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Birthday Celebrations and Birth Certificates for Stillborns in PA.

August 13 will mark my daughter Margaret's 14th birthday. Our family will be vacationing in Cape May Point, New Jersey just as we were 14 years ago before she was born. We always have a quiet celebration with a shrine in her honor, a candle for prayers, a bouquet of fresh zinnias and chocolate chip cookies with Ms on them. My children help me bake them and we pass them out to all the cousins, aunts and uncles and munch them happily in honor of Margaret. Over the years I have heard many beautiful birthday traditions such as letting balloons go, blowing bubbles, making a birthday cake and singing, visiting a grave or reading a special prayer. These are all gifts of special moments that we take to honor our lost babies but next month my Margaret will receive her most amazing birthday gift of all when my husband and I actually receive a birth certificate that records and validates her birth to this world. We have a death certificate but we want to celebrate her life.


A huge thank you goes out to Heidi Kauffman, her stillborn son, Kail,and many other people who worked so hard to get the legislature in Pennsylvania to join 30 other states in offering birth certificates to stillborn babies. If you live in Pennsylvania or birthed your baby here and you would like to receive a birth certificate, the law goes into effect on September 5, 2011. You can begin the paperwork now by going to www.portal.health.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/fetal_death_and certificate_of_birth_resulting_in_stillbirth_certificates_of_birth_resulting_in_stillbirth/608963. It is retro-active so if your baby was born three months ago or thirty years ago, you can still get a birth certificate. Happy BIRTH-day to the many, many stillborn babies that were born in Pennsylvania and will finally get to truly celebrate their BIRTH-days:)