Stop the Victorian Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages from Hurting Grieving Families
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After being in intensive care for several months, fighting with all his might to stay alive my newborn baby passed away. When I finally received my baby's birth certificate it had the word deceased written on the certificate. I was beyond devastated. My baby was born alive, he breathed, I held him, fed him, cared for him, and he fought to stay on this Earth for months. He was not born deceased.
An official birth certificate is not only a legal document but, for families whose babies pass away, a symbol and reminder that their children once lived and were precious members of Victorian society regardless of their age at death.
When someone dies (including a newborn baby) the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages adds the word deceased to their birth certificate. This usually goes un-noticed as most people do not request a birth certificate for their loved one after their death. However, in the case of a family with a newborn baby who is born alive and then dies, it is likely that the birth certificate the family will ever receive is one with the word deceased written on the certificate. This is because the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages can take up to several months to issue a birth certificate.
The question that is asked is 'but, where is the word deceased recorded if not on the birth certificate'. The answer to that is on the death certificate. When a person in Victoria dies, on request, their family will receive a death certificate. There is no need to put the word deceased on the person's birth certificate.
This petition asks the Victorian Attorney-General, Martin Pakula, and the Victoria Premier, Daniel Andrews, to please review and end the Registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages' standard practice of adding the word deceased to birth certificates. This will ensure that no further hurt is placed on families already hurting and grieving the death of their newborn baby. This will ensure that a parent like me, will not have to open that envelope with the excitement that she will have a reminder of her baby's life and instead receive yet another reminder of her baby's death.
Please sign and spread this petition to help grieving families like mine from further hurt.
This petition is supported by John Pesutto, MP Shadow Attorney-General for Victoria.
A paper version of this petition is available on John Pesutto's website: http://www.johnpesutto.com.au/2017/08/petition-re-review-of-the-word-deceased-on-birth-certificates/
If you live in Victoria please ALSO download and sign the paper petition, as John Pesutto will be presenting this to Parliament.
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