What is a Missing Angels Bill?

Does MY State offer a Certificate of Birth?

Why We Need A Certificate for Stillbirth
This information is provided courtesy of The National Stillbirth Society and The M.I.S.S. Foundation.

MN Update for Certificate of Birth Bill

How do I get the bill passed in my state?

How to file Retroactively for your certificate

MN Hospitals Ė Complying with Law Requirements








What is a Missing Angels Bill?

"Missing Angels Bills" are simple legislative measures that, when enacted, require States to offer Birth Certificates to the parents of stillborn babies.

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Does MY State offer a Certificate of Birth?

At present, the majority of the States in our country do not offer the certificates. States on the chart below that have a shaded background do offer the certificates. As of May 31, 2005, MN is the 12th state to offer the preferred Certificate of Birth for a Stillborn baby, with Arizona being the first to have the law enacted on 9-9-01. Seven additional states currently offer a Certificate of Stillbirth.

Clicking on a State's name will take you to that State Government's Legislative website. Charts will open in a new window.
State Chart M.I.S.S. Foundation Site

This above information is provided courtesy of The M.I.S.S. Foundation.

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MN Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth Bill

Bill was Signed into law May 31, 2005 by Governor Tim Pawlenty!
The bill was enacted into law in MN on August 1, 2005.
*
Printable News Release
*Photos of Signing
*How to file Retroactively
*MN Hospitals Ė Complying with Law Requirements



MN State Record of Billís History
Senate Record ĖSF1029
House Record- HF947



History of Billís Progress
Articles in the News (some are pdf files)
Mankato Free Press, August 7, 2005
CBS News Story, July 31, 2005
Star Tribune, April 26, 2005
Session Weekly, April 22, 2005
Session Weekly, April 1, 2005
Pioneer Press, March 31 2005



Letters to Parents of a Stillborn Baby
5-27-05
Invitation to Attend MN Ceremonial Signing
Dear Friends,
Our time has finally come, and we have been given a date for our ceremonial bill signing by Governor Tim Pawlenty! The bill was actually already signed into law by Governor Pawlenty last week. The Ceremonial signing serves as an opportunity to have a large group gathered to take photos, to have the press come, to show support, and to celebrate more corporately the accomplishment of the bill becoming a law. There will be several groups coming to have ceremonial signings for other bills too, so the Governor is on a tight schedule and his office representative asked us to please be on time.
DATE: Tuesday, May 31st, 2005
TIME: Arrive by 10am! Signing takes place at 10:15am
LOCATION: State Capital Building in St. Paul, Governor's Reception Room 130
PARKING: Street/ metered parking- Bring lots of quarters! Parking is not very good, plan extra time for finding parking.
Please feel free to bring cameras and video cameras and a friend to take the pictures. Parents- both moms and dads who have had a stillborn baby are both encouraged to participate in the signing/ photos. It is requested that children/babies not attend, as they want it to go smoothly without distractions. The Ceremonial Signings only take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Please dress in business casual or professional attire. We encourage you to write and call your local papers to let them know about the bill signing and that you are looking forward to getting the Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth for your baby. We hope that many papers will pick up the story, so we can reach people who would benefit by getting their Certificate of Birth for their stillborn baby.
This will be a wonderful and historical time for us to gather together in honor of our Heavenly babies and be a part of such a special moment. It is truly a healing and powerful thing to finally have the birth of our babies recognized with a Certificate of Birth by the State of MN! We will be able to request our actual certificates as of August 1, 2005.
Please reply to this email if you plan to come, so I can add you to our list so we have an idea of how many parents we can expect at the signing.
Thinking of you all this Memorial Weekend.
In Honor and in memory of all our babies in Heaven,
--
Candy and Stephen McVicar
Founder and Directors, The Missing GRACE Organization
Grieve * Restore * Arise * Commemorate * Educate
Email candy@missinggrace.org
Web http://www.MissingGRACE.org
Office 763-497-0709



