grasz says the certificate gives families something to remember their children by.

“We know that no matter when that loss occurs, parents are grieving at the loss of a child,” Grasz said. “By creating this new type of commemorative birth certificate, we are showing parents that are grieving that they are not alone and giving them something tangible to hold onto.”

Nebraska is the first state to offer regressive birth certificates for miscarriages, meaning any family that has experienced a miscarriage within the first 20 weeks of gestation may apply for a certificate with verification from a licensed health practitioner.

Florida is the only other state to offer some form of state-issued commemorative birth certificate for miscarriages.

Grasz said this is something parents have been seeking for a long time.

“To get something official from the state with their child’s name on it recognizing these children really at the earliest stages of development is very powerful and helpful in the grieving process,” Grasz said. “…This is a small change, but a compassionate change. And we think that this is a big step forward for our state.”