SENATE, No. 1771
STATE OF NEW JERSEY
INTRODUCED SEPTEMBER 12, 2002
Senator JAMES S. CAFIERO
District 1 (Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland)
Senator THOMAS H. KEAN, JR.
District 21 (Essex, Morris, Somerset and Union)
Establishes certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth.
CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT
(Sponsorship Updated As Of: 2/5/2003)
An Act concerning stillbirths and amending R.S.26:8-37.
Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
1. R.S.26:8-37 is amended to read as follows:
26:8-37. a. A stillborn child shall be registered as a fetal death as required by [section]R.S.26:6-11[ of the Revised Statutes].
b. (1) The State registrar shall establish a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth, which shall contain such items as shall be listed on a form provided or approved by the State registrar pursuant to subsection c. of R.S.26:8-24, for a fetal death occurring in this State after a gestational period of 20 or more weeks. This certificate shall be offered to the parent of a stillborn child.
The person who prepares a certificate pursuant to this subsection shall leave blank any references to the stillborn child's name if the stillborn child's parent does not wish to provide a name for the stillborn child.
The certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth shall be filed with the local registrar of the district in which the birth resulting in stillbirth occurred within three days following the delivery and prior to cremation or removal of the fetus from the district.
(2) When a birth resulting in stillbirth occurring in this State has not been registered within one year after the date of delivery, a certificate marked "delayed" may be filed and registered.
(cf: P.L.1951, c.85, s.2)
2. The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall adopt rules and regulations pursuant to the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.) to carry out the purposes of this act.
3. This act shall take effect on the 60th day following enactment.
This bill establishes a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth for a fetal death occurring in this State after a gestational period of 20 or more weeks. This certificate shall be offered to the parent of a stillborn child. In many cases, a stillborn child is carried to term, yet the parent is only provided with a certificate of fetal death. This bill will allow parents and families to receive a certificate of birth resulting in stillbirth in addition to the certificate of fetal death.
Current New Jersey law requires a certificate of fetal death for every stillbirth in the State, which includes any death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of conception, provided that 20 or more weeks of gestation have elapsed prior to the delivery. The stillbirth is indicated by the fact that after delivery the fetus does not breathe or show any other evidence of life such as beating of the heart, pulsation of the umbilical cord or definite movement of voluntary muscles.
In 1998, the most recent year for which statistics are available, there were 764 stillbirths in the State. The number and rate of stillbirths in 1998 is slightly higher than the number and rate of stillbirths in 1997; however, the numbers and rates of stillbirths has significantly decreased during the past 10 years.