5-12-05
BILL PASSED UNANIMOUSLY TODAY!!!
Dear Friends,
Today the Minnesota Senate unanimously passed SF1029, the bill that will allow MN parents to have a Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth!! I am so relieved and delighted to announce this great news- the hard work was worth it and it paid off. Having the opportunity to receive a birth certificate for our daughter Grace will feel really good and it will mean a lot to have an official acknowledgment of her birth and life. We know that our feelings are shared by many other bereaved parents who have experienced having had a baby who was stillborn.
I am just waiting to hear what date Governor Pawlenty will decide to do our ceremonial signing of the bill. I have been told that this will take place in the next 2 weeks. We may have very little notice, but I ask all parents who have had a stillborn baby to please to be on standby so when I send out the announcement of the time and date of the signing you can try to come on a moments notice. Please respond to this email with your phone number too if you would like to also receive a notice by phone call. This will be a historical moment when we can gather for the official signing of the bill. The group photo will be sent out to all the papers so we can hopefully get some great publicity and let families know of this huge accomplishment and that they can receive their babyís birth certificates too.
Just to clarify, even though the official signing of the bill will take place sometime in the next few weeks, the bill will not be enacted into law until August 2005. That is when the information is supposed to be available on the MN state web site, explaining how to retroactively file. It is also after August that the paperwork and process will be put into motion for all MN hospitals to be required to offer the Optional Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth within 5 days of a babyís birth to parents who have a stillborn baby. If parents choose to get their certificate, then the hospital staff will then file the necessary paper work, in the same way a live birth certificate would be filed, with the same cost to the parents.
We will be the 12th state to pass this bill, and hopefully we can help bereaved parents in more states to accomplish this as well. Please spread the word and the good news to others.
I will be in touch again soon.
In honor and in memory of all our Heavenly babies,
--
Candy and Stephen McVicar
Founder and Directors, The Missing GRACE Organization
Grieve * Restore * Arise * Commemorate * Educate
Email candy@missinggrace.org
Web http://www.MissingGRACE.org
Office 763-497-0709



5-11-05
Bill Heading to Senate Floor
Dear friends,
We are very close now, after 2 years of hard work in getting our Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth bill passed in Minnesota. The bill has passed unanimously on the House Floor. All that is left is for the bill to pass on the Senate Floor. We are asking MN voters to please email and call their Senators to ask for their Senator's support of bill SF1029 (Optional Record of Birth/ Stillbirth Record Option) on the floor tomorrow, Thursday May 12th at 8am. This is a very important and final piece to get our bill passed into law. Here is the link to find the contact information for Senators
It was a real privilege to testify in the House and in the Senate committee hearings. I was able to organize testimonies by other moms of stillborn babies. We wish more parents could have testified but they gave us little time for testimonies and little warning for our hearing dates. Susan Lacek, Sherokee Ilse, and Cameron Jenson all got to testify and they did a terrific job and made their Heavenly babies proud. I also gave out folders with 15 written testimonies in each folder from bereaved parents who experienced having had a stillbirth, each stating the importance of this bill's passing and we also included pictures of our babies. Thank you to all the parents who submitted their testimony, your stories were very touching and had a strong impact with the legislators. We hand delivered the folders to all the committee members who heard and voted on our bill. Susan Lacek was such a huge help in getting our Talking Points Sheets to all the House Members and Senate members. Talking Points is a common term for info sheets lobbyist give to legislators to ask for their support on a bill and they briefly outline key points of the bill. We also included copies of our recent press coverage with our Talking Points. Both the House and Senate committees voted unanimously in favor of our bill! This was quite an undertaking as it got caught up again in people's minds as a Pro Life vs. Pro Choice agenda bill. We had to get a very strong Pro Choice, DFL Senator to author our bill and had to get NARL's approval on the text of the bill to overcome those obstacles. We had many meetings with both House and Senate members at the Capital as we tried to work these issues out. Now our bill is authored by both DFL and R Senators. Our bill is now considered a bipartisan bill (which it truly always was) and has had great support from both DFL and R sides.
If all goes well on the Senate floor tomorrow, then it goes to the Governorís desk to be signed into law in the next few weeks and we will have a ceremonial signing. This means we can invite MN parents of stillborn babies to join us for a group photo opportunity when the Governor signs the bill into law. The bill will be enacted into law by August 2005, if it passes on the Senate floor tomorrow! Our bill is retroactive too, so all MN parents who have had a stillbirth will be able to send in for their Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth.
Please take a look at the press articles written about our bill over the past few months. Thank you for helping write to your Senators today and for encouraging them to vote in favor of our bill tomorrow. Here is the link for more information on SF1029
Kindest Regards,
--
Candy McVicar
Founder and Executive Director, The Missing GRACE Organization
Grieve * Restore * Arise * Commemorate * Educate
Email candy@missinggrace.org
Web http://www.MissingGRACE.org
Office 763-497-0709



