Since 2001, when the first MISSing Angels Bill passed in the Arizona state legislature due to the efforts of Dr. Joanne Cacciatore, 43 states have followed Arizona’s lead by providing birth certificates to families whose babies were stillborn. Two other states currently have pending legislation. The MISS Foundation has been instrumental working with grieving parents nationwide to make legislators aware of the importance of acknowledging not only the death — but the birth — of their child. Three other states currently have legislation pending.
States offering an official, legal document that includes the words Certificate of Birth in the title to the parents of stillborn children are considered “MISSing Angels” States.
This short video explains the MISSing Angels advocacy effort that began in Arizona and has continued throughout the nation to allow parents of stillborn babies the option to receive a certificate of birth acknowledging the birth, not just the death, of their stillborn baby. Today 43 states have legislation allowing for certificates of stillbirth or certificates of birth resulting in stillbirth.
“I am asking you to support a bill bynamed the MISSing Angels Bill. It would require a simple change from “Certificate of Fetal Death” to “Certificate of Birth resulting in Stillbirth.” On behalf of thousands of families in our MISS group, I ask you to help us in changing our current protocol. Their births are no different than any other except their parents must leave the hospital without their child. Mothers of stillborn babies must still give birth. For them, the immeasurable physical pain and trauma of childbirth is coupled with the most emotionally traumatic – death.”
MISS Foundation initiatives are nonpartisan and are dedicated to bringing awareness to important issues related to child death and bereavement. Here is a look at past initiatives and how to contact your congressional office:
View the letter that we encouraged our MISS Members to send their House of Representatives in favor of co-sponsoring Rep. Peter King’s Stillbirth Research and Awareness Act of 2011.
As an organization that has dealt with traumatic grief for 25 years, we see the tragic impact historical and inter generational trauma cause among families and communities. We join the Black community in the U.S. and around the world in the fight against institutional racism and state sanctioned violence by police officers sworn to protect all of its citizens equally.
Words matter. The MISS Foundation is committed to using appropriate terminology that does not minimize the death of a child. This position statement focuses on the term “pregnancy loss” when referring to a baby who has died by stillbirth.
Legislative advocacy and public awareness go hand-in-hand. Addressing traumatic loss and its multiple affects on families takes on many forms. From trying to help secure more research funding related to child deaths to advocating for changes in public policies that help families struggling with traumatic grief, the MISS Foundation has a long history of providing awareness, education and grassroots support in legislative and congressional arenas. If you would like to help with advocacy initiatives, have a question we can help you with regarding state or national legislative efforts, or would like training on how to advocate for a particular issue, please don’t hesitate to contact our Legislative Liaison, Richard May, by clicking the button below.