Help to Change NC State Cremation Law

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My name is Kristin Christensen and my husband Daniel and I are petitioning to change NC G.S. 90-210.129 Section H, in regards to cremation laws. In January we discovered that we were pregnant with our first child. After spending the first half of my pregnancy elated with joy knowing that they were going to be having a baby girl, surprising news came at the 19 week mark when we found out that we were actually having a rare set of high risk identical twin girls! Monoamniotic monochorionic- also know as MoMo's, our twins were in the same sac with no membrane separating them, allowing them to tangle or injure one another. Just shy of 23 weeks (1 week before I could be admitted to the hospital to be monitored 24/7 due to the high risk situation) we were crushed to discover the twins had passed away due to cord entanglement. While grieving, Dan and I decided to have our girls surgically removed (per the doctors, it was the safer choice for myself rather than being induced and delivering them) and having them cremated. Due to the grim nature of the procedure, however, it was impossible for us to see the remains afterwards, though we were able to obtain footprints of our little angels. This was where our physical and emotional pain was put on hold and where legalities came into play. 

Two days following the procedure, we received a phone call from the funeral home stating that the remains were still at the hospital. Our twins were apparently sent together and due to the North Carolina law which states, "The simultaneous cremation of the human remains of more than one person within
the same cremation chamber is forbidden", they could not be legally cremated. We were offered a plot of land for burial, which was not our wish, and even told that we could easily abide by the law by just pulling apart the remains and re-bagging them into two! We were absolutely disgusted; how could this be the appropriate solution for already heartbroken parents? We have contacted our senators, house of representatives, the NC State Funeral Board and even gone on and were interviewed by WRAL local news. We have received condolences and nothing more than a "my hands are tied" reaction to all. We also keep getting reminded that this is so rare and "never happens". Well now it has and we want change. 

In March of 2017, NC House Bill 529 was filed with new wording to modify the state law, expressing how the cremation of multiple bodies could be allowed with the condition, "The human remains of multiple fetuses from the same mother and the same birth." To date, the bill was not passed nor does it appear to have been voted on. In researching our options, we have discovered that South Carolina and Virginia, along with multiple other states, have similar laws, stating multiple cremations may be allowed, permitting written consent. In our plight, we have received multiple offers from our neighboring states to cross over and have our twins cremated together; modifications can be met and we are striving to have this rule changed so that no grieving family, parent or child, has to go through such additional heartache. Death requires peace and comfort to the survivors and we feel that our state is making this impossible time even more difficult and we will not rest until our voices are heard. 



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