3-19-05
Support for Hearing in House Health Committee!
Dear friends and fellow bereaved parents,
I have just received notice that The Missing Angel Bill will finally have a hearing at the capital this coming Wednesday, March 23rd, 2005 at 10am. This is a call to action!
WEDNESDAY, March 23, 2005
10:15 AM
Committee: Health Policy and Finance
Room: 10 State Office Building
Chair: Rep. Fran Bradley
HF947 (Klinzing) Optional record of birth resulting in stillbirth provided.
I need you to please respond to this email with your testimonial that says in your own words why this bill would be so important to you. On one page please write what happened to you and your baby: how this affected you, why a certificate of birth would comfort/validate/acknowledge/help you, how important it is to you that you could retroactively receive the certificate of birth (not just those who in the future have a stillbirth). Make sure your letter is dated and that you have closed your letter with your full name, address and phone number, and email too. Please send your letter in a new/ or separate email without this email included. Please also send your testimonial letter with a new subject line (Missing Angel Bill- My testimonial Ė or something like that). It would be even better to have your signed letters, but with short timing, it is better to have your letter by email than not get your signed letters in time. If we need to have you all sign something for this bill, then I will let you know.
Here is what will happen this Wed. March 23rd:
There is only time for a few people to give their testimonials. I need at least one, possibly two other parents to come and give a 3 minute testimonial. The timing is pretty strict and so you really have to stick to 3 minutes for a testimonial. We need people to be able to clearly and effectively share their story in a professional manner. I am finding out on Monday if having a room full of parents to just come and show their support would be of benefit- my hunch is that it would. So, I will be emailing on Monday to let you know and may ask for you to go to the hearing on Wednesday at 10am to just be there in show of your support for this bill. Reply to let me know if you are available to do this.
Karen Klinzing is the author on the bill. The bill's language is pretty well written and if passed, would accomplish our goal for a certificate of birth, resulting in stillbirth to be given to all MN parents who experience a 20wk-40+ week stillbirth, and would also be available for parents like us to file retroactively to receive one as well.
Here is the Billís text and other important information
** If you see something in the text that is of concern to you- please email me ASAP with your insights on this.
Senate Authors
Bachmann; Johnson, D.J.; Robling
Senators Bachmann; Johnson, D.J. and Robling introduced-S.F. No. 1029: A bill for an act relating to health; providing for an optional record of birth resulting in stillbirth; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 144.222, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 144. Referred to the Committee on Health and Family Security.
Journal of the House - 14th Day - Thursday, February 10, 2005 - Top of Page 339 Klinzing, Hortman, Charron, Otremba, Larson, Hoppe, Zellers and Johnson, J., introduced: H. F. No. 947, A bill for an act relating to health; providing for an optional record of birth resulting in stillbirth; amending Minnesota Statutes 2004, section 144.222, subdivision 1; proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 144. The bill was read for the first time and referred to the Committee on Health Policy and Finance.
House Authors
Klinzing; Hortman; Charron; Otremba; Larson; Hoppe; Zellers; Johnson, J.; Tingelstad
Here is Karenís information if you would like to read up on the author of the bill:
Bill info
Karen Klinzing (R) 56B
567 State Office Building
100 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155
(651) 296-1147
E-mail: rep.karen.klinzing@house.mn
website
Please respond to this email if you plan on sending me your testimonial. I need all testimonials by Tuesday the 22nd!! Also, just let me know if you would be available from 10am to about 12pm to be at the hearing in case we need your physical presence too on the 23rd. If you have friend who is a MN resident and who has had a stillbirth, please forward them this email so they can write their testimonial too. I will look forward to receiving your reply.
Thank you everyone for your support and help with this important bill for our babies and other babies in the future who sadly will join our babies in heaven too.
It only adds insult to injury, to have gone through 22 hours of labor to deliver my daughter Grace and then I found out I would not get a certificate of birth. Currently, according to the state of MN Ė Grace was never born, just somehow she is recognized as dead- without a birth. This Wednesday we have a chance to help change this for all parents who tragically experience having a stillbirth.
With hope and expectation for the state of MN to recognize our stillborn babies as having been BORN,
--
Candy McVicar
Founder and Executive Director, The Missing GRACE Organization
Grieve * Restore * Arise * Commemorate * Educate
Email candy@missinggrace.org
Web http://www.MissingGRACE.org
Office 763-497-0709

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How do I get the bill passed in my state?

