New law will soon allow women who miscarry to get birth certificate

Published: Jul. 17, 2018 at 10:29 PM CDT
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Starting Thursday, 117 new laws will go into effect in the state of Nebraska. They vary in topic, from opioid use to horse massage to looser gun laws. But one law in particular is focused on grieving families. LB1040 will make it possible for women who have miscarriages to get a birth certificate for their child.

"At 37 weeks, I didn't have a ton of movement but at that time I was so uncomfortable and so far along I figured she was just big and ran out of room," said Makaela Parsons. She lost her daughter Kemptynn 38 weeks into her pregnancy.

"I went from hearing 'Your baby's doing well, we just have to get her out of there because her heart rate is lowering. You're going to have a baby tonight' to waking up and she's gone," Parsons said.

"I remember that was my question," Parsons said. "When can I get her birth certificate? And one of the nurses said to me, 'Oh honey, she's not going to get one of those. She was born asleep.' And that was really hard for me."

Nebraska is the first to offer this certificate retroactively.

"So if you had a miscarriage 10, 15 20 years ago, as long as that pregnancy was verified by a doctor or a healthcare professional all you would need to get is a signature," said Nate Grasz with Nebraska Family Alliance.

While nothing will make the loss easier, Makaela said this will offer some peace.

"If you don't lose a child, I get that it's a piece of paper. It might not seem significant, but you don't have much. Whatever you have, that's what you have for life," Parsons said.

Families can apply for the certificate, which costs $19, on the Nebraska DHHS website. That link is listed above.