On behalf of the team at Star Legacy Foundation, we wanted to offer our sincere condolences for the need for you to apply for this certificate to honor your beautiful baby/babies.
Prior to the existence of these certificates, stillborn babies did not receive any form of a recognition of life. We are forever grateful to all of the advocates who worked tirelessly to pass legislation to make these certificates available to families.
What is a Certificate of Stillbirth?
The Certificate of Stillbirth is a document issued by the each state’s office of Vital Records.
What is the history behind the Certificate of Stillbirth?
This effort was originally started by the MISS Foundation in an effort to have stillborn babies recognized. Prior to these efforts, stillborn babies did not receive any acknowledgement of their birth.
Does every state call this document a Certificate of Stillbirth?
No. Below are some variations of the name of this certificate:
Although they are both worded very similarly, a “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth” and a “Certificate of Stillbirth” are not the same thing. Legislators, Policy Analysts, and State Health Departments agree, there is a subtle, yet immense difference in the two. The MISS Foundation believes that all states should record births as births… whether live or still. The goal, for those states that offer a “Certificate of Stillbirth”, is to legislatively change the certificate to a “Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth” – which we view as a “BIRTH” certificate.
Is the Certificate of Stillbirth different than a Fetal Death Certificate or Birth Certificate?
Yes. The CBRS/CoS is a commemorative document that recognizes the life of a stillborn baby since they sadly do not receive an official Birth Certificate. The Fetal Death Certificate (FDC) is a required form the hospital fills out and sends to the state health department. The FDC often needed to apply for a CBRS/CoS. A CBRS/CoS resembles a Birth Certificate more than a Fetal Death Certificate.
Is the Certificate of Stillbirth an official document?
It depends. Some select states do use the CBRS/CoS as an official document for tax purposes and others it is a commemorative document.
If your state offers a tax credit or deduction, we have listed this in our resource guide as well. Please consult with a tax professional as legislation is an ongoing process.
What if my state does not offer this certificate?
We are so sorry that your state currently does not offer this document. If you would like to learn how to advocate for legislation, please complete our volunteer form and select Legislative/Advocacy.
Star Legacy Foundation created a resource guide by state to help you navigate how to apply for and receive your baby’s certificate. Each state has:
Please note: We currently do not have sample images for all states. If you have an image you would be willing to share with us, please email us a picture. Thank you to all of the families who shared their images with us already.
All of the information in the Certificate of Stillbirth Resource Guide was updated on 7/2023. Please email us with any discrepancies and/or additions.