Governor Signs House Bill
Governor Sarah Palin today signed legislation authorizing birth certificates for stillbirths. House Bill 2, sponsored by Representative Carl Gatto, allows the Bureau of Vital Statistics to issue certificates for stillborn babies at the request of the parents. HB 2 passed the House 29-1, Senate 18-1.
"This is beautiful because this can surely help a grieving family after losing a child," Governor Palin said. "I'm thankful that Alaska's legislature recognizes how important a step like this is as Alaska embraces a culture of life and respects precious babies, including babies stillborn, but still loved by their families. Alaskans respect this sanctity of life and I appreciate Representative Gatto's efforts."
"HB 2 gives recognition that the mom of a stillborn child indeed had a birth and now will be able to request and receive a birth certificate stating that yes, you delivered a precious child,'" Representative Gatto said. "Unbelievably, there are mothers who have been waiting 20 years to receive recognition that their child was born. Those moms who delivered a stillborn child left the hospital with nothing more than a death certificate and no acknowledgment that a birth actually took place. At the time of delivery, their child was no less loved."
Approximately 50 stillbirths occur each year in Alaska.