Monday, July 2, 2007

Documentation

How do I get the Report of Fetal Death for my child?

1. If your child was born still in 2004 or later, call the Office of Vital Statistics. Ask to speak to Donna Dossey, Registrar. They will gladly provide you with a copy.

2. If your child was born still before 2004 and you requested a copy of the RFD at the time and still have that copy, you are all set.

3. If your child was born still before 2004 and you did not request a copy of the RFD before it was destroyed, you will need to either get a copy of the RFD from various files or you will need to provide other documents.

We suggest requesting a copy of your complete medical records from the hospital where your child was delivered for the time that your child was delivered. Your medical records will include many things, including pathology and autopsy reports. There is a chance that your medical records will include a copy of the RFD since it was filled out by the hospital medical records department. Though it is not standard practice, some hospital administrators may have included a copy in your file, but there is no guarantee.

We also suggest requesting a copy of the file from your funeral home. Technically, the funeral home needed a copy of the RFD in order to take possession of your child’s body for final disposition. So there is a good chance that their files will have it. However, that is not what happens in all cases. In cases where the RFD was not available before final disposition, the funeral home would have filled out a Death Certificate for their own records. This death certificate should have the funeral home’s license number on it.

Funeral home records and medical records are kept indefinitely (barring unforeseen acts such as floods or fires). So you should be able to request copies of these files at any time, but it may take some time for the institution in question to retrieve and copy the files for you. Have patience.

4. We are still working on the list of documents needed to request a delayed RFD and CBRS. Part of the reason we suggest requesting the complete files from the hospital and the funeral home is that any documents on the list will more than likely be included in those files. As of right now if you don’t have and can’t get a copy of the original RFD, you will have to present a copy of the funeral home Death Certificate (with license number) and a copy of the autopsy report. Obviously, not every family requests an autopsy, that is why we are still looking for documents the state will accept.

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