Miscarriage Birth Certificates
One out of every four pregnancies ends in miscarriage, and the grief of that loss is as real as the life itself. Creating a culture of life means honoring the lives lost in miscarriage, as well as the families who grieve.
Due to a unique, life-affirming NFA supported bill passed into law by the Nebraska Legislature in 2018, women and families in Nebraska can now choose to receive state-issued commemorative birth certificates for babies lost to miscarriage, regardless of gestational age.
Nebraska’s law establishing this type of certificate is only the second of its kind in the United States. Nebraska’s is the first state to offer retroactive certificates, so women who experienced a miscarriage prior to the passage of the law can receive a certificate, and there is no minimum gestation required to qualify for the certificate.
How to obtain a certificate
Send both the completed application form and signed physician form to the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services Office of Vital Records along with a cash or check payment of $19. Make checks payable to Vital Records.
Mail to: Nebraska Department of Health & Human Services
Division of Public Health
PO Box 95065 Lincoln, NE 68509-5065
Bring to: 1033 O Street, Suite 130 Vital Records Lincoln, NE 68508-3621
The Nebraska DHHS will then provide the certificate within 60 days of receiving the application form, signed physician form, and $19 payment.
Facts About the Certificate
The requesting parent pays $19 for the cost of issuing the certificate.
Certificate is Voluntary
A certificate is a voluntary option for those who wish to receive one. It is not required or automatically administered after a miscarriage.
The Nebraska DHHS cannot register the birth associated with this commemorative certificate or use it to calculate live birth statistics.
Baby's Name on Certificate
The certificate will contain a name for the baby if given by the requesting parent and gender if known. If no name is given the certificate will say Baby Boy or Girl and the last name of the patient, and if the gender is unknown it will say Baby and last name of the patient. For example: Baby Smith, Baby Boy Smith, Baby Girl Smith, Baby Jane Smith.
Not a Legal Document
This certificate is not an official birth certificate or a legal document. It is a commemorative, state-issued certificate made available to those who request it after experiencing a miscarriage prior to 20 weeks gestation.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is eligible to request a certificate?
If I experienced a miscarriage before 2018, can I obtain a certificate?
If I had a miscarriage in Nebraska but now live in a different state can I obtain a certificate?
If I had a miscarriage in a different state but now live in Nebraska can I obtain a certificate?
What if I had a pregnancy loss occurring AFTER 20 weeks, can I request a birth certificate?
Yes. The state of Nebraska upon request will issue a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth for pregnancy losses occurring after 20 weeks. This type of birth certificate is also retroactive meaning you can apply no matter how long ago the stillbirth occurred.
Learn more at: http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/vital-records.aspx
For more information please contact:
NFA helped organize testimony and letters from dozens of mothers and doctors in support of the bill. LB1040 advanced unanimously from the Health and Human Services Committee and was debated by the full legislature, where it passed on the final round of voting: 44 Yes, 3 Present Not Voting, and 1 No.
Several female state senators shared deeply moving and personal stories of pregnancy loss while speaking to the importance and significance of providing official recognition to children lost before 20 weeks gestation.
Governor Ricketts signed LB1040 into law on April 17th, 2018, and the certificate became available for the first time in July 2018.
This compassionate change to the law makes our state an innovative leader in supporting grieving families and honoring the dignity of every human life.