New Florida law will provide certificates for nonviable births

Published: May. 31, 2017 at 6:05 PM EDT
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By: Associated Press

May 31, 2017

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) -- Florida will become the first state to issue what is essentially a birth certificate to parents who have experienced a miscarriage.

Governor Rick Scott signed a bill into law Wednesday that will allow the state to issue "certificates of nonviable birth" beginning July 1.

The certificates would be available to those whose pregnancies end after nine weeks and before 20 weeks of gestation. A miscarriage is defined as the loss of a fetus before the 20th week of pregnancy.

Under the Grieving Families Act, the state will issue the certificates only if parents request them. Parents would be able to name the lost fetus on the certificate.

The certificates will contain language that ensure they are not to be used as proof of a live birth.

Pregnancies that end at 20 weeks or later are considered stillbirths, and death certificates must be issued. However, parents may also request a birth certificate in the case of stillbirth.