Starter points of how to get the bill passed in your state and receive a Certificate of Birth resulting in Stillbirth:
To start, you need to call, write and email your districtís House State Representatives and your Senators. They will listen to their constituents (meaning you are a registered voter in their district and can vote them into office). Your goal is to set up a meeting at their office and present your case, so to speak. They have little time, so you have to be brief and must be prepared with your plan of approach and tell them how they can help you. You print off the bill that has passed in others states like MN. Here is the link for more information on the
MN SF1029 (SF means Senate File and HF means House File):

Key points you want included in the language of your bill:
Make sure it is retroactive so all parents who have ever had a stillbirth can benefit.
No fiscal burden to the State- have the parents pay for their certificates just as they would a certificate for a living baby.
For future stillbirths, hospital staff must be required to offer the certificate to parents within 5 days of stillbirth. (This is the same requirement for a certificate for a live birth)
If parents opt not to get their certificate, they can still file retroactively later if they choose.
Show them the language of the bill, ask them to please author a similar bill for your state. You explain the importance of this bill to you, your family and to other parents who have had a stillborn baby. How it has brought comfort and has been very significant for parents of a stillborn who have been able to receive their certificates in other states. If they will not author the bill for you, then you go to other Representatives and Senators outside your district to try and get them to author the bill. Always start with your own Representative and Senators though. Be prepared to make many trips to your capital.
You want them to know this is a bipartisan issue and you want to try and get support from both DFL and Republican legislators.
You need to have both a House Representative author the bill and a Senator author the bill (more than one can be on the bill as co-authors too). The bill must go through both House and Senate to pass. The bill will need to be authored, written and registered by both House and Senate and then it will need to be formally introduced in both House and Senate. Then the bill will be assigned to a particular committee and must get on the agenda to have a committee hearing in the both House and Senate.
This is where you would have the opportunity to give a short testimonial about your story and the importance of this billís passing to you.

If you get a chance to give your testimony there are some rules to follow:
Wear a business suit or at least very professional clothing
Always wait to be invited to speak
Always start with Madam Chair or Mr. Chair
Example~ Madam Chair, and Representatives, thank you for this opportunity to share my testimonial.....
If you have or are asked a question, always reply or start with Madam or Mr. Chair or the name of the Representative or Senator addressing you.
Best not to chew gum, bring a bottled water in case your throat gets dry.

Helpful Hints:
Bring along any good visuals - a family picture or a keepsake you have for your baby, put it on the table in front of you.
Type your testimonial out, practice it and keep it timed under 3 minutes- itís ok to be emotional, but you also need to be able to say it clearly and practicing can help you not cry and fall apart when reading it to the committee.
Make copies of your testimony and any other parents testimonies that you can gather.
Put all testimonials in a folder and bring enough copies to have handed out to the committee. Plan for extra time- to find your room and your way around the capital and to find parking

If the bill passes in both the House and Senate committees then itís next step is to get on the agenda to be heard in another 2 meetings - both on the House Floor and Senate Floor (where all House members and Senators vote on the bill). If it passes on the House and Senate Floor both, then it goes to the Governorís office to be signed into law.

Once you have authors for your bill you can also ask them for advice on things you can do to further things along. Let the legislators you work with know that you are totally new to this and could really use their direction and help. Most legislators will be happy to assist you and give you direction with this process. All during the process you are lobbying by keeping in touch with your legislators and their LA (legislative assistants) to remind them that your are not going away and will be persistent. You can ask other parents, family and friends to write to their legislators in support of the bill and to encourage their legislators to support and vote in favor of the bill.

Be prepared that this takes time, and it may take several sessions and a few years to pass your bill- that is normal. It took us over 2 years to get it passed in MN. Also, there are let downs and disappointments when dealing with government. We would be notified of a set time for our hearing and then last minute it would get cancelled and we would be put on hold until further notice. Try not to take those things personally and keep your eye on the goal and stay positive. This is hard for us as bereaved parents because this is such an emotionally charged issue and any set backs can be really difficult to take. Just know that you are not alone and that this bill, when passed, will mean so much to so many moms and dads in your state.

Hope this helps! Please feel free to call if you have more questions and need some more advice (763-497-0709).
In honor of our Heavenly babies,
--
Candy McVicar
Founder and Executive Director, The Missing GRACE Organization
Grieve * Restore * Arise * Commemorate * Educate
Email candy@missinggrace.org
Web http://www.MissingGRACE.org
Office 763-497-0709

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How to file Retroactively for your certificate

MN Dept. of Health

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MN Hospitals Ė Complying with Law Requirements

MN Dept. of Health

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