Jason Versus the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records Part 1
by Jason Kimble
When Hannah passed away, Heather and I were absolutely devastated. Having been given a fatal diagnosis, we knew the tragic day would come when we would face the this heartbreaking and difficult time. Knowing this did not make the time any easier, but it did allow us to consider some things about what was happening. That said, one thing that came up was the idea of a birth certificate. Initially this did not cross my mind. At this point, I can’t recall where I heard about it first. I think Heather told me she had seen something about it online. There was a birth certificate that our state would produce for families called the “Birth Resulting in a Stillbirth” certificate. It sounded like something that would be a great thing to have and would add just a little bit of peace in the recognition of our baby girl… or so we thought…
This was a way for families to have their baby recognized by the state as more than just a “medical issue.” It was a way for the family to mark this moment and remember the baby that was lost. It was something that a family can have as something to hold to and show that while their baby couldn’t come home with them, the life of their baby was no less important than anyone else. I didn’t NEED this certificate to allow me to know my daughter existed or mattered, because she did, but in my mind it was nice to have that simple piece of paper just like a “normal” family would.