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Fetal Death Certificate

The legal definition of "fetal death" means: "death prior to the complete expulsion or extraction from its mother of a product of human conception... which after such expulsion or extraction 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." The cost of a certified copy of a fetal death certificate is $21.50.  A Certificate of Stillbirth can be obtained from the Ohio Department of Health, Office of Vital Statistics, after the fetal death certificate is registered.  The cost of the Certificate of Stillbirth is free.  Click here to use our vital record application.

Senate Bill 175 allows EITHER parent the ability to apply to file for a fetal death certificate at the local health department if the product of conception is less than 20 weeks.  In order to file for this certificate, the hospital/Dr.’s office/clinic must prepare a written statement of the facts.  The statement needs to include three important points:

  1. Confirms the woman was pregnant and subsequently suffered a fetal demise of  less than 20 weeks gestation.
  2. The date of the miscarriage.
  3. The signature of a physician or coroner confirming the facts.

Once the statement of facts is presented to the local health department, a fetal death certificate shall be prepared with the demographic information completed.  The local health department will need to sign, date, and file the certificate utilizing their current office policies.

Things to remember:

  • Either parent has up to 7 years to file a fetal death certificate for a fetal demise.  As long as a signed physician’s statement can be obtained, a delayed fetal death certificate shall be filed by the local health department.  No authorization from the state Office of Vital Statistics will need to be obtained in order to file a prior year under 20 weeks gestation fetal death certificate.
  • A father of the child can also file for a fetal death certificate.  A notarized statement from the mother shall be provided at the time of application indicating that the mother voluntarily provided the father with a copy of the physician’s statement of facts.
  • A mother can elect to put father’s information on the record, even if she was not married at the time.
  • If fetal remains are to be buried or cremated, the funeral director must be issued a burial permit and pay the cost of $3.00.  

Should you need assistance, contact our customer service team at 614-466-2531 or email

If you are looking for statistical information, review the Fetal Deaths Page on our website.


Reviewed: 10/16/2015